A wound needs air in order to heal. We must talk about and expose those things which have hurt or harmed us in some way. Our wounds need nurturing care in order to heal. If we are to nurture and heal, we must admit that the wounds exist. We must carefully do what is necessary to help ourselves feel better. Iyanla Vanzant
Last weekend was a Red Velvet Cake weekend, two slices to be exact (counted as lunch each day). Those two slices looked so good, I didn’t even hesitate when I put the plastic carton into my basket. I have walked past the bakery section (right next to the produce section) many times. I have passed brownies, cookies, and other types of cake. Last weekend was different. The slices were “calling my name.”
In reality, I let my emotional pain influence part of my decision last weekend. When I think about it, the issue wasn’t the cake. The issue was about my wounds that have not healed. I had been an emotional eater in the past, especially in high school. This was familiar territory.
After years of therapy to manage my depression, I now realize when my food and drink choices are based on my emotions. That awareness has made me look deeper.
I saw Ms. Iyanla Vanzant’s quote in my Facebook feed, and it made sense. I have wounds that I haven’t let heal. Most recently I have had my second failed marriage (I married too young and for the wrong reasons the first time) and two close friendships that ended. All three have left open wounds I need to heal.
As much as I try to say that I am ok and have moved on, I haven’t. I have tears that won’t fall. I have expectations and goals that have vanished. Her quote reminds me again that I need to explore the pain and my role in the circumstances that led to that pain. I was taught to not cry after the age of 9 (“You’re a big girl, stop crying.”). It took years of therapy to learn how to cry again.
Surviving with depression has made me more aware of stressful triggers in my life. I have wanted to cry and grieve for awhile. Ms. Vanzant’s words helped me to realize it was time. Without that awareness, it would have been all about the red velvet cake.
Note: If you are struggling with depression and emotional eating, please seek help. You are not “crazy,” and there are people who can help you to regain your mental health. It was the best decision I have ever made.