The following reading spoke to me today especially in regard too to the difficulty Will Smith had with finding a way to express his feelings of hurt, something I also struggle with.. This reading from Hope For Today concerns the use of food but it could be anything we use not to deal with what we are really feeling :
I had a job in my neglectful family, and I learned it very well. The job to remain silent about what was happening in my home and how I felt about it. I became an adolescent with no coping skills. Gradually so much pain and anger built up inside of me that I had to find some way to relieve it. My neglectful parents’ reservoir of coping skills was virtually non existent, and so they had no way to recogize what I was going through. Left to my own devices, I escaped through food. Only later when I started coming to Al Anon, did I realize that my use of food was very similar in motive and pattern to my parents’ use of alcohol.
First Al Anon taught me through Step four processes that it was alright for me to identify my buried emotions and to allow myself to feel them. Step Five encouraged me to share the results of this emotional survey with another trusted person. These Steps helped me to clear pain from my heart and fill that space with something healthy. Today instead of eating when I feel anxiety or some other uncomfortable emotion, I choose to use an Al Anon tool . I call and talk to someone who understands. Sometimes I read to calm my soul. I share with others in some way. I cannot always control my pain, but I can choose what I do to heal it.
What coping behaviors do I use to soothe my pain? Are they really helping me?