Endless Attempts to Fill the God-Shaped Void: "Drunkorexia"

In my book, "Redeemed from the Pit", I mistakenly identified C.S. Lewis as the originator of the quote "Inside every person, there is a God-shaped vacuum". (I have since learned that it was Blaise Pascal.) Regardless of who first said it, the validity of this statement is continuously borne out in the fallen world around us.

This week, I was notified of the following article, which discusses the campus trend of "drunkorexia" (the practice of deliberately getting intoxicated on an empty stomach, or habitually abusing alcohol while starving one's self of food.) This is not a new practice - forgoing food in favor of liquor is actually an old trick -- everyone knows that alcohol is absorbed more quickly when there is no food in the stomach. I just didn't realize it had a name. (Nor is it limited to college campuses - women long beyond university with both eating disorders and alcohol dependency regularly do this.)

The onlinecollege.org article begins:
At first, "drunkorexia" may sound like kind of a funny word, jokingly made up to describe a situation in which college students and others forgo food in order to be able to afford more alcohol and feel higher effects of alcohol on an empty stomach. But what some may brush off as crazy college-kid behavior is actually a serious problem that can have highly damaging consequences both in long- and short-term health. Of course, that hasn't stopped college students from engaging in this unhealthy trend, and a study at the University of Missouri-Columbia indicated that one in six students had practiced drunkorexia within the last year. Typically, drunkorexia is done by women; the study showed that three out of four drunkorexia respondents were female.
(Continue reading here.)

As I have often noted, eating disorders and drunkenness tend to go hand-in-hand. From a biblical perspective of human behavior, this should not surprise us: "lusts of the flesh" take many forms, and when one is weak in this area, self-control and moderation tend to break down in multiple ways. Additionally, as I point out in Chapter one of my own book, eating disorders engender so much shame and self-loathing that we often gravitate to alcohol as an anesthesia. When in the depths of bulimarexia and drunkenness myself, I used to rationalize that if something made me feel better [alcohol], even for a little while, I would happily use it.

Of course, no number of bottles will ever take the pain and shame away. (Just ask Amy Winehouse.) Only Jesus Christ can do that.

Starving yourself thin will never make you happy, improve your relationships, or, MOST importantly, meet your TRUE needs - forgiveness and intimacy with your Saviour. Seeking solace in alcohol compounds the problem, of course; but the fact that so many seek to fill this God-shaped void with poison testifies to how deep our human need is for God.

Whether you know Hi now or not, you will never be satisfied or find joy in anything less. You weren't designed to.

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