I have written about my food addiction here before, and as hard as it was to do, it felt good to own it.
Owning it and doing something about it are two different things. This is where I struggle. I am an incredibly intelligent woman. I am cognisant of my thoughts and behaviour and consider myself to be highly emotionally intelligent. Why oh why then can’t I get a grip on this monster that consumes me, my thoughts, actions and the sometimes devastating consequences that occur as a result? I have been playing this yoyo game for over 35 years and I am so fucking tired.
I can think back to so many points in my life where I have had what I thought were lightbulb moments, and they were at the time. The lightbulb just didn’t stay on for long enough. I could list literally dozens of them, and I will do that another day. I truly thought last year when I identified, said and owned the word addict for the first time, after taking a client to an AA meeting and then going to a few OA meetings that I was on the right path. I thought the diagnosis of non alcoholic fatty liver disease and fatty pancreas, which could have devastating consequences for me would have been it. Somehow these important health issues don’t stay in the forefront of my mind when I am faced with my drug of choice, or when things become uncomfortable or difficult. I don’t deal with uncomfortable moments – like ever. Numbing and distraction are my friends when anything becomes even slightly challenging.
I have managed on two occasions to make some semi sustainable changes and had amazing results. In 1998 I ate well, exercised and lost over 30 kilos and looked and felt incredible. The same happened the year I lived in Ghana between 2010 and 2011. Man I felt great. Threw out all of my fat clothes, because I was NEVER going to need them again. How wrong I was. Addiction is always there, waiting in the sidelines for the right moment to take it’s hold and suffocate me in it’s grip.
I was watching a documentary called Oxyana about a town of people addicted to pain medication and I was asking myself why they didn’t just do something about it, get into treatment, get help, something. I asked myself the same question. I don’t have an answer.
Yesterday I went to the gynaecologist and was told that I have a condition that is likely to require major surgery. This will have a significant effect on my ability to do certain work, the physical activities I can undertake and more. I asked her what caused it and amongst many things she said “not looking after yourself”. As a passing comment as she was seeing me off, she said “darling please try to lose some weight”, it will really help with this. She said it like I might say “let’s watch a movie”, just a straight up matter of fact statement.
As it should be.
For other people maybe.
Not for me.
So what did I do? Straight off to the supermarket I went for a custard tart and a packet of cheezels. I was so upset and depressed that I was immobilised for the rest of the afternoon and evening and all plans I had to be productive and get some important things done were forgotten. I ate crap for dinner and my darling husband looked over at me and asked me gently “my love is that a healthy dinner?”. This was after me moaning and complaining about my condition. Bless him. He can only be confused by the consistently inconsistent woman I am. Holier than though organic juicing vegan queen one minute, crap eating sugar loving mindless eating monster the next. Both of these versions of me can be present several times in one week, or sometimes the cycle is longer. One thing that is consistent is that I have never maintained the healthier choice version of me for any length of time for many years.
I know I feel so good when I eat well and I feel so shit when I don’t. It is just so easy to slip and one slip leads to another and before I know it I am mindlessly back in the misery of the addiction. At those times it doesn’t matter my size, health, future plans and goals. All that matters is the comfort that the carbs give me.
So here I am back at day one again. Today I was feeling incredibly fragile and my mental health wasn’t the best, but I did what I needed to do. I am studying and I almost wanted to leave the course at one point as I was not feeling good at all, but I stayed and I am so grateful that I did as I felt much better as the day went on.
So here I am, back to day one.
One day, one hour, one minute, one breath at a time.
As it will always need to be.
To be continued…..