October 10, 2014 by Beth Hess
Every town. Nearly every corner. Thousands of people in and out everyday. To fuel up their cars. Their bodies. Their addictions.
Strategically wrapped magazine covers. Cigarettes behind the counter. Coolers with ice-cold cans. Scratch your way to wealth. Candy bars in bright packaging.
Side by side. Pick your poison.
I hear it all the time. I’ve even said it myself.
“I’d rather be an alcoholic. Then I could just stop drinking. But with food… I still have to eat, you know.”
I now know that’s not only hugely disrespectful to addicts with attractions I don’t understand, but it’s also a cop-out. And a lie.
Alcoholics can’t stop drinking EVERYTHING. They have to give up alcohol.
Food addicts can’t stop drinking EVERYTHING. They have to give up sugar. Or chips. Or bread. Or eating out. Or eating past full. Or eating in secret. Or…
“But food temptations are everywhere. No event happens in America without food,” says the food addict.
I’m willing to bet that if beer is your vice, there are few social gatherings you attend that are alcohol-free. If you’ve been a drug addict for years, your regular hang outs probably offer that, too. Magazines at a buddy’s house. Checking lottery numbers with your friends.
ALL recovery is hard!!
No matter what you’re fighting (let’s not forget shopping, gossip, shoplifting, etc…) there are no easy answers. The actions that have to be taken are likely to turn things upside down. Your free time changes. Your behavior. Your default settings. Your language. Your friends.
Some people won’t understand. Some will think your recovery is a statement on your disapproval of their behavior. And it will hurt when you realize they may even be trying to sabotage your journey, so they can feel better about their own.
Getting — and staying — sober makes you different — in all the hardest of ways. Your routine. Your menu planning. Your lunches out with friends. Your contributions to potluck dinners. Your spending. Your…
And you’ll have to avoid buffets. And the office break room. And vending machines. And free samples. And the lollipop bowl at the bank.
And you’re angry at the lollipops even though you don’t like them.
And you still have to drive by Dunkin’ Donuts to get to and from your office every day.
And it will be hard. And you will wish it didn’t have to be this way. And you may even question if it’s worth it. And in some moments your honest assessment will be “No, it doesn’t feel worth it.”
And you will think that breaking into a million pieces seems like a very strange way to make your life whole.
But so many who have walked this before assure you it’s the only way. That letting go of yourself is the only way to find yourself again.
And believing them will be hard, too.
In response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well.
PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.