I have 13 days of clean eating under my belt. (Not dieting!) That is much to celebrate at age 57 considering that I picked up my drug of choice at 3*. I’m going to mark this occasion by writing a bit of my story.
* I actually have a memory of climbing up on the kitchen counter at dawn while my parents were still asleep, to get a baby food jar of “vanilla custard” that was in the cupboard for my younger siblings. To feed myself, provide my own nourishment! To fill an empty spot inside?
I’ve spent over 5 decades treating myself to extra foodstuffs whenever however whatever. I’ve developed a whole catalogue of reasons/justifications to keep my DOC close by. At the same time I have collected big important compelling reasons to JUST QUIT alright?! Somehow I always quit the quitting, usually at the very first temptation to abandon the effort. The story of an addict.
In the last two weeks, the feeling of celebration hasn’t been my experience so far….. more like grumpiness, needing much quiet time alone reflecting & journaling, feeling a bit lost, more bitchiness, and then feeling a LOT lost: I had my very 1st ever existential crisis the other day. I was up until 1:00 a.m. in my bathtub very disturbed and crying because I don’t understand why humans are in bodies on the earth! (I admit I am amused that after walking away from numbing myself with substances, the Big Questions of Life come up? That’s why I became a compulsive overeater? Because I couldn’t handle not having all the wisdom in the world? Ha! It makes me look so deep.)
I call my clean eating being sober with food because I relate to the recovering alcoholics and drug addicts more than I do the dieters and exercisers. I’ve made myself so dizzy with weigh-ins and the likes of various combinations of macronutrients and micronutrients that I just couldn’t buy into it as a solution for FREEDOM anymore. The recovery community I have recently found online has inspired me.
One writer in particular, Kristi Coulter, and a particular entry in her blog offdry.com guided me to the point of, oh, I get it, I can stop overeating whether I WANT to or not. Kristin wrote: “In the end, the way I stopped was by actually stopping” and “And now I didn’t give a fuck about the want. Now I only cared about killing the yes.” (the yes to using when the desire arises once more).
These statements and her story had a huge impact on me, and as a result I am feeling a real freedom from my addiction to extra food for the first time in my life. (No. I did capture some “abstinence” in OA once back in my early 40’s. Maybe a couple months worth? I don’t remember exactly. It didn’t last. I’ve been over 200 lbs on a 5’4″ frame since then). I have made a very clear line about what is and is not overeating for me — and because IMHO this is a highly individual aspect of one’s recovery — I’m not going to share about that at this point. Suffice it to say, I have remained in my clean eating zone, and happily with relative ease…. no white knuckling it so far. I’m grateful for that.
Will this sobriety-with-food last? Who knows? Stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted. For now, help me celebrate 2 weeks.