When you’re in recovery for a binge eating disorder, many psychotherapists will recommend a food plan that has you eat regularly throughout the day.
On the surface, this seems entirely counterproductive.
Prescribing more food to someone who already has an issue with eating too much? It doesn’t seem like it could be the answer, but it is. And it is the answer because overeating is actually a symptom of over-restricting.
When you are feeding yourself regularly and well, your impulse to binge goes away, because you’re not starving.
The same thing goes for your emotional health.
People who are most anxious and depressed are often those who are most emotionally hungry. They are not the people who have the most to be afraid of, or the people who are naturally indifferent about the world.
Maybe you’re desperate for other people’s attention because you are denying yourself the feeling of self-confidence. Maybe you are dependent on escapist coping mechanisms because you are denying yourself experiences that bring you joy. Maybe you are anxious about the future because you are denying yourself control and autonomy, letting the cards fall as they may instead of laying them out yourself.
It is so easy to suffer over what you think you haven’t been given.
It is so easy to cast blame and point a finger at the soulmate who didn’t show up, the talent that wasn’t innate, the resources others seemed to have to start their lives on the right foot.
Almost everyone walks around believing that the cause of their pain and anxiety is what they have not yet been able to receive from the world.
What they seldom realize is that we suffer because of what we are not yet able to receive from ourselves.
The root of every single thing that you struggle with is something you are denying yourself.
Your body is a self-balancing mechanism. It operates on a homeostatic impulse. It is designed to do whatever it can to keep you regulated and consistent.
When you’re denying yourself something essential, it’s going to try to compensate.
This is why people with low self-esteem are usually pompous and stuck up. This is why people who feel unwanted need to try to earn as many photo “likes” as they can. This is why people who are convinced they’ll never find a partner are often the ones treating relationships as though they are disposable.
What’s most true of people tends to be the opposite of whatever extreme they try to portray.
And this is what you need to keep in mind when you find yourself struggling with something so profoundly. It’s not, and never has been, about what you can or can’t do. It’s what you are and aren’t willing to give yourself that determines the quality of your entire life.