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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Before Comfort Food

Before comfort food, there was comfort.

Before there was a drug of choice, there was just choice.

When and how did that change?

My husband says he started drinking at the age of 11. I remember sneaking nips with my friend Lynn when we were 14. She’d pull out whiskey from her parents’ cabinet, pour us a glass and then pour water into the bottle.

My son’s stepbrother at his dad’s house was a confirmed smoker at the age of 14. It was so ingrained, no one at his house seemed to think there was anything they could do to stop it.

All of us know kids who start using something when they’re tweens or young teens. All of us know someone who keeps using and escalates their use.

But before there was comfort food, there was comfort.

Are we even asking where it went?

I believe we humans are wired for addiction. Some of us are more susceptible to it than others, but we can all become addicts one way or another, unless we ourselves or someone else intervenes.

It's too easy for me to go home after a bad day and overeat or drink. I smoked through most of my teens and twenties and only quit in my thirties after years of struggle. I would start smoking again tomorrow if I could - if there were no consequences.

My husband has been going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for more than 20 years. He says you don't become an addict if you are happy with your life.

I agree.

But even if we know when it starts, we don't know why it starts. And we won't know unless we ask each kid we know who's using and take the time to really listen to them.

Because Tolstoy got it right when he said:
Happy families are all alike: every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
There is a point at which all of us lose our comfort and don't know how to find it. We turn to food, smoke, drugs, sex and everything else. And the comfort we find from these things is false.

But we don't know what else to do.

I don't mean to be grim here, and I don't mean to be smug, and I certainly don't and won't claim to have any answers.

But I have to tell you what I know.

Before there was comfort food, there was comfort.

Where did it go?



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Cards: Benjamin Watson