Spirituality Inhibited by Active Binging

I discovered working with a small intimate group discussing recovery that Spiritual healing alone works if you aren’t dealing with a chemical imbalance. We all experienced a blockage from our spirituality when we were active in binge eating. We lived in a self-centered world and yet never ended up with what satisfied us. We learned we can’t give of ourselves because we’re immersed in addictive eating blocking the connection to God. In our self-centered world we’re unable to love ourselves—we’re centered in self-hate.

Healing requires a three prong mindset: physical, emotional, and spiritual. How can we heal our bodies if our mind is toxic from our chemical response to certain foods? In turn, if we are emotionally bankrupt how do we find our way spiritually? Can we be spiritually connected when we’re knee deep in a food binge?

I can only speak for myself and the answer is—not totally. Yes, the binge dropped me to my knees begging for relief; however, once the food partially digested I was ready for another binge. What comes first cleansing from the binge or reaching out to God?

At times when I was loaded with sugar I struggled with negative images of God, feelings of spiritual unworthiness and shame, fear of abandonment by God, intense difficulty surrendering and keeping faith, and dishonesty and deception. I believed in God yet had deep spiritual struggles creating a major impediment to my ability to recover from my eating disorder.

This is not to say there were not previous times in my life where I felt a connection to God and a degree of personal spirituality. I still attended weekly Sunday mass intermittently but lost these connections through the course of my eating disorder. In essence, I realized spiritual healing can happen but first I needed to address my chemical imbalance on a physical, spiritual, and emotional level.

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