Author: Ann Schiebert
Types of Reality Distortion Systems
Food Addiction – Overeaters, Part 1
Who would ever think of food as a Reality Distortion System? Food? For many people, food is a salve for pent up emotions, it’s a way of showing love and bonding, for dealing with stress, and it’s a way to temporarily quash anxiety. Eating is also a socially acceptable activity, and one can hide one’s addiction easily. But food addiction isn’t usually hidden for long, because those who overeat eventually wear their addiction in the form of fat. When the results of over eating appear on one’s body, shame, embarrassment, a desire to isolate, and despair, often sneak in, and take over any feelings of self acceptance, self fulfillment, and self esteem that one initially had.
The obsessive and compulsive parts of food addiction can also be hidden. After all, no one can read your mind to discover that the planning, purchasing, preparing and eating of food takes up much of your thinking. Food addicts don’t just go to an event without planning about what to eat before, during, and after. Then there is the compulsive part, which can also be hidden – that seemingly unconscious trip to the refrigerator to see what there is to eat; or that quick, spur of the moment, unplanned, trip to the drive through right before dinner. For food addicts, there is no barometer that tells us we’re full. There is no working gauge that indicates to us that we aren’t hungry. We simply feel an unrelenting need to have food in our mouths. We want it, love it, desire it, need to be alone with it.
Food can be an enormous barrier to intimacy. If I’m consumed, (yes, a little play on words, here) by food, there is actually no room for anyone in my life. There is no person that can come between the food addict and his/her food. Oh, it may look like bonding is taking place because food addicts will go out to dinner, go grocery shopping, and will cook, but the real connection isn’t with their companion, it’s with the food.
More, next post.