4 There Are A Lot Of Weird Psychological Mechanisms At Play
There’s a reason the post-breakup woman in every movie is found clutching a pint of ice cream along with a wad of snotty tissues — food will always love you, and you can come to rely on it as much as any vice
But no matter how bitchin’ you might turbo-charge that Rascal scooter, not being able to get around on your own is still kind of a bummer.
«For me, sugar has been like alcohol is for other people,» Rachel says. «It really goes right to my pleasure center. Interestingly enough, I’m in the process of establishing a good pain management system, because I have a lot of pain issues, and when I’m on pain medication, I don’t crave sugar as much. It’s like it hits that dopamine center.»
When you’ve already got addiction issues — as the two-pack-a-day-smoking, video-game-junkie Rachel clearly does — it’s one more obstacle to smash your metaphorical genitals into. Rachel started out as a relatively thin kid, but a traumatic experience in sixth grade led her to seek emotional relief from sweet lady pizza. «I would be upset, and then I would eat a pie or order a large pizza and eat that by myself,» she says, although she adds that «I don’t really do that anymore.»
Rachel’s case is an interesting one. Since her trauma involved sexual abuse, she struggles with a phenomenon doctors call «defensive weight.» That’s when survivors of sexual trauma subconsciously put on weight in an attempt to make themselves unattractive to potential abusers or to give themselves a kind of symbolic suit of armor. «You feel safe,» Rachel says. «There have been times that I’ve lost weight, like maybe 50 lbs., and it gives you anxiety. I look at the scale and it makes you feel . unprotected, I guess?»