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Addiction and the fear of freedom and happiness

In the last post, I talked about our possible addiction to having a problem. I think this may well be motivated by our fear of freedom and happiness. I know that’s counterintuitive. We all want to be happy and free, right? And I think that’s true. We all want that, but some of us are afraid to get it.

I grew up in an eggshell household. My mother’s bad moods were infrequent but unpredictable and I always seemed to be waiting for that proverbial other shoe to drop. I was waiting to be ignored, rejected, occasionally scorned for the tender feelings I had. My mother was also an odd combination of cheerful and unhappy. Her Christian upbringing promoted cheerfulness no matter what but preached that life is fundamentally miserable. I didn’t want to believe that but it was hard to resist.

So instead of happiness and freedom, I chose comfort and relief. At first with food, then with alcohol and relationships that weren’t great but were okay. Once I moved away from home, my mother wasn’t the problem. Alcohol was. And my boyfriend. And when I got sober and broke up with my partner, food was. Again.

I’m not sure what the solution is for those of us who are afraid to be happy but I want to find out.

Is fear of happiness part of your struggle with food?


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