Food and Feelings

A thought came to mind recently. “Instead of feeling sad, I prefer to feel sedated.”

I looked up the word “sedate” and read “to calm or relieve by means of a sedative drug.”

Lately I’m turning to food to seek calm and relief from emotions—a habit that began as a child. After overeating, I feel full and sedated—at least for a time. Overindulging can even lead to sleep from the sedative effect food has on me.

I don’t plan on doing this; it comes naturally. Yet I know God wants me instead to pursue the supernatural—the course that He instructs.

As I’ve been contemplating this habit, which is harmful to my mental as well as my physical health, I’m reminded of something a drug addict told me, “I use drugs to feel something different than what I’m really feeling.”

Most don’t call food a drug, but it does act that way when I gorge on it. It’s a safe addictive substance for many of us—especially Christians.

How quick I am to judge a drug addict or someone who drinks too much, but once again I’m ready to admit I keep falling back into using food the way addicts and alcoholics use drugs and alcohol—to alter my emotions.

Recently this happened as I continue to deal with suicide grief. I’ve grown weary of feeling emotions that come with this, so I’ve been using food to push them down.

The problem is they keep trying to spring up again. Holding them down is like trying to keep a large beach ball submerged underwater. When they come to the surface, I eat—or rather overeat—again, and the cycle goes on and on.

As I’ve realized I’m slipping back into the bondage of emotional eating, I’m determined to return to feeling what I’m feeling. I’m reminded that the key to dealing with these emotions is to bring them to the Lord—to seek relief from him rather than stuffing them down with copious amounts of sweet treats—my “drug” of choice.

To avoid feeling my emotions is slowing down the grief process. I’m not to wallow in grief, but it’s healthy to work through it. Food is getting in the way of that.

Today I embrace this truth, “It’s OK to feel sad.” But I can then bring that sadness to God, so that it does not rule my life. I can receive words of comfort from Him and instructions on what to do next.

The following verses seem key to dealing with my emotions in a godly way as I continue to grieve:

Find rest, O my soul in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken….He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times…pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:5-8 NIV).

I’m excited about what God is going to show me and how He’s going to grow me as I do the right thing—turn to Him instead of to food.

How about you? Are you ready to turn to the Lord rather than to drugs, alcohol, food, or any  other false comfort this world offers? He is the God of all comfort. I pray you’ll let Him comfort You.

About elainecreasman

I am a freelance writer and inspirational speaker. Since 1986 I have led the Suncoast Christian Writers Group.
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