I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m in therapy now. It’s only been a few weeks, so there are no real results to report. But she’s been raising a lot of questions that have me thinking.
When I started going over why I thought I needed to see her, my main reasons were depression and my issues with food. And I was adamant that they were two unrelated issues that I just happened to have at the same time.
But now, I’m not so sure.
She keeps trying to dig into why I equate food with love (though I think that’s oversimplifying it). So I’ve been thinking about it off and on for the past two weeks. And I’m starting to see some patterns in my life that definitely make me think my depression is related to my food issues.
I’ve spent my entire life alone. Growing up, I moved around too much to build close relationships. Every time I made a friend, I moved away. And I was so shy and insecure that making new friends was extraordinarily difficult for me. I finally settled in one place when I was ten. But I still struggled. It wasn’t until high school that I made a friend that I could honestly call a best friend. We remained so through high school, but drifted apart after we went to college in different states. In college, I knew no one. I was surrounded by people I didn’t know and I was too afraid to put myself out there.
This is when I really began to turn to food.
I was always overweight, but I steadily gained weight all through college – which, coincidentally, is when my depression really began to take root.
I hate being alone.
I’m an introvert, yes. But that doesn’t mean I want to live in an isolated bubble. And that’s basically what I’ve got. There have been brief periods in my life where I’ve had close friends and sustained a social life – but they always always fall apart (yes, I realize I’m the common denominator there, but that’s a different problem for a different day). And isolation drives me to depression and food.
Food is everything to me. Food makes me happy. Food gives me comfort. Food is there for me when I’m alone. Food is always there. People aren’t.
It’s not just my emotions that are tied to food. It’s almost a validation of some sort. And I know that doesn’t make sense because how can something that makes me so miserable give me validation?
I don’t have the words to explain the connection. But I do know it’s there; and I know that it’s all tied up in my living a solitary life. A life that has no deep connections with another human being. I am alone.
Maybe after a few more sessions I’ll be able to find the words.