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Comfort

Comfort Eating vs Gluttony (and the MSG twist!)

I'm really quite shocked at myself. Shocked I had the nerve to admit, last week, that food is my lifelong passion. But having loosed the monster, we may as well go whole hog (pun intended) and today's two-in-one-much-too-long-article topic is one I've long considered but never dared broach: comfort eating vs gluttony.

And yes! There is a difference!



Food

What’s Fun For You? What Makes You Happy?

Five years ago, if you were to ask me, "What do you love, Lenora? What makes you happy?" you would've been met with a rather surprised expression and a rumbling "Ummmmmmmmm."

Because I had no idea. Oh, I had a few things I liked to eat, but I didn't know what I, as a person, liked in most other ways. I was as disconnected from my likes as I was disconnected from my emotions. I wasn't live-live-living...I was just twirling and surviving. But not living.



Comfort

Food: Comfort and Happiness On A Plate

Many therapists ask their patients, "What do you do for fun?" and most abuse survivors don't have a clue. But I think we can all agree on one thing: food is comforting and food is happy. As a writer, I'd rather write about food  — ingredients, culture, history, lore, recipes, restaurants, horticulture, chefs — than about anything else on God's Green Earth.

In her 1943 book, The Gastronomical Me the queen of food porn, M. F. K. Fisher wrote this:
It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think about one without the others.


Calm

Imagination for Escapism: Even Adults Need A Break Sometimes

Here's a closely guarded secret I've never told anyone: I spent the first eighteen years of my life living in my imagination. I was entirely cognizant of my real life; it just didn't interest me. Now and then I'd come out of my amazing imaginary world, take a look around and then pop back to Narnia or Little House on the Prairie or wherever my imagination (and current reading) took me. A lot of the members of my "Homeschool Survivors" Facebook group also admitted to living in their imaginations. It's where we were happiest.

Even the incomparable Andrew Lloyd Weber reveals in his 2018 autobiography Unmasked, "I developed with [my brother] Julian a complete world in which I could hide and where I was truly happy, a make-believe world...".


Abusive Father

I Was In This Cult and Never Knew It!

When people ask why I kicked my narcissistic family out of my life, the easiest way to explain it is, "I was basically raised in a cult." Everyone understands the word "cult"; almost no one really understands the word "narcissists."

But then they ask, "Which cult?" expecting me to say Moonies or FLDS or some other widely recognized cult. But we weren't. "The family dynamics were very cult-like," I try to explain, simply and honestly, and that's when the other person checks out of the conversation leaving me feeling foolish and invalidated. But you really can't blame them.



Christmas

The Narcissism that Stole Christmas

Why am I writing about Christmas...in May!?! I dunno. Maybe it's because I forgot last year. Maybe it was the note I received from my cousin that made me grow nostalgic for Christmases of yore. But when inspiration strikes,  don't look it in the mouth. Just go with it!