As my husband was going to bed and I was playing the Hamilton soundtrack for the hundredth time in the past week, he said, “You have an obsessive personality, don’t you?” I immediately said, “Yes, of course.” It’s absolutely true; I find something I like, and I latch onto it. It’s why I have watched Gilmore Girls through at least ten times. It’s why I can’t stop playing Candy Crush on my phone even though I know it’s a complete waste of time (and man, I get a ridiculous amount of satisfaction out of beating a “hard” level). It’s why I will play an album over and over for weeks on end when I first fall in love with it. It’s why I have to stay up late to finish a good book (and it’s why the few times I got in trouble in school were because I was reading a book when I should have been doing schoolwork). It’s why I will sometimes play events over and over in my head if they were especially good or especially horrible (If the experience was a good one I don’t want to let it go. If it was a bad one, I try to figure out what I could have done or said differently to change the outcome).
My obsessive nature is also more than likely part of the reason why I have such a messed up relationship with food. If I get the idea of a certain food/meal into my head, I have a hard time letting go of it until I eat it. And then I eat it like it’s the last time I’ll ever eat again, eating more than I need or even want. The end result of this is not satisfaction, however; I rarely end up being glad that I indulged in my desire for that cake or cookie or pasta dish. Instead, I end up feeling remorseful that I didn’t exercise better self-control. It’s not that I think eating a cookie is sinful in and of itself. But I know that for me, far too often, I don’t just eat one cookie. Eating the cookie becomes less about enjoying it and more about trying to fill some need that I often can’t even identify or adequately express in words.
What’s a girl with an obsessive personality to do? I could just shrug it off and say it’s just how I am and not think anything else about it. After all, I don’t think it’s crazy to listen to the same CD dozens of times or watch the same TV series over and over. But it may not always be the best, or most productive choice, and sometimes obsession only leads to sin. Is obsession a healthy or helpful thing? Ultimately, no. What I’m missing is balance. I need to figure out how to appreciate and enjoy food (and other things) without letting it control me. I need to figure out how to replace my bad habits with good ones.
These days I feel like I have more problems than solutions, but I am grateful for the awareness and am praying that God will grant me wisdom. And I have a feeling that if I used even half the time I spend thinking about food to read and memorize Scripture, I’d be in a much better place. I guess I better get to it…
Matthew 6:19-21: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Colossians 3:2: “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”