Unlike behaviors, emotions can't be controlled. My addictive process represents an effort to keep feelings and life itself under control. I am unable to let things be, unable to let things take their natural course. There's always some right way, some better way, some more perfect way that things can be.
I remove myself from the present, thrust my mind into the future and miss out on the life that could be unfolding before my eyes. I know, though, that only when I am in the here and now can I really get filled up and be "nourished" by life. If I am obsessing about yesterday or planning for tomorrow, I am unable to take in and receive whatever is in front of me that be "nourishing": a smile from my daughter, a compliment from a friend, the scent of a flower, a favorite tune, a brilliant sunset. The emptiness grows.
I am learning that I am actually starving on an emotional and spiritual level. My longing for food is a longing for emotional and spiritual nourishment. A longing for the "Good Mother" who nourishes me, soothes me and loves and accepts me just the way I am. This is frequently what I am searching for as I stand in front of the pantry. But no matter how much cookie dough or how many brownies I eat, I can not fulfill this longing because I am filling my stomach, not my heart or my spirit. This "food" I require is not material food.
So, what is the name of my hunger? I'm hungry for acceptance - to be loved just the way I am. I needed to identify it so I can remember it and keep it in the forefront of my mind, moment to moment. I must remember what it is I am truly hungry for every time I slip or stumble into addictive patterns and reach for a food that can not feed my real hunger - something to soothe my aching heart or broken spirit.