I was considering a conference. I could go all day or half day. Both options include lunch. A lunch I can't eat.
I hate that my life has changed into this. I actually consider something so mundane as the buffet lunch when deciding what to attend. It applies to other events too.
I have to decide if I will go and be social--isn't one of the purposes to network? Or do I protect myself, my privacy, my mental well-being, and skip functions that include eating? I know it sounds dramatic, but it's not like I can just NOT eat and everyone will ignore that I'm not eating. Or bring something and expect everyone to ignore that I'm eating something different. Even though/if I don't want it to be all about me, the spotlight is always mine when food is involved.
The people who know me IRL may think I'm an extrovert and the attention is no big deal, but the people who really know me know I'm an introvert who has trained myself to behave as an extrovert. Having the spotlight shone on me makes me uncomfortable. A perfect example was my wedding day.
We should have foreseen it and taken other steps. Since I didn't grow up with a dad, I wanted to walk by myself down the aisle. It just didn't make sense to have someone "give me away." I was the fastest bride down that aisle ever. Seriously, the video looks like I'm in fast forward. As soon as all eyes were on me, I panicked and went as fast as I could! I should have had my sister walk with me.
Anyway, now I get to be the center of attention all the fucking time. It's tiresome. I try to look at it as a good thing because I'm able to help and support other people as they learn about their own path. But it's overwhelming to be questioned all the time when I just want to blend in. Or at least be in the moment, in the group, having a conversation about the things people converse about when it's not all about me and my food or lack thereof.
So I chose the half day (I wasn't enthused about the afternoon speakers) and managed to chat with friends while a lot of people were going through line. Then I took a bathroom break and chatted with some other people. So when I went into the lunchroom, some people were already done eating, so it wasn't so obvious that I hadn't eaten/wasn't eating. And when the afternoon sessions started, I went to True Food and had some chicken panang curry.