In recent posts we’ve been thinking a little about the confusion of appetite (for physical food), with hunger (for emotional wants or needs). So, let’s say I’ve had a really rotten day. I’m in a foul mood. Glen or a friend tries to engage me in conversation, to find out what’s wrong. But I don’t want to talk. I’m emotionally constipated – there’s a whole barrage of competing feelings coursing through my veins, but they’re in a big, amorphous and threatening mass. I haven’t got the energy to deal with any more and if I prise the lid off those feelings, I’m not sure I’ll ever get it back on.
What’s inside is like a black whirlpool of demand that’ll suck me and everyone else into its vortex, if I let it. So instead I keep busy. I lock out other people and I lock out the Lord. All too often, I’ll head to the kitchen. Something here needs to be fed. So I chomp my way in angry silence through dinner. I’m not thinking about what I eat, I’m crunching through those emotions. I’m swallowing down the frustration, the sadness, the confusion. Where once I’d starve the chasm, I’m now shovelling food into it. And this strategy is equally poisonous. It’s an act of self-harm, of indulgence, of comfort and of sedation. What’s more, it don’t even work.