I used to think that food was the only thing I could depend on.
It was my go-to coping mechanism when I had to deal with anything.
A bad breakup? Bust out the ice cream. Stretches of loneliness that seemed to last forever? Get out the jar of peanut butter. Anxiety about moving to a new city? Hand already in the box of Oreos.
Spoonfuls of ice cream pacified my heartache, pieces of cake calmed my anxiety, and handfuls of Cheez-Its made me forget about whatever problem I was facing.
After years of stuffing my face instead of facing my life, food began to lose its appeal. I realized it wasn’t as consoling, reassuring, and encouraging as I once thought it was.
Because, at the end of the day, even after nights of never ending handfuls of Oreos, I was still heartbroken, lonely, or frustrated in my job.
It was then that I realized how really afraid I was.
I was afraid to risk opening my heart to a new man after my relationship ended.
I was afraid of letting anyone see my weaknesses and terrified of vulnerability.
I was afraid to bear my soul, of allowing someone to see into the depths of my character.
I was afraid of letting my friends see who I really was, because I’d spent so much time going along to get along.
I was afraid of leaving the town I grew up in and following a path that disappointed my parents.
I was afraid of the “me” that was buried underneath all of these feelings I never expressed.
And so food became my way out of being afraid.
When we are too scared to step into the hardships and struggles of our lives, food becomes an easy out.