Over the recent holiday period, many of us have spent some time in social situations. We had feelings while we were there. We might have had negative feelings at gatherings. We might have been uncomfortable there. This happens to many people. You are not alone in this.
Over the next two issues of this newsletter, we are going to bust the myth that people in a group are always having fun. You will experience the joy of knowing that if you do experience negative feelings at gatherings, you are not alone. In reverse order, we're going to highlight the top 4 difficult emotions that people experience in group settings. Here are the first two.
The number 4 top feeling is being bored. Yes! Bored. This is quite understandable. Let's face it. People go to group events for the processed foods and drinks served there. People go because a group event is an excellent cover for using processed foods with abandon. Many people have some level of merciless cravings so the idea of going to a group and eating addictive foods is very appealing to the addiction. YES!! At a gathering, we can act on cravings without guilt or restraint because we're celebrating.
Well... watching people get high on processed foods and drinks is boring. Being around people who are bringing cancer, obesity, stroke, and Alzheimer's upon themselves because they're caught in addiction is boring. We're not co-dependent, so we're not going to do anything to stop it. These people are not in their right minds, so conversation is not really interesting, is it? Most of the time, we'll be listening to them express thoughts that are being distorted by hyped-up cravings. It would be much more interesting to have a conversation coming from higher-level ideas. That's where curiosity and learning take place. That's where expressions of true caring come from.
But processed foods and drink shut down higher-level thinking. So it's boring to talk to someone who's not able to use imagination and intellect at the moment.
Bottom line? We agree that events can be really dull when we're clean and thinking clearly while the people around us are swept up in becoming muddled by processed foods.
It's OK to steal away and curl up with a good book.
I'm Lonely in Social Situations
Feeling number 3 is lonely. Perhaps for the same reasons we feel bored, we could also feel lonely. We're sane and sober while everyone else is out of their right minds. It's hard to connect under those circumstances. For food addicts, there could be other reasons that we feel lonely.
We might feel lonely because we have been isolating and we're just out of practice when it comes to the chit-chat that makes up group talk. Although chit-chat might seem like an empty waste of time, it does serve the purpose of stirring up feelings of belonging. "Hi, how are you?" repeated over and over helps to make us feel like perhaps someone does care about us.
However, if we feel empty inside, then these social pleasantries can feel really fake. They don't serve to connect us. Instead, they help to distance us from those around us. Processed foods make us feel empty for several reasons. They wear down emotional processing functions in the brain. They numb out the bad stuff but while numbing out the bad, they also numb out the good. So the pleasure we might get from social interactions could be numbed. This would naturally lead to a feeling of 'What's the point?' It could lead to a reluctance to engage people in conversation. Thus, we could end up feeling lonely.
One way to get back into the satisfaction of social interaction is to join an online group of like-minded people who want to express kindness while recovering from processed foods. Be sure to find a group that has lots of online meetings that are super easy to join. Practice deriving satisfaction from people-connecting. Then transfer this satisfaction to in-person group activities. Connecting with others can be a source of great joy, but it may take skill-building if it hasn't been a big part of your life.
"THE ARC IS AMAZING! I know I’m definitely going through the physical detox of not eating processed food but I also feel like I’m going through a mental detox, an emotional detox and a spiritual detox.
This place is so safe, loving, supportive and secure and everyone in it is truly amazing!
THANK YOU, Joan and Everyone, who’s part of it, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!”
My grandmother suffered from Alzheimer's. Her religion determined that no alcohol was allowed to be consumed, but I can remember while growing up that sweet food items were always prevalent. No meal was consumed without there being some sweet treat offered after. Can all the sweet, processed food have a connection to Alzheimer’s?
Yes, studies reveal a number of reasons that processed foods are associated with dementia and Alzheimer's. Processed foods are inflammatory. They pull blood flow away from the frontal lobe. They dysregulate microorganisms in the gut and promote malnutrition.
Recent copies of Dr Joan Ifland's Blog: