Yesterday I ran into my friend EN in the middle of the street (if you don't remember her, feel free to reacquaint yourself here). She asked me what food, besides broccoli, ketchup and green apples I like to eat, to which I shrugged and answered Japanese food.
[Aside: Yes, she was lightly making fun of my eating by bringing up the foods she did. And I really don't like to eat anything, so I just said something that I knew I do sometimes eat.]
She then suggested that we should go out to eat Japanese food together and watch Finding Nemo, and I agreed that this would be a good plan. But I was immediately anxious. Not only does food scare me, but I am just 100% unable to eat in front of other people. In fact I haven't eaten in front of another person since I left my residential treatment program about three years ago, including during several stints in both the medical and psychiatric wards of the hospital (more on those at a later date).
So instead of waiting until the fated day to make up some excuse as to why I couldn't hang out with her, I sent E the following email:
Hello EN,I hope your day of hooky is treating you well! I kind of wanted to talk to you about our sushi/Nemo plans for next week.Firstly, I would like to say that I would like nothing more than to watch Finding Nemo with you! So we are definitely on for that. But about the sushi... my eating habits are, as you know, "special" and one of my really big difficulties is eating in front of other people. I'm having a really hard time with that right now, so I was wondering-- could I get a rain check for the sushi until conditions improve? I know it doesn't make much sense and please don't take it personally (because it is NOT AT ALL PERSONAL), but it's just something that's incredibly hard for me to do.
Sorry for being a crazy person! And I hope you understand.
I received this reply a few hours later:
Understood my deariee. Nemo probs Wednesday night :)
I was so pleased with myself for coming clean to E and with her simple non-derogatory response. Sure, I didn't tell her everything that is going on with me, but at least I didn't get myself into a situation like I did with KA's birthday dinner.
And honestly, what could be better than being understood?