Life and Times of an Addict

“It’s ok, it’s just one.” Until it becomes ten, twenty, or more.

“You only live once;” using that logic, I should have lived fifty times by now!

“It’s only a small piece,” yeah, right!

You wouldn’t say that to a crack addict, would you? “It’s only one small toke.”

Why is it ok to enable a food addict in that way, then? Short answer, it isn’t!

Yet it’s an uphill battle for food addicts to try and explain this to enablers, which are many, and everywhere.

They’re not bad people, by any means. They’re friends, co-workers, family members. They might actually care about you, but they are so deep in denial they can’t quite see what they’re doing. That’s why it’s our job, as recovering addicts, to stand up for ourselves and not take the bait. That’s when you have to remind someone, lovingly that just because they can’t SEE something doesn’t mean it’s not there. Just because I hide most of my binge-eating behavior, reserved for those nights alone, sitting in front of the TV, doesn’t mean I’m not an addict. Trust me, I am.

By not standing up for myself and taking the bait I go right back into that endless spiral of self-soothing through food, then feeling guilt, shame or anger at sabotaging myself YET again, so then I eat to make it ‘all better’. If I make myself fat and sick all the time nobody can violate me again, right? If I eat enough and zone out while I’m doing it I won’t feel this pain, right? If I zone out in any way possible I won’t feel what I’m feeling, right? But eventually it all catches up, especially when you realize you’ve been sitting in front of the TV with Cheeto-stained hands and you’re not even sure where the bag of Cheetos came from, or have no clue you got to the bottom of that bag of Cheetos so damn fast. THAT’s when you know things have truly gotten out of control (ironic that they’re called Cheet-os, isn’t it?)

I knew that my binge eating had gotten out of control, so I decided to seek help. Since I’ve started recovery, just a few days in, I’ve been noticing this gnawing, empty feeling in my stomach, almost 24/7, and a lot of either anger, or pain. I know that the pain comes from a place deep within, beyond the solar plexus, and that much of it comes from grief at all the time I’ve spent fighting a battle with my own body.

Until I got to the point where feeling the feelings didn’t get quite so scary, at least the pain. Pain is something I am slowly becoming accustomed to. It’s not my FAVORITE emotion, but it’s one I am comfortable with for now.

Until I get every last ounce of pain out of my body and soul, I am learning to go through it, every last molecule.

But there is another emotion I haven’t yet allowed myself to feel fully- rage.

I am angry at my body when it doesn’t cooperate with me, and rebels. Yes, my body is literally rebelling against my attempts to get healthy and well. It fucking sucks, and I am so angry about it. I am angry when the bus is late. I am angry when someone cuts in front of me. I am angry at the sky. I’m angry that I have to work so hard just to live a happy, healthy life, and I was born with so many obstacles to achieving this goal. I’m not putting myself in the victim role; I’m just looking as objectively as I possibly can at why I have so much anger inside of me. It’s like an inflammation, literally and figuratively, and I know that it’s been causing me to act out by overeating. I believe it’s been causing other health problems for me as well.

I am hoping to one day be able to finally let go of all of this rage, grief and shame, but just like I couldn’t control or stop the sexual and ritual abuse growing up, I couldn’t avoid the fallout from it either. Trying to avoid it has led to this behavior in the first place. One day I hope to be free. ONE day. I am a work in progress. My name is Maya, and I am an addict. It’s not a joke, it’s the truth. My truth. I’m finally ready to own it.

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