Recovery is a sticky wicket. Of course, I would have to look up just precisely what a wicket is, but I am sure, it is, indeed, sticky. Recovery from carbohydrate addiction is unpleasant at best. I have spent the past ten years, the time since my RNY gastric bypass, thinking about food. Re-thinking food. Thinking about how food can solve my first world problems. You know what the answer is? Hunger. The only problem food solves is hunger. And you feel just as full after eating something healthy as you would eating something not healthy. Full feels the same.
Now, the bigger issue, if your head is hungry, if your heart is empty, if your soul is aching, those are other problems. Food will not fill those empty holes. Nor will drugs, alcohol, sex, or shopping. OK, maybe shopping will. I am still willing to give that a go.
I have, within the past three weeks, actively turned my food addiction into a new quest. I have been most fortunate to have a person in my life who knows better than I do. His name is Paul and he accepts no bullshit from me. That is good because I am quite full of it. I can rationalize my way into a a pizza parlor at such a rate. Even I am amazed at what I hear myself say regarding why I did such and such with food.
Paul is 12 years sober and is guiding me through the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am now taking those steps and applying it toward food addiction. I have admitted I am powerless over food. Just today, I discovered I am actually powerless. There are so few events over which I am in control, I really don’t know why I spent so much time trying to control them. My type A personality will get the best of me. I cannot control my mouth, my friends, my children, I can barely park the car.
I never really took to alcohol because to really do it right, in my mind, you would have to get drunk. And I just didn’t like to give up my control. Instead I chose to give up my control to food. Which meant I could still waddle a straight line. But really, when it came down to it, I was still and am still powerless.
Today, as I was out of my mind, I was crazed in the kitchen. Instead of a handful of chocolate chips I grabbed sweet peppers and hummus. Full is full. I had a few bites and the crazy “I have to eats” went away.
If it were not for the constancy of Paul I don’t know what I would do. I can hear his voice in my head. If I want something so badly, try setting a timer, he suggested. He has made himself available to me in times of great distress. And even I can find a way to not grasp the simplicity of that commitment. He does not judge. He does not control. He just suggests and guides. Regarding the timer he says, see if you can last minute by minute, hour by hour. That goes the same for any addiction. Those minutes and hours add up to days, and eventually, years. I have already lost 5 pounds since I started going through this process with him.
Now, as to your addiction, well, you can find your own Paul. Believe me, you are bound to find someone who knows their 12 step program and will actively guide you through it. Let me tell you this, it takes immense trust, commitment, faith (in yourself, your sponsor, and whatever you perceive as a higher power), hope, and acceptance. It is a grueling process. But, honestly, has anything else healed your internal wounds?
Is everything perfect for me today? No. But I can sleep tonight knowing that I have not eaten bread or cookies or chips or any other trigger foods for me. And each day I don’t eat them, is another day I beat them.