I think back to being little and going to a restaurant with my mom. A server would come and ask if we would like to start with an appetizer. We would generally say yes. Getting to eat something to eat before the actual meal was just one of the perks of eating out. And once we were done eating our meal the server would come back and ask if we would like dessert. My mom would usually defer to me and what child would say no to something sweet? Since most restaurants follow the same 3 course model this quickly became ingrained into my mind as what you were supposed to do. I didn’t realize that was going to result in a long-term need to eat constantly otherwise I would feel anxiety over when I was eating next.
To understand what drives addiction you first have to understand what you get from it. In my case it is comfort. When I’m sad or even bored eating has made me feel better. There is something that triggers in my mind when I’m eating. The first bite is always the best. And the next bites are almost as good until what I’m eating is halfway finished. At that point I start to feel a little sad that the experience is almost over. When I take the last bite I am usually at my lowest for a couple of reasons. That thing I liked is gone and I’m already thinking about when I’m going to eat next. If what I was eating is high on calories I also start to feel remorseful over what I just consumed. Sometimes I even cry.
When a person is being treated for addiction he or she has to come to terms with the fact that whatever substance is being recovered from it can no longer be consumed. You can live your entire life without drinking alcohol, smoking, etc but you can’t live without food. That means that everyday I have to put the exact thing into my body that helps it run and has the potential to ruin it. Continuing to find a balance between fueling my body and allowing myself an indulgence every now and then is something I am currently struggling with. I am having a lot of good days but at times I revert back to old habits. I love getting recommendations on healthy snacks and easy to prepare meals so keep them coming! Until next time.