I was in a therapy session last week with a therapist who was helping me work on the way I feel in my body. I don’t mean my self-image, I mean the way I actually feel being in my body. What I am learning more and more is that, when cravings come, they come with a specific sensation in my body. For me, it is a hollow feeling in my solar plexus. It is likely different for different people, though.
When I get that scary feeling, I want to run away, to do anything to fill that hollowness. I feel dread, and extreme vulnerability. I become convinced that I cannot handle my reality, my world.
Binging feels like the only way to stay on this planet, to stay alive. Even though there is no rational explanation for it, there is a deep sense that, if I just let the feelings be, I will perish.
My therapist was helping me to cultivate a different kind of space inside my body, one that feels good and nourishing and healthy – like a garden just quenched by the spring rain. In the course of our session, my body started to feel less like a prison and more like a warm – comfortable and airy sitting room – clean and spacious, a place where I could relax.
After our session, my therapist told me to set a reminder on my phone every hour – so that every hour I could close my eyes for some moments and remember that feeling of spaciousness and relaxation inside.
From that place, I could hold the pain and nurture it. Allow it to be, like a mother enfolding her child in warm and loving arms.
And he said one more thing – that I will not always remember. That one day, this could be my life, but for now, I am just learning it. I am like a baby fawn learning to walk, and that when I forget, or fall, like the fawn I am not to reprimand myself or feel bad about it. I just get back up and try again. That, in fact, we need these times of falling in order to strengthen ourselves – to teach us how to get back up from a lying position.
One day I will be dancing in the field, and so will you. Learning to walk is not a bad place to be.