Hooked on a Feeling
By Alexandra Erin
I used to eat my feelings.
It was mostly just a thing to do. I did it because I was bored, or lonely, or scared. Never because I was hungry. Yo don’t get any nourishent from a feeling. They don’t fill you up at all. They hollow you out, at least when you’re eating your own.
So I would be anxious about something, or nothing, or everything, and I’d eat it. The anxiety. Or whatever. And then I’d feel ashamed about it, and I’d eat that, too. Sometimes I’d be surprised how easily it worked, but never for long. Surprise tastes better than shame, much better.
Before long, I never felt anything except for the things I felt about never feeling anything, and I never felt those for long. Every day I got a smaller on the inside, a little fainter around the edges. Feelings aren’t very substantial on their own, but they add up over time, and over time I was chipping away at the core of who I was. I got to the point where I didn’t know how to react to anything, how to respond to people or situations, because all my emotional cues had been chewed away into ragged little splintery stubs, like fingernails that have been bitten off one time too many.
I couldn’t stop, even if I’d felt any desire to. I had been doing it for too long. Even if I couldn’t live on emotion, it fed something inside me. I wasn’t exactly afraid to stop, but then, I wasn’t afraid of anything.
I didn’t know what to do about my growing state of disaffection, and I didn’t care. The people in my life did, though, the ones who hadn’t slid off me or been pushed away. They cared so much, it was painful to be around them. Briefly, anyway. But I can only eat so much pain, and it was getting to be a problem.
So I don’t eat my feelings anymore. I’ve found a better way, and now no one cares what I do.
At least, not for long.