Food Allergies have always been a source of my shyness. I don’t consider myself to be a shy person at all, really. Truthfully, I can walk up to any person and strike up a conversation. Sometimes, I get a pit in my stomach about approaching people, but only sometimes.
But with my allergies, it’s a completely different experience. I can’t really pin point an exact reason why- there must have been some experience that triggered it, I just can’t really give one situation that started it all.
Maybe it’s because I don’t like people to pity me or feel bad for me. Whenever I say I have food allergies, people immediately say, “Oh I’m so sorry! How can you live without ice cream?” I usually respond by saying, “Well there’s a lot of amazing alternatives and I’ve never been able to eat it so I don’t really miss it.” The fact that people say they are sorry for me really bothers me for some reason. Yes, it’s unfortunate that my body seems to think that peanuts are some sort of plague that will kill me, but it doesn’t bother me. I’m ok!
I think it’s also because I don’t want people to feel bad about not being able to offer me food. The other day I was at a friend’s party and her mom asked me if I wanted pizza, to which I responded, “No that’s ok, I’m having a family dinner after this, but thank you anyways.” I was not having a family dinner. I was okay with not being able to eat the pizza, but I literally told a bold faced lie just so I wouldn’t get someone asking me what else they could make me because they felt bad about not being able to provide me with something safe.
This might be an unpopular opinion, and so be it. But as a teenager, there’s something about people trying to pity you that isn’t fun. If it was literally anything else, I think I would be okay. But pity over food seems a bit ridiculous to me.
I guess that’s why I’ve decided that this year, I’m really going to try to overcome that shyness. I’ve realized that food allergies are nothing to be afraid of, and if someone like a waitress wants to be annoyed that they have to take extra time to write down “allergic to dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame seeds”, then let them be annoyed. Or, just say, “You know what, never mind. I’m not going to eat somewhere that is upset about the fact that I could die by ingesting just a small amount of something that my body considers to be toxic.” Then, I would proceed to throw down some money for a tip and drinks and walk out. That would be cool, I think. Maybe overdramatic, but that’s kind of my personality… haha. But really, it’s dumb for me to feel timid about telling someone about a condition that I can’t control, so I’m going to work on it.
Sorry for yet another year-long absence, I promised that it wouldn’t be the case, but clearly I am a liar… haha. I’m working on it. Anyways, follow my social media for my most up to date content. Let’s be friends on Instagram or Twitter or something :).
Thank you for reading, have a fabulous day, and let me know in the comments below if you ever feel this sort of insecurity around food allergies and what your experience with it is!