Over the past couple weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about food addictions, particularly sugar, in the sober blogging community. It seems like most of us in recovery continue to struggle with our addictions in some form or another despite giving up our “main” addiction.
When I first got sober, I craved sugar. Not like “Oh, I kind of feel like something sweet,” but like “I NEED something sweet NOW!” Chocolate cake was my friend along with ice cream, candy – really, whatever I could get my hands on. It was the first time I had ever experienced food as a form of addiction. In fact, before getting sober I didn’t even really like sweets. Little did I realize at the time, that I was getting my “fix” and then some through all the wine I was drinking!
My “sweet tooth” has subsided since first getting sober, but I know it’s something many of us continue to struggle with. Before getting sober, I never looked at food addiction as a REAL addiction. Basically, I just thought fat people were fat because they liked food too much and couldn’t control themselves. I mean, come on, how hard is it to just shut the refrigerator door or not eat that extra helping of ice cream?
Of course, that would be the same thing as someone asking me, “Why can’t you just have one drink?” or “Do you really have to finish that WHOLE bottle of wine?” I was ignorant and judgmental.
As Heather from At The Picket Fence says, “addiction is addiction.”
Heather, along with her sister Vanessa (who is a dear friend of mine), co-authors a wonderful lifestyle blog called At The Picket Fence. While their posts usually center on DIY projects, parties and decorating, Heather recently posted her very personal and honest story about food addiction and what she’s doing about it.
As I read Heather’s story, I was struck by the similarities between her addiction to food and mine to alcohol. She says, “I eat when I’m happy; I eat when I’m sad. I eat when I’m stressed. I eat to celebrate, I eat to mourn…and occasionally I eat for sustenance.” Just replace “eat” with “drink” and you would have my story. It’s that simple. Addition is addiction.
I continue to be amazed and grateful to people like Heather who open their hearts and souls in an effort to help others. Her honesty is refreshing and much needed in a culture of addiction that is often based on secrecy and deceit.
Thank you, Heather. For more of Heather’s story you can go here.