The Evolution of My Healing. Food, Feelings & Flexibility.

For many of us, the holidays are always a challenging time.

Firstly, I don’t always want to celebrate. Generally because I’m triggered. I’m either sad I’m not with my family, or I wish I had a stronger family that would make me feel good, and happy, and held during the holidays. No matter how independent I feel throughout the year, when it comes to Christmas time, I’m sad. I always feel like I’m missing out.

Then, because I’m feeling emotionally heavy, I generally eat things I’m not supposed to as a way to comfort myself. And, even if I’m generally good at listening to what my body needs (most of the time I stick to no sugar and no dairy, and I’m celiac so I’m always gluten free), but sometimes I still want to eat with no limitations, which only leads to temporary problems, and definitely some flare ups.

For me, the act of eating food stands for the care that I lacked as a child.

The internal coating feels like a hug, and in a way it feels like I am caring for myself, nourishing myself, being the mother I never had. It’s always a strange and familiar cycle: I eat because I want to feel better, but I oftentimes losing my ordinary set of restrictions, because I think being flexible means I’m treating myself, I forget my actual body’s needs.

The hardest part about focusing on healing is that I’m a glutton, naturally. So not only am I triggered during the holidays, but it’s really easy to eat gluten free turkey stuffing and mac & cheese for days at a time. I hardly ever need a reason to celebrate, so yeah… bring on that custard, that maple brie, yes I will eat that three cheese dip—it’s ok, I’m eating it with almond flour crackers! Ok fine I’ll also try that salted caramel ice cream, and yes, personally I love a good lambrusco so fill that glass with more of that, s’il vous plait!

Sure, it’s hard not to “fall off the horse” so to speak, and normal as well… but recently I’ve also been wondering “what is the horse?” Is there a way to have fun, and to find a balance to pleasure?

Last week when I asked Denise (Lisa was away) I told her, totally ashamed, that after the holidays my eczema had been flaring up. I felt like I had contributed to my own irritated current state, and that it was my fault that I wasn’t feeling like my best self. In many ways, I was mad that I had brought myself here again, to this place of internal conflict—lumpy bowel movements, congestion, on top of the scratchiness of eczema and dandruff. As I spoke, I felt myself being annoyed at my own actions. I spoke about it with frustration, using derogatory language to describe myself because I was upset at my gluttony. This is another familiar pattern of self punishment, and the natural cycle of how these events usually pan out: I eat the foods I know I’m not supposed to, eventually I suffer, and then I get mad at my own lack of control, thinking I deserve it.

Thankfully, Denise assured me that this was the up and down of life, and that there was no use in feeling annoyed at myself.

In fact, even getting acupuncture is about understanding that we want to limit the extreme reactions our bodies may or may not have, so that when, or if, we do go on a few-day-holiday-benders we can better ease the situation. It felt comforting to know that it’s ok to fall off that horse, that in fact life is about tripping and falling… but that acupuncture, and general healing, helps the impact so that it isn’t so hard on us.

I realized that this is true. Even though I still get eczema every now and again, it’s usually a super quick flare up, more like a red flag reminder: Hey, you’re in the red zone, drive at your own caution. It means that my body is doing its job and getting better at reading the signs of what my limits are, and that’s exciting. It means I’m slowly getting better and rebuilding my immune system. Real healing is slow, real healing is never-ending.


About The Author

This guest post was authored by Fariha Róisín, a talented writer based here in Brooklyn. We are indebted to Fariha for sharing this experience. We are humbled to be in service to such a brave, strong & beautiful human and it is with great gratitude we are able to share Fariha’s writings with our community.

Fariha Róisín has written for Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Vice, Fusion, Village Voice and many others and additionally has previously written a self-care column on The Hairpin. Fariha will also soon have two books published and currently has an astrology column for them. We encourage you to discover more:

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Fariha Róisín