I was in group last night and we were talking about unmet needs.
We all have needs and they either get met or they don’t. When we can’t get our needs met, we tend to “artificially” meet those needs by doing something that brings immediate satisfaction, a sort of self-soothing if you will.
Well I know that I’m an emotional eater, that I use food to comfort myself or avoid things. In the past, I have also denied myself food to gain a sense of control when things get chaotic.
For me this makes sense since, as a child, food was always present in my home. Food was dependable and constant, unlike encouraging words, kind words, affection, positive attention. Those things were more sporadic and very few people in my life gave me positive attention consistently. What overshadowed any positive attention were comments on my weight or difficulties in school. I heard it from peers and adults, family, and friends. So when I think of what my unmet needs were as a child, I knew it was emotional. Even as a child, I would turn to food to get satisfaction and comfort. It’s engrained in my brain, and I’m so glad that I’m finally working on redirecting those old thought patterns.
So now I’m looking at identifying and acknowledging what I’m feeling and what my needs are. I’m also getting my needs met through non harmful methods (talking to a friend, walking the dogs, listening to music, reading, etc.) which brings a lot of fulfillment into my life and has really helped me feel grounded.
This is a scary process, and brings up really crappy stuff, but it’s worth it.