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“It is impossible to understand addiction without asking what relief the addict finds, or hopes to find, in the drug or the addictive behaviour.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

For decades I have been looking at my eating problem the wrong way. I was looking to control the behavior. To curb the action. But, that has never worked. As the above quote from Dr. Mate explains, it is more than just action.

With that in mind, I have had to be really honest with myself about what food was soothing (and still is?) after all these decades. What did I need relief from? Fear, anxiety, pain, trauma? All of the above.

So, how do I move forward acknowledging that my problem with food is really a problem with misdirected soothing?

“The greatest damage done by neglect, trauma or emotional loss is not the immediate pain they inflict but the long-term distortions they induce in the way a developing child will continue to interpret the world and her situation in it. All too often these ill-conditioned implicit beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies in our lives. We create meanings from our unconscious interpretation of early events, and then we forge our present experiences from the meaning we’ve created. Unwittingly, we write the story of our future from narratives based on the past…Mindful awareness can bring into consciousness those hidden, past-based perspectives so that they no longer frame our worldview.’Choice begins the moment you disidentify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present…Until you reach that point, you are unconscious.’ …In present awareness we are liberated from the past.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Acknowledge the past. Live in the present. Believe in the future.