I think it’s strange that when we talk about starvation, it’s always about the physical connection to food. But we rarely talk about how that nagging sensation of hunger, desperation and frustration can be felt in other places than in our tummies.
When we neglect our needs, we feel like something is missing – and it creates a void inside. Just like we feel when we are hungry for food. It’s a sneaky thing, the process of losing ourselves to the greyness of every day life routines, compromises in relationships, shame, fear or any place where we can’t really feel free to be ourselves all the way. We adjust ourselves to the course of life and direction or stagnation of our ambitions. But it’s easy to overlook needs or desires when life feels like a train ride without any stops. It’s easy to lose the connection between mind and body or mind and soul, and that’s when we’re slowly creating a starvation somewhere inside. You can’t feel it happening until you are faced with the suction of the void. And the void is not talking. It’s confusing. Annoying. Frustrating. You don’t know what is missing. So you overcompensate with other things. You create renovation projects and home improvement, you have another baby, you put more hours into work, you shop or try to buy yourself free of the void – for the moment and there’s a sense of satisfaction but not the sensation of true fulfillment.
I’ve been starving for many things throughout my adult life and in various relationships. For intimacy. Sex. Intellectual stimulation. For artistic growth. Self acceptance. Closure. Friendship. Relief of shame and guilt. Genuine love. Pleasure. Happiness.
The starvation made me feel angry, bitter and depressed. I didn’t know why I felt that way so it left me feeling helpless and broken.
It wasn’t until I started to listen to my inner voice – my core – and began my journey in therapy that I could see how lost I was while I was overcompensating with the substitutions or the instant satisfaction that never lasted very long.
I am slowly approaching all of my starvations, trying to feed my needs or at least acknowledge them. It isn’t easy to stay true to who you really are in this time of age when we’re constantly being hacked by norms, social stress, mainstream ideals and pre- packaged lifestyles but it is possible.
You just need to create a little space for yourself where your thoughts and feelings can float through you without any judgements or shame. That’s all it takes to start filling the nagging void inside.