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Help, advice needed

Discussion in 'Support' started by Steadylee68, May 13, 2018.

  1. Steadylee68

    Steadylee68 Member

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    Hello,

    This is my first post on here, and my first post on any forum for many years. I will do my best to explain.
    I am a new vegan, coming up to two months now. I changed my diet mainly for the ethical side, my health is secondary. I have recently been discussing the whole vegan movement with a friend who's a non vegan.
    I am finding myself to be very passionate about the ethical side of veganism, probably too passionate and it's already starting to become an issue for me mentally. I have Aspergers and this often means I can fixate on a particular issue that I like and find it near on impossible to switch off from it. I have a friend who drives me to work each day, and for the past two months on and off I have been asking him lots of questions regarding the vegan lifestyle and the meat and dairy industry which disgusts me. The main problem is I can't seem to stop asking him questions about why he's unwilling to make any change. He's very contradicting with his answers, this could be straight up cognitive dissonance. He gives me the impression that he'd consider changing, but does absolutely nothing. I find this very frustrating. I have no other friends by choice. I just wish he would say to me, stop , I have had enough, but he says he's thick skinned and can handle it. I do not believe him totally. I think I have gotten under his thick skin. He won't admit this to me though and I can sense an atmosphere. Things often get a little heated on the commute. My tone can be abrupt, due to my honesty and my asperger passion regarding the vegan way of living. I can't seem to quit. I cling on to the hope that one day he may see things differently. I cannot work him out. I feel like a burden at times. I feel I need to vent to someone else for advice, hence this message. I am hoping someone on here can steer me down a more peaceful path. I do not have the ability to just stop my thoughts and feelings. My Aspergers is severe. No one told me going vegan could damage your mind and become all encompassing at times. There is no way I could go back to my old diet. I could add so much more, but I want to see what type of responses I get first. This site looks decent. Thanks for reading.
    Lee
     
  2. rogerjolly
    Breezy

    rogerjolly Active Member

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    Hi Lee,

    I was hoping that somebody with a lot more knowledge about Asperger’s than myself would reply to you. But, since nobody yet has, here is my tuppence worth.

    I am part way towards understanding obsessiveness. I have been there with scuba diving. It took over for a while! I have never considered my veganism as an obsession. It is just my way of life.

    You no doubt will have read many posts on this forum about vegans' problems with friends and partners which are similar to your own though not as severe. The consensus seems to be that you do far more harm than good with persistent preaching.

    One of my favourite modern “philosophers” has a line that I often find helpful:

    “I gotta be cool, relax, get hip” Freddie Mercury

    Good luck,

    Roger.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  3. Steadylee68

    Steadylee68 Member

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    First of all, Thank you for responding Roger. That means a lot. This post has had 67 views but only one response, yours! Not sure why I have had only one response, I was told this site would offer lots of support and advice on this kind of issue. I have had a private conversation from another member though, which has helped me see things differently. I am trying hard to back off and ease up from any future discussions with my omnivore friend. This past week I haven't said much to him, he seems to have some other stuff going on in his life and I gotta respect that. We are talking still, mainly about his other problems though. I find it a little sad that we can talk about other problems bothering him, but I cannot talk about something bothering me. Looks like being kind and compassionate has got me in trouble. That is surely not right. I try to help him a lot and give him the best advice I can. This is why the world is so messed up, people can't talk things through and make things better, or at least try to.
    Thanks for your message and cool quote from Freddie

    Lee
     
  4. hopeful
    Creative

    hopeful Active Member

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    I have autism, so I really understand obsessive thoughts! I went through a period of sort of trying to get my partner to be vegan, but I dropped it because it was annoying her. But, veganism wasn't one of my "special interests." I am interested in it, it's just not something I obsess over.

    Sorry I don't have any advice. I just wanted to let you know that you're not the only one on the spectrum on this site.
     
