If you identify with the latter - if you use food to avoid responsibility for your feelings, then you are self-medicating with food. You are using food addictively - as someone else might use a drug or alcohol.
It is easy to self-medicate with food because it is so available for most people. The chances are that if you are reading this article, you have a computer and enough money to buy food. You don't need a prescription for it and it is not illegal. Therefore, it is readily available.
What is the underlying issue here? Why are you devoted to self-medicating? You are devoted to self-medicating when you are NOT devoted to taking responsibility for your feelings.
When your primary intention is to avoid responsibility for your feelings, then you will likely find numerous addictive ways of doing this - from blaming others and feeling like a victim, to numbing out with substance and process addictions. The bottom line is that until you decide that you want to take full 100% responsibility for your own feelings, you will continue to self-medicate.
What is so scary about taking responsibility for your feelings? Why will you do almost anything to avoid this responsibility, including ending up sick or obese from self-medicating with food? What do you tell yourself will happen if you take responsibility for your feelings?
- Do you tell yourself that you can never fill yourself as much as someone or something else can and if you take responsibility for your own feelings that you will never get what you really want?
- Are you telling yourself that there is too much pain to manage - that you have to numb it out to survive?
- Are you telling yourself that you don't deserve to take responsibility for your feelings?
- Are you telling yourself that it is selfish to take care of your own feelings - that a caring person takes care of others' feelings?
- Are you telling yourself that it is too much work and you don't have the time?
- Do you tell yourself that if you open to your feelings and to taking responsibility for them, you will become too vulnerable and end up being controlled and taken advantage of by others?
- Are you telling yourself that your inner child is too needy and demanding and you can't possibly meet your needs?
- Are you telling yourself that if you take responsibility for yourself you will end up alone - that others' will be too upset by your self-care and leave and you will be more unhappy than you are now?
- Do you tell yourself that if you take loving care of yourself, then you will outgrow your relationship or not want to be in this relationship?
- Do you tell yourself that you are taking care of your feelings and you don't understand why you have a food issue, or that eating the way you eat is taking care of your feelings?
All of these things you might be telling yourself are coming from your wounded self and are lies that you tell yourself.
This is not an exhaustive list regarding what you tell yourself that causes you to fear taking responsibility for your feelings. You might want to take a moment to look inside and see what you tell yourself that causes you to self-medicate rather than take responsibility for your feelings.
Taking responsibility for your feelings means that you are devoted to the practice of Inner Bonding - that instead of self-medicating you are doing Inner Bonding whenever there are distressing feelings.