Does it help you to identify whether or not you’re addicted to food? Has it worked for you to call yourself a Food Addict or Compulsive Overeater?
This was a question someone asked, and I love what it helps us look at….the definition of addiction itself, and what supports us in ending the suffering.
We all know addiction basically means to be caught in a negative cycle of “having” to use a substance, eat that food, “do” something that relieves pressure or brings some pleasure….
….and that when we do it, it feels briefly good but overall, the whole cycle basically sucks. It has terrible side effects (in the case of eating, feeling bloated, sick, nauseated, frightened, discouraged, guilty, condemning of the self, angry with the body).
It does seem the process we’re calling addiction is whatever happens when we’re “hooked” and we feel like we can’t stop.
But it’s clear that with all the deep studying of whatever we’re calling addiction, it’s profoundly helpful to focus on the cause: difficult feelings, suffering, pain, trauma, anxiety, fear, rejection, betrayal.
What I find most helpful of all is knowing that nothing is permanent. Everything changes. Many people who were once addicted, no longer are.
It doesn’t matter ultimately if you say you are or are not by definition “addicted”. What is most important is noticing.
Watching the movement and energy and thinking that happens in each moment.
Feelings, thoughts, memories, urge to bolt.
Who are we without our stressful or negative or fearful thoughts about what we encounter, including our memories?
Allowing them, perhaps, to pass through…and return to where they came from.
P.S. Eating Peace Process, an in-depth program for those of us with eating concerns, will start May 1st. Our focus is ending the repetitive cycle, with loving compassion.