When the feeling of worthlessness come up in me I stuff them down and if I can I’ll stuff my face. For a long time whenever I’ve felt sad or angry I would find something delicious to eat. I would spend an hour in the kitchen baking up a storm and I’d gain satisfaction from being able to eat something yummy. Sugar was my crack and it wrecked havoc on my mind and body. The feelings would be regaled to the background waiting to come up through me in a different way. Everything would be alright again. At least for the time that I was eating. Then I would be sad, lonely and distressed again.
When you held yourself as tightly as I have for years, your body literally feels like a prison. Some days I feel like I am trapped under a past that I can longer change but, shadows my every step. I’ve spent a lifetime taking care of other people that I feel guilty about taking care of myself. But, my body demands that I take a closer look. With my arms, back and stomach covered in psoriasis taking care never seemed more important. I believe that my body is a reflection of my thoughts. It’s an empowering belief but, one that makes me want to hide from the responsibility. I’ve never really had anyone to take care of my needs. Sure, I was clean and beautifully dressed but, that was pretty much it. All that matters in my family. As long as you can eat and your hair and clothes are perfect then all is good. Except all is not good. I have floods of emotions that are undealt with. It’s a reflex now. A habit. Something sad or uncomfortable happens to mean and in that moment my body tells me that it’s wrong. However, in my head I am unable to take the steps to defend me or to say that you’re hurting me. I find it hard to explain to someone that what they are doing is upsetting me. I stumble over words and I gloss it over. I feel scared to be angry and yet, I hold so much anger inside me. I’m confused as to what my emotional needs are. It’s a flurry of activity in my heart and I’m angry that I was not taught how to take care of it and needs.
I don’t know what the solution is. My diet is so strict now that there is not much to comfort eat with so in some ways having psoriasis is a blessing as I’m forced to consider why I’m craving this or that. When I first began my psoriasis diet I had hoped that I would be cured pretty quickly. One so that I could sleep and two so that my skin would not be so painful. 6 months down the line my skin is slowly healing and the rest of my body. I realise that if I had been cured within a a few weeks there was a distinct possibility that I would have gone back to my old ways. I no longer have intense cravings for sugar and I need less food. The main benefit is that I cannot comfort eat. I’m not sure if it’s that I’m now in a place that I refuse to comfort eat or it’s just the fact that eating 10 carrots is not as appealing as a large slice of cake. The reason is important but regardless of it, anything that pushes me to consider the emotional links that I have with food is a powerful thing. I’m not ready to deal with some of the things that come up and I know that I need to find a process that deals with releasing memories and past hurts. At the end of the day my behavioural patterns are beliefs that I have power over. Sometimes, it feels as though there are too many shitty things wrong with me and I want to hide under my duvet. Then I remember how far I’ve come. There was a time that I did not know that I eat for comfort and it’s taken a lot a self awareness. I never saw the patterns that ran through my family. Awareness takes time and patience. I want to get to the place where everything is brilliant. This takes work and tears. I’m not sure I have it in me. Changing my thoughts is the easiest and hardest thing to do. Progress, right? Not perfection.