Is food your emotional partner?

All of us have desires to be nurtured without effort on our parts, to be cared for by persons stronger than us who have our interests truly at heart.

But for most of us these desires or feelings do not rule our lives.

When they do rule our lives, then we have something more than just dependency needs or feelings; we are DEPENDENT.

I remember one of my clients who became extremely depressed when her husband left her.

He did everything for her, provided income and taken care of her.

After he left her, she could not sleep for nights, she was trembling with anxiety and she became addicted to junk food.

FOOD became her emotional partner.

All the stress, axiety and junk food made her illness worse.

On top of that, she was seriously contemplating suicide. “I can’t live without him; I am nothing without him, life is not worth living.”

She became so passively depended on him that she lost her own self of identity.

Passive dependent people are so busy seeking to be loved that they have no energy left TO love.

They never feel “fulfilled” or have a sense of completeness.

They always feel “a part of me is missing.”

They tolerate loneliness very poorly.

Because of their lack of wholeness, they have no real sense of identity, and they define themselves solely by their relationships.

So, when I asked her to speak of her goals in terms of what life situations and where she wanted to find herself at the end of the year after she reverses her disease.

She stated, “I want to have someone take care of me.”

Not once she mentioned living life with passion and purpose, making a contribution to the community, being in a position where she could go back to the job that she loved so much and not once she mentioned why she wanted to heal from scleroderma.

I told her: “If being loved is your goal, you will fail to achieve it. The only way to be assured of being loved is to be a person worthy of love. You cannot be a person worthy of love when your primary goal in life is to passively be loved or depend on someone who has to make you happy, so you feel lovable.”

This is not to say that dependent people never do things for others, but their motive in doing things is to cement the attachment of the others to them so as to assure their own care.

And when the possibility of care from another is not directly involved, they do have great difficulty in “doing things.”

Allowing yourself to be dependent on another person is the worst possible thing you can do to yourself.

You would be better off being dependent on drugs.

As long as you have a supply of it, drugs will never let you down; if it’s there, it will always make you happy.

So if you expect another person to make you happy, you’ll be endlessly disappointed.

As a matter of fact, it is no accident that the most common disturbance that dependent people manifest beyond their relationships to others is dependency on drugs, food and alcohol.

Theirs is the “addictive personality.”

They are addicted to people, and when people are not available, they often turn to the bottle or the needle or food as a people-substitute.

Ultimately it destroys rather than builds relationships, and it destroys rather than builds health.

Note: thanks to our client for giving us permission to share her story.