What defines an addiction? Is it something we think is wrong or dirty? A moral or failure of self control? Does if have to be against the law? I’m sure most would say no but still judge others depending on what the addiction is. But think about it, at the core all addictions are equal, the only difference is what society deems as ok. However, most of the ones society scorns, are literally the hardest to battle due to its actual chemical effect on the brain. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I fight everyday to understand my daughters struggle. Why can’t she just let us help? Why can’t she just walk away? Why doesn’t she want better for herself? The answer isn’t simple I’m sure but more importantly, I can’t cast stones on how she deals because I have addictions that may not be against the law but are or can be entirely destructive.
I, like many people, love to eat. Over the last 9 months my weight has climbed. Now don’t roll your yes at me, we’ve covered this before. My weight is just one component of my obsessive personality. I know rationally I’m not fat but I’m not comfortable. One of my addictions is food and how it makes me feel. Have you ever eaten something that as soon as it hits your tongue you are in heaven. Your eyes roll back in your head and you savor it until you can take that next bite and then the next. The feeling of sadness when it’s all gone. The thought of if you should get another serving and if it’s all gone the disappointment? Or when you know you’re getting your favorite food how the smells and sights and even the idea illicit very physical reactions of happiness and excitement. I recently realized I’m most likely no different than Bailey and her heroin addiction. I’m sure she feels all the same things except when her body doesn’t get it, she feels more than disappointment. She vomits, has diarrhea and her nerves are in over drive. She can’t rest or relax. She’s living a nightmare.
Yea I know. No one forced her to do heroin. But no one forced me to eat that bag of chips either. Lays even uses addiction as a tag line. ” No one can eat just one”. Since I’m conventionally thin, when I overeat, people laugh or say it’s ok, I could use the weight. But why is it ok? It’s not healthy. I don’t need a bag of chips to live. I ate it because I have no self control and I wanted to. I didn’t succumb to their salty goodness because the lack of eating them was making me sick nor did I feel like I was crawling out of my skin but because I wanted them until there were none left. So who is weaker? The person who can’t pass up a cupcake or the person who relapsed back into their heroin addiction?
I’m not making light or excusing the issue at hand. I’m terrified of what might happen and what she loses each day. However, I’m trying to empathize so I can support her in the right ways and let her know I love her beyond measure. In an act of self care but also support of the best thing I ever did, I am starting a new eating lifestyle. My Aunt Sandy sent me a book about eating and how it effects your mind. One thing is obvious, I’m a sugar addict. Therefore I am pledging to follow the plan of no processed food, keeping a food journal and limiting sugar. It won’t be easy. In fact, it will suck. Many things do but I will try to remember I’m going to teach by example. Heroin and chocolate may not be equal in many ways but both can be fatal (different ways and different time frames). I’m a hypocrite in many ways but I’m planning to kick my addiction once and for all.
I hope you can read this and show some compassion and perhaps judge a little less. Look in the mirror and think about giving up the one thing that brings you happiness or peace. Knowing you can never eat chocolate again or smoke or have a beer. That you have to avoid the candy aisle or you can’t watch football with your friends because they can’t be your friends anymore. It sounds pretty shitty huh? That’s what heroin addicts have to do. How easily can you walk away from everything and everyone you know? It’s most likely much harder than we can imagine. It’s a road they have to travel alone. A decision only they can make. Think about it? Who are we to judge? All we can and should do is love.