In my last post, I shared a bit more about my journey and my new destination. The focus of the last blog post was on comfort and how it can negatively influence us. Well, to put it simply, that post barely made it online because of how sick I’ve been since writing it!
Yes, let’s just say I still don’t know what happened, but I’ve been on toasts and tea for almost a week now. I’ve seen a doctor and, it seems like a virus. It keeps me from eating regular food and having a regular life. So, what have I been doing? Nothing much … fighting this virus, sleeping, thinking, reading, social media, etc.
However, this health situation brought back a funny memory from my past … like a catharsis, and now, I find myself revisiting special events from my past. Let me explain what a catharsis is.
Body Talks Through Catharsis
Catharsis is a word that comes from old Greek. It’s been used and explained by Aristotle in his philosophy. Like a lot of the old Greek words, catharsis is not a static word, but a concept, or better said, a process. It is, more specifically, the process of purging passions, or dividing good from evil.
OK! You might think that I’ve lost it! That my being sick is affecting my brain! LOL. But let me better explain why I think I’m undergoing a catharsis as I’m affected by this virus. Trust me! It will all make sense!
Body Has a Memory
In fact, just like our psyche, our bodies do have memories. Someone who trained all his life for a certain physical activity will maybe lose some agility, but if he gets back into it, might quickly get a lot of his skills back.
Well, sometimes, certain sicknesses, viruses or illnesses can bring back memories of similar events in the past. Surprisingly, when symptoms match and circumstances are similar, we are able to travel far back into our memories. Sometimes, the matching might be simply to help us better cope with it, other times, it can lead to something more.
You see, as the nurse was asking me about my symptoms and about the frequency of its recurrence, I quickly answered, “None!” No double thinking, simply the truth! I mean she was talking to the guy who, as a teenager, hung out at “l’As de la Poutine” a poutine restaurant in Montreal-North, famous for their crazy variety. In other words, my stomach can handle more than this! Haha!
But then, it suddenly came back to mind! When I was barely 12 years old, I went on holidays with my godparents and cousins in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I was so excited about the trip. Well, once we got there, little do you know… I get this virus. My uncle rushed me to the emergency and the verdict came in as a sentence: “This young man needs to avoid food for at least a week … just bread and water.” I mean are you serious?
Body Is Also a Temple
So here I am, years later, facing the same type of issue, needing to eat toasts and drink tea and not being able to take advantage of much of the local food which looks so good … that is until I got sick, lol, cause now, I can’t even smell it!
From the beginning of this trip, I convinced myself I would not indulge too much into food and that I’d try to keep a somewhat similar daily diet as in Canada. That’s why I rented apartments and did my own grocery shopping, while mainly eating at home until now. Obviously, there have been ups and downs … and I did not always succeed in avoiding the midnight gelato, but generally speaking, I lost a bit of weight.
However, I was starting to slowly fall back into bingeing … you know … that aperitivo, that slice of pizza, etc. The fact that I left my last apartment to now come to a B&B, also meant I would have to eat out even more. Now, I can’t even smell food, my stomach just won’t take it.
Coming back to Myrtle Beach, it’s so weird how my body remembered this past event. The context was similar, I caught it while at the beach, or at least it manifested itself after the beach. I got really sick at night. My uncle who took care of me was now the owner of the B&B who happens to be a nurse and, the same verdict was given: no food for a while.
What it triggered in me was way more than simple memories. It brought me back to how food had become an obsession in my life. How my relationship with food has never been balanced and how, despite all my efforts, I keep struggling with my weight.
Body, Mind, and Soul!
A vivid memory came back as I was overthinking my relationship with food. It’s the one I had with my dad. The last one I have before he passed away just before I turned 8. You must understand that my parents were divorced back then, and that my dad had been sick for a while, so I could not visit him for a long period of time. Unfortunately, this same sickness, which was wrongly diagnosed, was supposed to pass, but it led to his death.
Well, just before he got sick, he brought me to a bakery he knew. While at the bakery, he asked the baker to give me a huge loaf of warm bread. He sat me on his lap and smiled looking at me while I was enjoying the bread. I remember everything about this scene. I can still hear him telling me, “it’s good hey! Eat!” That was the last time I sat on his lap. The last time I felt his breath warming my cheeks as he kissed me with so much love.
You’ll wonder what this has to do with my eating disorder? Well, I truly believe that my body, soul and mind found comfort in the warmth of bread, just like a kid will find comfort in his dad’s shoes or jacket. When my dad passed away, I was left with a few jingles. Had nothing to hold on to, not even a shirt. Food became a place of comfort. Food was associated with the presence of my dad.
Even when at Myrtle Beach, I now realize that lots of my memories revolved around food rather than the beautiful moments lived with my family and, just as I write this, so many of those lost memories pop back to mind. That is a catharsis.
I strongly suggest you read about psychology and the effects of memories on our relation with food, money, sexuality, etc. As much as positive events can bring positive outcomes, negative events can trigger addictions and more. Simply focusing on solving a problem will often be useless if we don’t dig deeper.
That being said, I see once again that our body, mind and soul, can remember past traumas and heal us of them. All we need to do is take the time to revisit, meditate, accept, and love that wounded part of ourselves.
Have you ever lived a catharsis? I’d be curious to read what some of you have to say about it! Please make sure you subscribe to my blog, share my posts, comment, etc. It would mean the world to me.