I Eat My Anxiety

I Eat My Anxiety

Avoidance. Dopamine.

Pleasure amplified, and pain dulled, all with hand to mouth action. The step I take to procrastinate and feel good about doing so is eating. Stuffing my face until I’m painfully full. Filled and overflowing with food to the point where only sleep or vomit could possibly alleviate the excruciating stretch of my stomach lining. I feel the expansion of my midsection with inflammation as my insides work overtime to undo the damage I shove in my gullet.

I see this as an unconscious attempt to keep the anxiety at bay. I want to have will power. It’s a battle I have too frequently with myself. There’s so many ways I’ve been able to exhibit control. I’ve changed my diet on many occasions seeking what adequate nourishes me however even with foods I can eat I over indulge in those “once in a while” options. I long for the dopamine rush of sweet food.

Anxious overeating it's what I do when there's someplace I need to be but don't want to be. It's what I do when I'm so overwhelmed and overstimulated by my never ending list of “things to do.” When I can't even see straight because the stress and obligations are too much, I eat. It’s my addiction. It’s fruit. It’s meat. It’s the desire for cheese (which I’m currently not eating any kind of) so I eat anything I can. It’s wanting bread, finding gluten free dairy free alternatives and eating all of what I make as soon as it’s made. It’s a day of behaving and a night of over indulging. It's what I do to satiate my fears. I overeat. It's what I do when I don't know what to do, when I'm bored, when I'm exhausted, and when I want to feel numb. I put food in my mouth until I'm uncomfortable, until it hurts, until it feels like I'm going to explode- why do I do this?

Acknowledging that I have what I perceive as lack of control obsessive thoughts are the beginning to the end and the start of my overeating issue. I know I have thousands of years of genes working against me as my ancestors would have no choice but to eat as much as they can whenever food was available. I’m not starving. I do sometimes feel deprived though because I grew up eating overly processed sugar filled addicting foods I can no longer eat. There’s turmoil between the indulgent person I used to be and the me now who is working on control, health and good habits.

I know that going forward pursuing control and true understanding of my body’s nutritional needs won’t be easy. I know I’ll have to process the emotions I stuff back into my body with food. I’m ready to take this next step, clear my mind of the guilt associated with causing myself pain every,  time I binge.

I will be successful.

It will require determination and the will power. I must replace my bad habit, overeating when nervous, anxious bored or upset with a more productive resolution. Instead I’ll attempt to open a dialect with myself. If I know i just ate I’ll ask, am I thirsty (if this is even a question I can ask I’ll drink a big glass of water and walk away from the kitchen)? Am I emotional? Am I truly hungry? I’ll attempt to distract myself with accomplishing one small to do (like laundry or cleaning the bathroom) and one small I want to do (something on my list but for pleasure, like reading for fun or yoga). Hopefully this game plan will help me tackle the tendency to eat my anxiety.

Be honest with yourselves about where you struggle apples. Don’t let your fears be holding you back from your desires for a better version of you. I believe in you.

Apple out,

K. Sullivan

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