Why do we do self harm and abuse ourselves when we feel abused?
There is no one in this world who can claim not to feel pain. The circumstances and situations differ, the magnitude of our pain may differ and the way we deal with pain will definitely differ. However, I am certain there is no one who does not feel it. Pain is a natural reaction to the hurt caused to us by those we care for.
Emotional pain, is described in wikipedia as an unpleasant feeling (a suffering) of a psychological, non-physical, origin.
This is the pain I am going to focus on in this blog. This is the pain that causes many of us to find ‘comfort’ in food, alcohol, substance abuse, apart from many other social and non-social consequences of such pain. This in turn causes many health issues as was in my case.
I recently met a friend for lunch, who shared her story. She was in a very “unhappy” marriage. She felt empty, sad, lonely and had drifted away from friends and family and all those who loved her. Over time, she had isolated herself from everything and everyone, simply because she had started believing that she had no hope. She was in constant emotional pain. This was her life, and that’s how it would be, she thought. Her self esteem was so low, that she had stopped taking care of herself. She had gained weight and lost her confidence. She had no idea that she was become enslaved to the food around her, and had made food her best friend, until one day at a rare dinner evening with friends, she was stopped midway by a friend, and was shocked when her friend said to her “my dear, I have been watching you since you arrived. You have sat here at this table, surrounded by food for the last two hours, and all you have been doing is constantly putting food in your mouth, like a an automated eating machine“. It’s only then my friend realised that she had become that automated robotic eating machine. The big void in her empty life was being filled with “food”. Just anything that would go into her tummy, as long as it kept her busy and indifferent to the world around her. She felt hurt that day. Her instant reaction was that her friend was being mean to her. But she slowly recognised that it wasn’t the case. She needed to take charge. She realised that much of her issue was psychological, it was emotional, and she started seeking help. She recognised that she had been escaping from her pain. Today, she is a well balanced woman who makes an effort to look after herself and keeps herself in shape emotionally and physically.
All she did, was recognise the symptoms and find a solution of dealing with that emotional pain she was carrying.
To me, that’s a big lesson for us all. Recognising that there is an issue, accepting that it is causing pain, and then seeking the right solution, instead of being in denial and seeking comfort from food or substance.
Let’s stop this self abuse please. It is not funny to self abuse, when one is feeling abused.
Deal with pain. Yes, that’s it. DEAL! It’s that simple, yet not!