I walked into the grocery store the other day and had an up close and personal experience with what I can only describe as a nuclear bomb gone off, right there in the bulk food aisle. I was witness to something I’d heard of, yet never seen before. There was a child, 5 or 6 years of age, screaming at the top of his lungs, to anyone who would listen.
I suspect he was disappointed that he was not getting his way about something grocery related. Flailing arms, jumping, yelling and incoherent monologue. A big explosion in such a small package.
Some of the other store customers noticed. How could they not? One woman assumed this “poor child” was the victim of some indiscretion that was completely the fault of his guardian. A man walked by, oblivious to the tantrum, save for the occasional glance in the child’s direction, in an attempt to source his groceries on the shelf behind the action.
The experience brought me right back to my own childhood. As a kid, I was often depressed and unhappy. This depression lasted for years into my mid 30s.
I used to think that there was some drug I could take to make me feel better. Anti-depressants. Zoloft always sounded good to me. If I take this little pill, presto! I’m cured! I’m no longer a permanent soggy diaper. I’m this happy, cheerful person. New and improved. Just like on TV.
The drugs didn’t help. Apparently one actually has to take drugs first in order for them to be effective. Wishful thinking doesn’t come in prescription strength. Apathy however comes over the counter. The deli counter. The lunch counter. The bakery counter. Food was my drug.
Not just any food either. The good stuff. You know; bread, cheese, tomatoes, garlic & onions. There was milk and ice cream and butter. And then there was sugar. Good old refined sugar. And fried anything. Juicy and drippy with fat.
I don’t know if anyone has ever committed suicide with a pizza before, but I think I came close on a couple of occasions. Good old Johnny’s 2 for 1. The pizza box saturated by grease, if I chose to eat it, would have been less traumatic on my digestive system and probably just as tasty. Heartburn and gas was a regular occurrence for me.
It wasn’t until I was 35 that I started to truly see the connection between my intolerance to certain foods and my level of happiness. Somewhere along the way I learned that if I avoid certain foods, I avoid certain reactions such as depression and grumpiness not to mention brain fog or other negative mental afflictions.
So what sort of drugs am I taking these days? Some call it vegan. Others call it raw food vegan. I choose to call it a whole foods plant based diet. No depression. No grumpiness. Just a happy man.