• Daniel

That Time I Couldn't Eat on a Date


Your mind and body can do some strange ol' things when feeling overly anxious. One particular quirk of mine is the rejection of food, some people comfort eat but I seem to do the opposite.

From a primitive perspective it does make sense: my mind is telling me there's a hungry cheetah hiding in the grass and the last thing I need is that scrumptious bowl of pasta. The below video sums it up pretty well...

Believe it or not, I've actually yet to have a meal where there was a cheetah lurking in the shadows, so my body's rejection of food rarely helps. In fact, it can make things rather awkward.

SUMMER LOVIN'


This particular meal took place when I was about 15 years old and I was out with a new girlfriend. Despite being a skinny teenager, I ate for England so had never been in a situation where I literally couldn't stomach anything.

We went out to an Italian place and I ordered a calzone (a new revelation in my life – a folded pizza? Genius!). Looking back I had the telltale signs of high anxiety lingering. My legs did not want to sit still, my heart was pumping a little too loudly and I was sure some sod was sucking the oxygen out of the room.

I tried my hardest to ignore everything that was going on, desperately attempting to focus on whatever conversation we were having; probably something around the latest 90210 drama. Soon enough the food arrived and my galpal tucked into her meal. I picked up my knife and fork, thankful for something to put my focus on.

JUST STAY COOL...


Despite my stomach roaring with hunger (another super cool thing to happen during a date), every time I put some of that delicious calzone in my mouth, I seriously struggled to swallow it. Not only did it feel like my throat had shrunk, any food I did get down, tried its very hardest to pay me a second visit.


By this point I was freaking out. Panic had taken its full grip on me and even putting the calzone in my mouth made me feel nauseous. I could no longer hide the fact that there was little chance of me eating anymore of my meal and confessed this to my girlfriend.

I think she was pretty confused and kind of alarmed by this information. I really had no idea what was happening and was in the midst of an anxiety attack so I can't imagine my explanation was very coherent. We made it through the meal though and the waiter took away my very full plate.

Needless to say I opted out of dessert.

WHAT I LEARNT FROM THIS PARTICULAR EXPERIENCE:

  • It’s actually pretty normal to lose your appetite when going through high levels of anxiety and as scary as it is, it will pass.

  • Other people’s reactions to your anxiety might not always be what you expect but if you try your best to clearly explain what’s going on, they’ll understand with time.

  • Blink 182 were so right with First Date... "I'm just scared of what you'll think, you make me nervous so I really can't eat".

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