“Megan, wow,” my friend said when she saw the salad on my plate. “You must really like sunflower seeds.”
I shrugged and shoveled the little morsels into my mouth.
I don’t really love sunflower seeds; I think the flowers are rather hideous. The seeds are good, of course, but not on the same level as, say, croutons or Shawn Mullins’ voice.
Without fail, though, at almost every meal I find myself eating away at a scoop or two of them. I am compelled by their nutritional value to consume as many as I can stand.
I confess I normally ignore that sort of thing. I don’t really care how much protein is in meat or how much calcium is in milk. I can’t really feel the effects of either, but sunflower seeds are different. Sunflower seeds are nature’s mood stabilizer, and I am an addict.
It all started this summer when I caught an online article about super foods. The article spoke of foods that could cure baldness, stop cancer, and fight mood swings big enough to flip a person inside-out. I had to learn more.
Wikipedia confirmed the validity of the article; I jumped in the car and bought my first bag of seeds. If I calculated it carefully, I bet I have eaten twice my weight in sunflower seeds since. I can’t stop.
Sometimes I lay awake at night, thinking about how many hours it will be until the seedy goodness can touch my lips again: only 10 more hours.
For months I denied my addiction. I could stop anytime. Why shouldn’t I eat them if they made me feel good? I stopped eating lunch with people who judged me and found a couple people who enjoyed the seeds as much as I did.
I finally admitted that I had a problem when I went to my friend’s house for the weekend. She did not have my stabilizer at her home and my supply quickly dried up. The moods came up. I was angry, sad, mad, deliriously happy, and hungry, all at once. I needed them.
After another day without my beloved seeds, I began to see the world for what it really was. I didn’t need the sunflower seeds to mask my reactions and to pacify me, I needed to feel my feeling and understand where they were coming from to truly understand myself.
It has been two months since my last seed. I feel great, I feel moody.