Tonight is not a great night for my recovery from food addiction. Or maybe it's a great night because I'm learning some important things. Either way, I'm writing this as I eat candy. That's right, candy - if you think you recognize that from my [long-ass] list of trigger foods, you're absolutely right! I cannot control myself around candy. And I am not even trying to control myself right now.
Let me paint you a picture. Tonight I left work, had a quick meeting in Uptown, and then drove north to Skokie for an OA meeting at 7 pm. I had some time to kill, miraculously, and arrived at the meeting early, only to find out that it actually started at 7:30. If I hadn't already had to waste 30+ minutes at Lane Bryant, I might have been more willing to stick around, but I was already feeling kind of awkward (this would have been my first time at this particular meeting). I was also hungry, I think, since I ate lunch at 1 and hadn't eaten since, and my resistance was growing ever stronger. At first, I decided I would just wait in the car, maybe eat the package of raw almonds I keep in my work bag for emergencies. But as I walked out to the parking lot, I knew pretty much instantly that I was going to leave. I don't know how to explain the feeling, but I've had it before when it comes to overeating - it's like even though I don't want to eat compulsively, even though I am fighting against it, tooth and nail, it's already been decided for me. I'm going to do it.
Maybe that's where the "addiction" part of food addiction comes in. When I'm actively consuming these substances - sugar, high fructose corn syrup, saturated fats, simple carbohydrates - they are exerting negative influence on me and my judgment is impaired. I don't know if that's really a thing, but I'm hypothesizing here. For so many years, I've blamed myself for what I've perceived to be lapses in judgment. "I have no willpower," I've told myself. "I'm defective in some way."
I think I still believe that, to be honest. And the only thing that has a prayer of removing those incorrect thoughts from my mental lexicon is consistently going to OA meetings, finding a sponsor, developing a food plan, working my program. I'm just struggling so much. I want - and often feel I need - the comfort that food has to offer. It's what I'm used to, after all. Food has been getting the job done, no matter how sloppily and with how many negative consequences, for 15 years now. Furthermore, my thoughts and feelings of doubt and self-blame have been with me for just as long. How am I going to break free of all this?
At this point, I haven't been to an OA meeting in 10 days. WAY too long. I need to bite the bullet about so many things - like finding a sponsor! - but I'm scared and holding back and pushing against this healing process with all my might. In some addiction recovery programs, they say you have to cover your "ASS" - accountability, structure and support. I don't know that I have any of those three things covered as of right now. I need guidance, and I need to look for it in the right places. And those right places, in case you wondered, do not include the drive-thru at McDonald's.