I haven’t written about my food addiction in a long time. There’s a very good reason for that. I’m done. I’ve finally, after 35+ years, got the demon under my command. The demon that consumed my every waking moment. As with all addicts, it will always be part of my life, but right now, at this moment, I control it, rather than it controlling me.
It wasn’t easy. It took some massive soul searching, many dark nights of the soul, and finally some decisions others might refer to as drastic, followed by deliberate action, with the knowledge that I deserve better. It’s been the most interesting and life changing six months of my life and today I’m fitter and healthier than I have been since my teens. I saved my life.
My food addiction had begun to impact on my health in a variety of ways; fatty liver, fatty pancreas, both of which eventually would lead to diabetes and potentially cirrhosis of the liver. I was often tired, lived with constant pain and had a myriad of issues as a result of the excess weight I carried and continue to gain as time went on. I felt powerless to change, and had tried everything. And I do mean everything.
Over the years I have lost, gained, lost, gained, lost and gained again more times than I can possibly count. I have written about this many times, there’s a whole section dedicated to addiction on this blog. At this moment I’m actually a healthy weight for my height. I look and feel good and sometimes don’t even recognise the person I see reflected back at me in the mirror or in photos. This is not about weight and never has been. It’s about addiction, but the side effect of food addiction is obvious.
The behaviour associated with my addiction held a lot of shame for me and it was something I never spoke openly about until about a year ago when I started this blog. I mean, I’m an intelligent woman, confident and professional and I was completely cognisant of what I was doing. It seemed so incongruent with every other aspect of my life, but addiction is addiction.
Writing about my addiction and talking openly with others was the beginning of my healing. It was the most difficult thing I had ever done and the rawness and vulnerability I felt was excruciating to begin with. However the more I spoke about it, the easier it got and my healing began.
I was talking with a soul sista yesterday who is identical to me in every way. She is the first person I ever met who got me, really got me and had done all of the things I’d done and felt the things I’d felt. I was telling her that I felt like writing a book about living with this addiction, it would have to be fictional but with my story behind it. I would need to make it fictional as some of my thoughts and actions would be too painful and embarrassing to share as a non fiction book. At least if it was fiction, people wouldn’t be sure which parts were true.
She said something that surprised me. She reminded me of how greatly my life had changed and how much I’d moved on. I had left the beast behind, why not keep running and leave it further behind, and continue to enjoy the freedom of living without it? Why rehash it again, when for the first time since I was 14, I was free of the daily thoughts, torture and anguish it caused me?
She was right. I have moved on. The beast is lagging way behind me now, and I am controlling this demon that ruled my life. I am free, unburdened and lighter than ever, in every sense of the word.
If you have an addiction, no matter what it is, please know that you are not alone. Addiction shows up in many ways and for a variety of reasons, too many to discuss in this short post. But it is very very real.
Please seek help. Please take whatever steps you need to take and do whatever you can to overcome the demon and live your life to the fullest. Please don’t let one more day pass without embracing the amazing human being that you are and living your life free of the burdens this life sapping monster brings with it.
You deserve it.