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Twenty years of thinking that I don't deserve food

Icarus123

Icarus123

New member
Joined
Nov 28, 2019
Messages
1
Location
Portsmouth
Hello, I'dlike to ask for some advice...

I'm a 33 year old male and my relationship with food has probably been less than optimal for quite some time. Surprisingly I remember the exact day the problems started.

It actually started out with social awkwardness and anxiety and crippling insecurity. My father's opinion was that confrontation and exposure is the best cure for anxiety - this might work for some people, it did not work for me.

We had this sort of tradition to go to this fair that was happening closeby once a year and the visit to that fair included getting something to eat from a certain foodstand. Nothing fancy, just normal chips and stuff, but it was a special treat and some kind of tradition for us and we always looked forward to it.

Until that year when I was 13 and we went to that place. Instead of ordering food for all of us, my father only ordered for him, my mum and my siblings and then handed me some money and told me to go and order my own food. Simply because he knew how insecure I was and how big of a deal talking to people was for me at that time. He thought forcing me to confront my fears would be a great way to help me overcome them.

Obviously I just couldn't do it. So I just stood there staring at the ground, playing with the coins in my hands while my family was enjoying their food. Eventually my father snatched the money from my hands ("Well if you're not gonna use it...").

I didn't get anything to eat that night and the whole thing was ruined for me.
While I am aware of how childish and insignificant the whole thing was I just cannot deny the effect it had on me.

My thought process at that time was: if I am not capable of obtaining my own food, then I don't deserve food. If I am too awkward and insecure and childish to fend for myself, then I don't deserve food. If I have to rely on other people to speak for me, then I don't deserve food.

This thought was ingrained deeply into my brain all those years ago and I can't imagine not thinking that way.

I have never starved myself on purpose but I have been weird about food ever since that day. I eat when I am hungry and I stop when I am full. But actually enjoying food is something I am barely capable of. I can't see food as a treat or something that I deserve or am allowed to enjoy. I try occasionally and sometimes it goes well but most of the times it doesn't. There have been situations where I "enjoyed" food and it all went wrong and the only way I could resolve it was by purging. Not because I was ever afraid of calories or weight gain but simply because there was this voice in my head yelling that I didn't deserve it and getting rid of it was the only solution.

At a recent doctor's appointment I was adviced to change my eating habits because "obviously" I am not eating well. It was less that comment by my doctor and more my thoughts following that conversation that made me realise that, shit, maybe I actually do have a problem. My doctor suggested I see a nutritionist and work out an eating plan, the thought of which causes me intense anxiety.

I can't explain why this is so complicated for me. I just can't do it and I don't know what to do about it. So if anyone has some advice to offer, I would appreciate it.

Thank you.
 
daffy

daffy

Well-known member
Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
6,920
Location
hiding behind the sofa
It’s very obvious and you’ve stated the fact of what happened at the fairground. Because of your anxiety you couldnt buy the food so now you associate food with anxiety . I dont think a nutritionist would make a vast amount of difference apart from pointing out missing out on essential nutrients that could affect your long term health.
I think therapy would be the best way for you to go. To find out why you are so anxious in the first place. Something may have happened when you were much younger that caused you fear , maybe you got lost and had to find an adult and found that scarey. That’s only a thought tho I’m and not saying it did happen.
So you need to solve that and once thats been sorted I’m sure your anxiety over food will go as well
 
Q

qwynie Rose

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
67
Location
Scotland
Hello, I'dlike to ask for some advice...

I'm a 33 year old male and my relationship with food has probably been less than optimal for quite some time. Surprisingly I remember the exact day the problems started.

It actually started out with social awkwardness and anxiety and crippling insecurity. My father's opinion was that confrontation and exposure is the best cure for anxiety - this might work for some people, it did not work for me.

We had this sort of tradition to go to this fair that was happening closeby once a year and the visit to that fair included getting something to eat from a certain foodstand. Nothing fancy, just normal chips and stuff, but it was a special treat and some kind of tradition for us and we always looked forward to it.

Until that year when I was 13 and we went to that place. Instead of ordering food for all of us, my father only ordered for him, my mum and my siblings and then handed me some money and told me to go and order my own food. Simply because he knew how insecure I was and how big of a deal talking to people was for me at that time. He thought forcing me to confront my fears would be a great way to help me overcome them.

Obviously I just couldn't do it. So I just stood there staring at the ground, playing with the coins in my hands while my family was enjoying their food. Eventually my father snatched the money from my hands ("Well if you're not gonna use it...").

I didn't get anything to eat that night and the whole thing was ruined for me.
While I am aware of how childish and insignificant the whole thing was I just cannot deny the effect it had on me.

My thought process at that time was: if I am not capable of obtaining my own food, then I don't deserve food. If I am too awkward and insecure and childish to fend for myself, then I don't deserve food. If I have to rely on other people to speak for me, then I don't deserve food.

This thought was ingrained deeply into my brain all those years ago and I can't imagine not thinking that way.

I have never starved myself on purpose but I have been weird about food ever since that day. I eat when I am hungry and I stop when I am full. But actually enjoying food is something I am barely capable of. I can't see food as a treat or something that I deserve or am allowed to enjoy. I try occasionally and sometimes it goes well but most of the times it doesn't. There have been situations where I "enjoyed" food and it all went wrong and the only way I could resolve it was by purging. Not because I was ever afraid of calories or weight gain but simply because there was this voice in my head yelling that I didn't deserve it and getting rid of it was the only solution.

At a recent doctor's appointment I was adviced to change my eating habits because "obviously" I am not eating well. It was less that comment by my doctor and more my thoughts following that conversation that made me realise that, shit, maybe I actually do have a problem. My doctor suggested I see a nutritionist and work out an eating plan, the thought of which causes me intense anxiety.

I can't explain why this is so complicated for me. I just can't do it and I don't know what to do about it. So if anyone has some advice to offer, I would appreciate it.

Thank you.
I don't think I deserve food either but I know where it comes from for me. In my opinion, and it's just my opinion, for you I think it comes from more than just that one night. It sounds deep-seated. I think therapy is the way to go rather than a nutritionist.
 
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