Picture it, Greek family, not overly traditional, but Greek nevertheless – Dad, mum, older brother and me.
Mum cooked everything and she cooked well, really well. My grandmothers’ food, oh my gosh salivating right now!
Delicious traditional Greek food – imagine…
Green Horta – bitter green grasses and vegetables
Slow cooked lamb
Freshly caught seafood and salads
Lots of broths and stews
Rosemary, garlic, oregano, sage
The occasional Greek shortbreads and cookies.
Freaking awesome happy, loving family, usual brother sister fights and rumbles – I still owe him a few hundred punches in the arm.
Our everyday life revolved around food – good food.
It brought us all together. And it also created some interesting patterns, check this out.
Conversations kinda started like this:
“You hungry? Here, you eat.”
“You going away? You eat.”
“You come home? You eat.”
“You happy? You eat.”
“You sad? You eat.”
“You tired? You eat.”
“You full? You eat.”
“Your brother hit you? Here, eat.”
“You don’t like that food? Here you eat.”
“You did well at school, yaaay bravo Annie, here you eat.”
It was basically, “here calm your nerves with this,” or “oh your brother whacked you? Don’t worry sweetheart here have something to eat,” or “What do you mean you lost your school bag, here have something to eat.”
“You’re not going out wearing that!” So feeling disappointed I would grab something to eat.
When I was little I used to be rewarded or soothed with food.
When I was hurt or upset I was rewarded with food… Let it be understood, my brother and I were always immersed in a whole lot of love.
Love was the solid marriage of our family, but food was the mistress to any emotional experience.
No wonder then, that for quite a few years, well into my teens, I would self soothe with food. And thankfully for me I was brought up on a healthy diet. Never had takeaway until I was 18 years old.
But no matter how healthy it was, I was in the midst of an unhealthy coping mechanism. I allowed myself to be distracted by food instead of confronting or embracing the emotional reaction.
I can hear most of you now saying… “OMG, me too!!!”
And I’m guessing that some reading this are still in this pattern, to a degree of some level.
I am so thankful that I became aware of this after I sat back and had a look at my past patterns. Now there are rare occasions where I find myself stressed, like really stressed, that I grab a green apple or two.
Wait, don’t roll your eyes! I know green apples are super healthy compared to a chocolate dipped, salted caramel custard filled doughnut, but the point is not so much the object, but the ‘need’ for the object – Annie.