The (dis)comfort of food

Earlier this week, I had a very painful episode of the stomach pain I posted about a while ago. It was so bad I considered calling an ambulance (cold sweat, shaking, doubled over kind of pain), and my doctor’s finally taking me serious enough to have some tests done, blood and ultrasound. I already know the ultrasound results, which are all fine; waiting for blood results to come. In the meantime, I stay abstinent and don’t eat anything off the Greysheet, no matter what.

What’s interesting to me is how I’m able to observe my primary instincts in this – which are of course about food – and I’m immensely grateful that I don’t have to act on them.

I find myself drawn, not to non-Greysheet food (which is simply not an option), but to abstinent “crutches” to comfort me. Something within me is still looking for something to put in my mouth to make it all better. I am thinking especially of gum and chewable stomach tablets, which are medicines but are sweets, too. The fact is of course that the stomach tablets may even help with the pain, but I still know I can’t have them because I cannot have just one. If I need something for the pain, I’ll take a liquid that tastes terrible – no temptation there!

So gum and chewable tablets are calling to me. Ironic, because I suspect that gum is what brought this issue on in the first place; in the past months, before I cut out all sweeteners and gum, I had been overdosing on those in such severe ways that I remember one morning, arriving to work, when I got out of my car I literally doubled over with pain and water in the mouth and needed several minutes to get well enough to walk. This was the morning after a day filled with chewing gum, many many packs. It is over those months that the stomach pain began and gew worse and worse. Now I’m off the gum, of course, but the stomach pain remains. I’m paying for what I did. I really suspect it’ll be a stomach issue, that I’ve somehow damaged the natural balance in there with all that artificial, aggressive stuff.

I still seek comfort from things to put in my mouth. I wonder if that’ll ever go away… I know, rationally, that comfort isn’t to be found in anything I can put in my mouth, but that doesn’t prevent my subconscious to seek after it anyway. Whatever food I look to for comfort will only bring DIScomfort. These days I’m grateful that I am able to identify these tendencies and not act on them, but that isn’t to say that it’s easy. This isn’t plain sailing for me; this is a struggle. But today I choose not to eat.

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