Addiction

We all have them. And yesterday I found myself in a moment of panic. Let me share…

There are so many ways and forms in which addiction appears. At times it may seem innocent but if you find yourself consistently repeating an action in order to avoid feeling or facing what is happening in the moment, it may be an addiction or addictive habit (consult your doctor but that’s what I have noticed for myself personally). A few indicative emotions I’ve experienced are of shame, embarrassment, regret, or even self-loathing that can result after the fact.

Some forms of addictive habits can appear as:

  • Shopping
  • Social media
  • Food
  • Exercising
  • Seeking attention
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs

Essentially, anything that can distract you from the pain or keep you from feeling what is going on in your body.

Let’s REALLY take that in.   In other words, what is really going on? What has put you into a terror so triggering you don’t want to even address it?

NO matter what comes up just remember this…

It always comes down to fear. Fear of loss. Fear of attachment. Fear of you name it.

Addiction can become a very serious thing causing chemical dependence and imbalances within the body and mind, resulting in even more health problems; but for this post I’ll be focusing on why and how addictions can form  and share my personal episode from yesterday.

So what’s my vice and what happened yesterday?

Being a woman and having gone through all the diets beginning in high school, food was, for a very long time, something I viewed as “good” for me or “forbidden”. Now, keep in mind good and forbidden are relative terms depending on which era and which foods we’re talking about. In addition to that, all throughout my 20s I treated my body as separate from me. I never treated my body with the love I do now. Being in my body and recognizing my body is doing its VERY BEST FOR ME was a beautiful revelation, and certainly a foreign concept in the past. Oh, how I wish I knew this earlier… but body image is a whole other topic and post for another day 😉

Since food used to be a rigid area of my life it became an easy association for me to turn to in times of distress. There’s the mindless stress eating that might happen on occasion (this one isn’t as bad for me) or there’s the high stress moment of wanting to avoid pain so badly that food ends up being a coping mechanism. In the past, this happened when I was alone and (thought) I had no one to turn to.

The other day that was exactly what happened. I was alone in a high stress moment of panic and ended up eating chocolate and one waaaay too many plantain chips. (why are they so good?!) Now, while it wasn’t a crazy amount my mind still perceived this as “bad” that I was turning to food for comfort. Note, with either scenario your mind is going to suffer; the feelings of shame, guilt, doubt, are all the same.

My first few thoughts were of despair. This hasn’t happened for a long while and having this come up was all too familiar and scary.

But…

Just for a second…

There was a moment of clarity and realization, and I was able to see this differently. There was a pause where I realized this was just an event, not something that defined me or needed to be part of an old story.

I allowed myself to turn toward love and be OK with what I was feeling. I actually took a moment to treasure this realization and be in gratitude! The realization that this was just an EVENT – period.

Then I did the work. I started to dig into what I was REALLY feeling which was FEAR, and slowly… painfully yet slowly, the feeling of fear and pain started to dissipate.

I thought, how nice it would have been to feel this lightness when this used to be really bad? How nice would it have been to think of it as a one time event and not part of this discombobulated “story” that built upon itself? How nice it is to allow that sacred space of acceptance and all knowing so that there is space for healing? Even for a little bit?

My friends… as with all things, this too is the cycle and journey we lovely human beings get to experience while on this Earth. Just remember, whatever it is you are going through just realize, even for a moment, it doesn’t need to define you. Drop the judgement, drop the story, and instead turn toward compassion and realize, just maybe, that is the missing piece to it all.

Namaste.

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