I opened the freezer door in the teacher’s lounge, looked around to make sure no one could see me and then cut a piece of the ice cream cake. I ate it surreptitiously, barely even tasting it. 

I wanted it but didn’t want anyone to know I did so I couldn’t even enjoy this thing that I wanted. Yet, I felt compelled to eat it. I desperately longed for some semblance of pleasure in what felt like my depressed and chaotic world. 

This incident took me back 15 years when I would eat candy while hiding in the closet in my room.

I made sugar a god.

It could take away my anxiety. It could soothe me.

It did momentarily but then afterward, the anxiety was still there and was now compounded with more anxiety about the fact that I had eaten so much sugar.

Other times, I would eat a whole pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Brownie ice cream because I didn’t want that moment to end. Once I stopped eating the ice cream, I would have to face my unsettled life again. Yet, consuming such a large quantity of ice cream made me feel sick and disgusting and I would then sneak to the bathroom to purge it up.

I hadn’t learned how to handle anxiety so this was my attempt to ease the battle raging inside of me. It didn’t work. It made me feel worse, increased my anxiety, and made me doubt my ability to support myself in difficult times.

I was so afraid to face the inner demons that I did everything I could to keep them at bay. No matter what I did, though, they always came back, often even more ferociously. 

It took a deep desire to learn a different way, a way that truly supported me in both good times and bad, that compelled me to begin the process of healing.

I craved freedom from this compulsion, freedom from what felt like insanity, freedom to meet my needs with love and compassion instead of fear and self-abuse. Freedom to eat what my body wanted and needed without anxiety, fear, or shame. Freedom to feed myself well in every area of my life instead of starving or stuffing myself. 

The path was winding and involved books, support groups, and mentors, but more than all those things, what it required, truly, was me connecting to me, fully, completely, and authentically. It required sitting with the fear, anxiety, discomfort, and pain instead of fleeing from it, dismissing it, stuffing it down, or numbing it with large doses of sugary novocaine.

It wasn’t easy. I was learning how to be comfortable in my own skin, something I had lost long ago when I traded my sense of self for the approval of others.

What I discovered there was a scared, neglected, and abandoned little girl who was desperate to be seen, heard, acknowledged, and loved. She wanted to know her feelings, good and bad, were valid. Her desires and dreams real. Her fear and anger understandable. She wanted to be safe, secure, and accepted from within.

The thing she most wanted she could only give to herself,

This requires forgiveness, compassion, and radical self-acceptance and love.

It isn’t an easy road as the path to healing seldom is. What you discover, however, on this path is freedom, unlike anything you have ever experienced. A sense of connection that is hard to describe. A state of being that exudes peace, appreciation, and joy, which is what you had been searching for all along, albeit in all the wrong places.

The you you are meant to be is calling to be unleashed, begging you to pay attention, pleading with you to stop dismissing it and numbing it out. Its treasures far exceed the momentary pleasures of your distraction of choice.

And these treasures are not fleeting. They are who you truly are. 

You. Elevated.

http://bit.ly/Upleveled_Life –Heightened states of being, operating and interacting – you upgraded.