Looking at this today as it has been very relevant for several clients over the past week or so, and is something I had to learn myself!
We all love a treat and having a treat is good for us!
However when we move into self medicating i.e. using food, alcohol, drugs, smoking, shopping, gambling or sex to name a few, in order to anesthetise ourselves from emotional pain or stress that then becomes a different thing!
Then we run the risk of the emotional soother/crutch becoming an issue in itself in sometimes serious ways with serious consequences.
So then we have another issue to manage and we have to ask ourselves are we treating ourselves or self harming?
So if, for example, we are self soothing with cake and we have cake when we are happy, cake when we are sad, cake to celebrate, cake to commiserate then unless we are very fortunate we make start to see the downside of too much cake and that in turn can make us even more stressed, anxious, miserable or depressed.
Comfort eating, Comfort drinking, comfort shopping will all have these downsides.
So for example I love carbs and bakery products and they are a treat. However as I am diabetic and in no way under weight, I would have to ask myself “is eating this going to be a treat? YES YES YES – give me the bread!!!
BUT it would be a treat for the five minutes I take to eat it THEN I would have the emotional hangover of the, for me, six potentially serious consequences of eating it!
These consequences stay much longer and make me not like myself very much.
So we can then get an emotional hangover to add to our challenges on top of the health consequences, weight gain, confidence issues and generally liking and trusting our self issues.
All of a sudden that stops looking like a treat to me and looks more like self harm.
So maybe that cake, wine, cigarette, bet, online shopping or other emotional drug of choice that is so seductive and lures you in is NOT your real friend but a false friend?
Do one false friend – we deserve better!!
Does that make sense? xxxxx