I suffer from pretty bad anxiety- I've been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. One of the reasons why I've become so overweight is that food calms me down. I've been medicating myself since childhood. I really started putting on weight when in fifth grade I moved to a different school. When no one would play with me at recess I'd just eat and eat. I'd steal money or food from my parents to take to school with me so that I could eat/buy sweets. I also stole food from school. Yep, I was quite the little criminal and it was all so I didn't have to feel anxiety related to change or my home life.
These days I practice meditation and mindfulness in order to get through anxiety. I talk to myself a lot. Instead of avoiding painful or negative feelings I try to face them and solve the problems that cause them. It's one day at a time but it's getting better.
My best friend got frustrated with me the other day. He's the person I go to when my world is falling apart. He got angry about something I did and said "when will you learn to stop hurting yourself?". I told him that three years ago- a year before he'd met me - I was a raging alcoholic. I could barely keep down food, didn't work, barely went to school. My body was covered in big ugly bruises because my liver had begun to fail. I had been drinking 12-18 drinks a night for a few years. I had no clue how to see to my needs or feel my feelings. I wouldn't solve any of my problems I'd just drink them away.
Progress happens. It's slow and painful, sometimes so slow you can't even see it happening. But it does happen if you work at it.
"Things are as they are. Looking out into it the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations." - Alan Watts