My therapist told me when I want to emotionally eat, I should journal instead, so here I am. In an ideal world, I’d be double fisting granola on the kitchen island with no consequences or ill intent to mask discomfort. This, however, is my world, where my relationship with food is about as damaged as my friend’s iphone. She nearly needs stitches when she swipes the screen.
It’s interesting to me how we ALL have our vices to deal with during this crazy thing called life, yet some go unnoticed as an escape or way to avoid feelings. Overindulge in food, drugs, nicotine, alcohol, or sex, and it’s “You need help. You have a problem.”
Yet overindulging in television, social media, exercise, shopping, and caffeine, and it’s “You gotta do what you gotta do. It’s the 21st century.”
Sometimes, it’s even considered a form of self-care, when it’s anything but that. More often than not, it’s a way to escape feelings that are dying to be addressed and processed. Instead of becoming aware of our emotions and processing them in healthy ways, people go to processed foods or go through the process of picking the next Instagram-worthy photo.
The first step to avoid our vices is having the awareness that multiple times every day, we are using them to avoid something deeper. If we take a moment to pause each time we impulsively reach for our phone to scroll through Facebook, or call a friend because we’re “bored”, we may be surprised what comes up.
One day I opened the fridge to chow down on some carrots and paused.
“What am I really hungry for?” I asked myself when I took a moment to reflect and acknowledge I was acting impulsively and wasn’t hungry.
I closed the fridge and started to cry. “What the actual fuck?” I thought to myself in disbelief.
I became aware that my boredom and loneliness resulted in needing a vice before my consciousness could acknowledge my emotions. Feelings of abandonment and sadness surged over me. I felt like such a little bitch because essentially I started crying over carrots, but it was so therapeutic and enlightening.
Just because I have a vice does not mean something is wrong with me, and the same goes for you. Awareness gives you an opportunity to reclaim your power that is always available to you but easily forgotten. Be more aware when you act impulsively or reach for your vice. Pause, reflect, acknowledge, and claim your power.
Ultimately, the goal is being okay being alone with yourself, your thoughts, and your emotions. It’s being there for yourself like you’d be there for a friend, without a vice. So here I am, claiming my power and being constructive about it. But damn, that granola still looks good.