“Joy is not in things, it is in us.”
Growing up in a household of people in need of recovery, one of the things I learned early on is that things can bring happiness. None of us realized that the happiness was very temporary, never seeing us through what feeling we were wanting to stuff or what hurt hole deep inside us needed filling. I had so many feelings and so many holes inside me that I didn't have near enough money for the things I needed. What hurting 7-year old in a sick family does?
Given that, it seems natural that I turned to food to help fill holes. Just another "thing," but at least the fridge was always too full, and I didn't have to worry about the money aspect.
But things caused pain too. I learned that my parents gave more expensive and better things to those people they liked more and wanted to please. I was not one of those people; my brother was. I noted every gift and compared, and set myself up for more hurt that could only be soothed in the kitchen because I didn't know any other way.
The food "things" I ran to have caused less joy in my life than any of the things I've bought. I've been fat since I was four, torturing my body over the years by alternating starvation with massive bingeing and with purging. I was never good enough because I've never been thin enough except for that growth spurt when I was nine.
Then I found the Twelve Steps. As a result of working the Steps, I've found me. As a result of finding me and learning to fill hurtful holes by feeling rather than with things or food, I've truly found the joy that is in me.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will remind myself that things and food do not bring happiness; joy is within.
~ Rhonda H. ~
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