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  5. Steadylee68

    Steadylee68 Member

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    Thank you for your message. Point taken. I appreciate any input regardless of quantity. I am also pleased to hear that there are other autistic people on here. I feel isolated enough. Hope to hear from you again, thanks

    Lee
     
  6. winston10

    winston10 Member

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    Focusing on what humans do to animals is very unhealthy. If I catch myself thinking about it I get very depressed and start to veiw non vegans in a very disgusting light - this is not healthy.
    This was a memorable scene to me from the movie Wyatt Earp. At the end of this clip, Doc Holliday says "there is no hook my friend, there's only what we do." What this says to me, and I find very true, is that all the thoughts, guilt we feel about things we or others have done, intentions, etc etc is nothing but wasted energy. It's only what we do in our actions that matters. You have chosen not to support dairy industry and factory farming industries, and you have put this to action. That's all you can do, feel good about your choice, you don't need to save the world.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  7. Steadylee68

    Steadylee68 Member

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    Thanks for your response. I totally agree with your comment regarding what humans do to animals. I find it hard to simply just switch off my feelings on this topic. I am hurting knowing that this is going on every second of every day. I hope this is a phase and it subsides. Part of me don't want to fully switch off though. What bothers me most is that some people who have amassed the same knowledge as ourselves can continue their cruel dietry lifestyle without wanting to change. The epitome of selfishness. Is it as simple as some people just don't care enough. I just don't understand people. You are right, I can't change the world. But I can make positive small changes in my own world. Thanks for your input and the video clip, very interesting.
     
  8. Sally
    Joyful

    Sally Active Member

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    It is very easy to get upset about people who know what you know but do nothing about it. I feel exactly the same way, but I have to remind myself that I too had to learn about stuff before I took action. I think about how I became vegetarian myself, when did that lightbulb moment occur? Did I react immediately? Did it take time to sink in and then I took action? It takes time to assimilate information and to have a response. I was vegetarian for years before I was vegan, I wasn't sure how to go about being vegan. Also, please don't define yourself by your Aspergers diagnosis, nobody can control their feelings, and most people can become obsessive about something, but you can choose how you treat your poor friend. He isn't a criminal, give him time to catch up if he wants to. If you are angry then join a group that campaigns for the animals, channel it in a positive way.

    When you have been vegan for a while you will notice that you feel happier deep down inside, this will help alleviate the anger and increase the compassion, hopefully. I wonder sometimes how I can be friends with the people I am, but they are always interested in how I'm able to be vegan and I act like a dripping tap and keep feeding them bitesize pieces of information that will take root. They are always trying to please me with things they have done, like having the odd vegan meal, or reading something, or even visiting a vegan roadshow, although they didn't go to the talks, but it's all a start.

    It's the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race. You do know that you must not wear animal stuff, wool, leather, or use stuff tested on animals, or that has honey in it. Also, get a good chart so that you know what vitamins and minerals are necessary for a healthy body, and a good recipe book. Visit Vegetarian International Voice for the Animals for advice on absolutely everything https://www.viva.org.uk/

    Good luck and look after yourself, support on a forum is all very well, but your friend is your best support. Treat him kindly and help and support him too. He sounds like a really good person and, as you are becoming aware, his skin might not be as thick as he says it is.
     
  9. veganDreama

    veganDreama Active Member

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    I am asperger as well as being Deafblind. I've been on the obsessive road trying to convert people but it didn't do much good. Bad things still happen to animals however hard you try to convert people around you. It's a sad fact.

    Just concentrate on your own diet. You are doing well to stay vegan.
     
  10. hopeful
    Creative

    hopeful Active Member

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    @veganDreama,

    I used to be in school for interpreting. Sign Language is my favorite language. (I know Signed English pretty well, or I did years ago. I was in the process of learning ASL.)


    Sorry for the off-topic nature of this post!
     
  11. Kellyr

    Kellyr Active Member

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    I cannot speak to Aspergers since I have no experience there, but I'm no stranger to obsessive thinking, and usually it centers around wanting other people to change so I can finally feel OK.

    This mentality does me no good personally - and I've had my fair share of knowing people who "know better" but continue with their destructive behaviors despite that knowledge.

    I've had to swallow a big pill called "Acceptance" over the years over many different things. It does not mean lie down and just take it - I still have choices in my life to improve my quality of life, but those choices should never involve forcing someone to do what I want.

    I have a philosophy that I follow. I can say my piece once to someone. MAYBE one more time just in case I feel like they didn't hear it the first time. But any more times than that, I'm officially nagging.

    I'm not sure where you stand on philosophy, but a book that really helped me was Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth". It's really hard to explain, but it really does get down to the nitty gritty of how our egos function and provides solutions on how to get that crazy train to stop so we can get off and live peacefully - for ourselves and our acquaintances.
     

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