Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Lonely Vegan

Lately I have been going through the lonely vegan state of mind. It doesnt help to have my disposition though. I try to be like hubbs, more moderate, calm, and thoughtful. But In any discussion, I have a very high probability of taking things personally and not speaking the thought out stuff. For example, people insisting on having meat at Thanksgiving because a TG dinner isnt a TG dinner without it, will tick me off and I will most likely go into things like, it isnt even our tradition to blindly follow, we being Indian. It is almost like people who visit or settle in India would want to follow traditions like Dowry(a load of money or gifts that a Bride's family "has" to give to the Groom and Groom's family) or Child marriage or other not necessarily moral traditions. Not the right argument.
Instead of saying all that, I requested a change in the menu. I felt that I could probably request a menu change, if that helped me be comfortable.
And as I know would happen, no one will step up.

Hubbs says that everyone respects our choice and no one forces us to eat anything, nor do they mock us. I agree that our current circle has mostly thoughtful people. But not asking us to eat meat,  is that respect? or just We dont care enough either which way you choose.
This might seem like a rant, and that I expect too much out of friends.. Maybe I do, maybe I am just on a completely different plane of thought.

It is difficult being me. I have always had limited close friends, probably because of expecting too much out of them. And then post surgery(7 years) and loads of other problems, it is even more difficult to maintain old relationships, or make new ones.
Very many times I cannot make it to the gettogethers.
When I am there, it is difficult most days to keep standing and talking to people. I have to sit at a decent stable place to keep my balance and hence continue to enjoy the activity. And while I sit, no one comes by to sit with me.
It is difficult to keep looking at people in the eye at certain angles.
It is difficult to deal with too much loud noise when more than 3 people are talking or more like yelling, all at the same time. It hurts my ears, my head and my balance, but I interrupt to reduce the noise and adjust, which many times works only for 1 minute.
It is difficult to answer a barrage of questions with appropriately thought of(non offending, non mean) answers with statistics, esp when my balance is off and I am anxious. (Sure, this is the new problem I have got onto myself, by turning Vegan)
I cant drive myself to meet anyone, new or old friends.
I cant sit in most restaurants or locations outside because of the non stable seating.
I cant shop for long and all the other things that people do together to cultivate close friendships.
It is so difficult to do so many things...

Yes, I am disabled(it is still very difficult to think that way). If you didnt notice it yet, there is a somewhat special needs person around you.
I dont think you do.
Apart from a very very few little efforts by some, no one around makes an effort to adjust with me. It hurts.
Sure, I can be a very critical and cantankerous at times, and on top of that now you all have to adjust to make some vegan friendly food as well. Too much work for sure. All the adjustments that I have to do are probably super easy.
I dont personally like to eat oily, decadent, fake cheese filled food, but I constantly try and make some because that comes closest to the tastes the people around already know and like.
And it is stressful. Most times, the food I make gets judged 100 times more than the greasy, bad restaurant food.
I have been getting more active lately, which is still a lot of effort for me(things were probably better when I wasnt around to dictate my preferences I guess), and would love to spend time enjoying being with everyone, old friends, enjoying conversations and the food. Is it too much to ask then for a little change for one day? Arent traditions meant to be broken. How else, would we Indian girls be here living independently, how else would we have a black President.

It is easier now to be with the babies though(Lots of babies being born around). They dont make a fuss, dont discriminate against anyone's abilities or choices, always adjust with everyone to their capabilities, and are always a pure delight to be with even when not in their best moods.
The most fun I had recently was at hubb's Birthday. It was our house, my food(all vegan and no one went hungry or so atleast I felt), we were mostly seated for conversations, and I managed to control the noise when it got too bothersome by interruptions in between.

What I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, is my lovely husband, who knows, who can instantly find a solution for me in any situation, from just finding a place to sit, to controlling the noise, to answering questions(yes, he reads up stuff too), to being there everytime I want him to. I am sorry for causing problems for his friend circle. I am thankful for Chewie, who is the fluffy happy sweetheart. For my parents, who are also on their way to being on a Vegan diet, even at this age. For being able to cook amazing food, and veganize it without most being able to figure it out. For the cute babies, because they are babies, and to the hope that I will be surrounded by friends who will be more accepting and caring.

Till then I am the lonely disabled Vegan who will rant. end pity story.


  1. Oh Richa, you are making me cry. Do you know how many vegan bloggers love you and support you!?! You are an incredible force in our little community. Thank you for being you and saying it like it is. I wish I lived nearer to you and could keep you company, cook with you and eat with you! I think you're incredible and love your guts. xx Somer

  2. Thank you Somer. Tight hugs back. i wish I lived near you too! It was just one of those very few days.. with all the turkey videos, same old arguments, and stuff. Back to the routine now.. lot of things to do:)

  3. Richa, I didn't know you had this other blog until Somer sent me a link. I think we all have those days when we need to vent and whine and kind of feel sorry for ourselves - and blogs are a really great place to do that and to connect with an empathetic community. Lots I could say here - but you might be interested to know that I'm a bit of a reclusive myself, living in a very rural part of the country with my friends far flung all over the place. I have to keep in touch via email and Facebook rather than in person. My husband is my best friend and my dog is a wonderful companion, but sometimes one longs for a girl friend with which to shop or just talk or be silly. One thing that I've learned, though, is that beautiful, close friendships can be forged without ever meeting the other person.

    I hesitate to say that I'm sorry to hear about your tumor and surgery (though of course I am - and I'm happy to learn that your recent MRI was clear) because I know some people can be sensitive about that kind of thing. But I also know a little bit about that, too. My brother had a brain tumor - his was malignant and he survived only 18 months after his surgery - and I know how much he struggled even though he often wouldn't say anything about how hard it was for him. I've gone on long enough, but I am touched by your posts and along with Somer send big, warm hugs.

    1. thank you for writing Annie. I read your posts about your brother. I am so sorry. My tumor was benign, but i have to keep doing follow ups every 3-5 years for life.
      My balance problems had made me more reclusive, but i keep trying to get out there. Its a part of healing, both physically and mentally to be able to do anything new.
      I usually rant and the next day feel ridiculous about doing so. i do need to make an effort and make time to reach out and make some local friends with similar interests to generally keep me positive. Making the vegan choice a constant fight even if i dont want it to be.
      Big hugs back to you. Take care and be well.

  4. Richa - You are an inspiration to people.
    Sounds cliche, but really it's what's in something that makes it special rather than just what it appears on the outside. And that goes for your recipes, too :)
    - Lurker on the internet

  5. Thank you for the lovely words. Its feels good to know that someone out there reads my rants and sees my point of view:)

  6. Richa - My daughter and I have been looking at your other blog and drooling over all the food . Today I happened to come here and then read what you go through on a daily basis. You are super talented and have a very very strong crowd routing for you. Keep up the fight!

    1. Thank you so much. It feels great to know that you are rooting for me! Its a fight everyday for all of us in some way or the other.. and I am not going to give up easily:)
      Thank you for following my food blog too.

  7. Richa - My daughter and I have been drooling for days over all the pictures you put up. You are super talented and churn out some amazing food. I happened to come by here today and see what you go through on a daily basis. Keep up the fight! You have tons of ardent fans!

    1. Thank you Deepthi! It means a lot to me that you are there. Thank you once again