I have been fastidious about eating clean, keeping to my eating plan and doing all those things I needed to do except surrender. I have been in relapse mode for the past 2 weeks, I have been craving, obsessing and I know I have triggered my addiction, my allergy. My downfall is my ego and the space inside my head, I struggle with the concept of surrender, asking for help and being honest with myself and my emotions. It started 3 months ago, with cinnamon Altoids. For many this is not an issue for me this became a trigger, developing into a need to feed – I need to have something crunchy. It started with eating one every now and again to eating one regularly, when in my car, when at my desk then it became eating 3 at a time, finishing a box in 2 days and a general escalation a need developed. I also didn’t realize that need for crunch started triggering my cravings. I started thinking of other snacks, nuts, fantasizing about potato chips, fresh breads and other starches and really obsessing over food again.
This past Friday night at 9pm, I was 355 Days 21 hours before my 1 year clean looking forward to getting my medal. In fact I had mentioned this anniversary at home group meeting the week before. I was blase and almost arrogant, as though it was a given, so close – guaranteed? I relapsed 4 hours, 240 minutes before celebrating 1 year clean. The nature of my dis-ease is do detrimental and so severe that I hurt myself. I’m an addict, a compulsive overeater, my downfall is my disconnect between my head and my heart = my obsessive mind and my drug of choice.
Heid that’s so innocuous you say. Maybe but let me put it into perspective.
- I’m not hungry but I’ve developed a habit that went from counting cashews to eating a 5 oz bag every 2 days.
- Over the past few weeks I have been more irritable, disconnected and restless with extreme anxiety.
- Yes it’s protein but I have previously been hospitalized and almost died when my colon developed an ulcer and perforated from Diverticulitis.
- The past few times while indulging my impulses I haven’t enjoyed the food but I couldn’t stop. I was using food to self soothe it started with liking the affect, almost getting high, feeling good. Then it wasn’t feeling good anymore.
- After I fed my obsession, my compulsion I felt terrible, I was guilty and ashamed and I treated myself worse than I would ever treat anyone else. Psychologically I berated myself and I beat myself up.
- I spent Friday night, Sat, Sun and Monday in bed as I was in extreme pain and discomfort, praying to G-d to alleviate my pain and suffering and toying with the idea of going to the hospital. I’m now on an extreme course of antibiotics and still recovering.
- After this binge, I spent Saturday, Sunday and Monday remorseful. Feeling terrible, berating myself, feeling worthless, feeling ashamed.
- I didn’t ask for help or call anyone.
- I can’t do this on my own in my own way anymore.
- I needed help and I didn’t ask for help because I thought that it would make me less than, make me weak, make me vulnerable and open me up to hurt. So I took it on myself to become my worst enemy and hurt my best friend – me.
My problem is a disconnect of my head from my heart . This is not my first binge but it is my first real awakening, that my ego is a problem. I can’t keep doing things the way that I have in the past, relying on my feelings, relying on my reasoning, listening to me, my thoughts, my reasoning on my own without help. Honesty – if I was honest with myself I would have noticed the progression that’s happened over the past few weeks. I started snacking before going to sleep, my mind is so warped and my addiction so strong that I can justify to myself why that’s ok. Even though I’m wasn’t hungry, because I had eaten dinner not so long ago. Even though I didn’t want to but it becomes a need, a compulsion that I have to feed. With all addicts it’s a thought that starts as a whisper and ends up as an all consuming scream that I chose to feed. My head and heart are so disconnected that I felt compelled to start feeding my addiction, increasing my cravings and eating nuts as a snack before going to sleep. The truth is feelings are not facts, when there’s a battle of emotion over intellect my emotions win, my head lies to me to feed my addiction because I am an addict., I have momentary lapses of reason and that’s why I do crazy things. Why else would I do things to harm myself, think that it was okay and justify my actions and behavior afterwards. The question I have to face is do I want to be happy and healthy or right?
I always thought that being right made me happy how insane is that. I want to be happy and healthy and I promise you over the past few days I have not been either. In fact I’ve been miserable and sick. Being in recovery for me is the answer, being in program, asking for help, relying on a higher power other than myself to help restore me to sanity because experience and my past behaviors have shown me that I can’t do it on my own. Acknowledging that I’m not perfect nor do I need to be is key to regaining my health. It is my humanity that when I tap into it that helps my recovery. When I tap into what’s eating me – acknowledging out loud when I’m scared, anxious, unhappy, bored and discuss it with another human being is when I stop isolating and using. When I go to meetings, stay connected, use my food plan and tap into my higher power that I can stay free of obsession. Being spiritually connected is key for my recovery being truly grateful that I have been granted another day is truly a blessing and being kind to myself is essential.
I may not be perfect and I am disappointed that I couldn’t celebrate my one year clean. I fought back tears at the meeting on Monday night when I insisted on doing the coin presentation and congratulated a fellow addict on their 1 year clean but I am responsible for letting my ego get in the way and for picking up and for using. You see my relapse may not seem like a relapse to others but it was to me. What do you think? Heid E
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My mind is a minefield