Some thoughts about addiction

Monday, February 03, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman's death has had me thinking about addiction, and how those of us who self-medicate with food are luckier than someone addicted to heroin. We injure our health slowly over a long period of time, but at least it's not going to kill us on the spot.

This weekend, about the same time Hoffman was embarking on his last drug binge, something went wrong inside me. I came home from work Friday evening with good intentions, but as the evening wore on I went over my range and then just kept going. This is not that unusual for me on a Friday night - I have an ongoing problem with wanting to unwind with food at the end of my workweek. (When I was younger I went out drinking and dancing on Fridays - at least I got exercise!) I try to plan and track special meals/treats, but it doesn't always work.

Then on Saturday I get up and get back on track. Always. Only this time I didn't. Sometime around midmorning I became aware that I was not willing to track my food any more that day, and it felt like the impulse was coming from a place too deep inside me to fight. I overate all day and into the night. I overate after I was full and it didn't feel good anymore and I wanted to stop. I just kept eating, like a robot. I finally fell asleep and woke in the middle of the night sweaty with indigestion and unable to get back to sleep. I had literally eaten myself sick.

Sunday I had lots of water, ate only vegetables and light protein, and am pretty much back to normal now. But it was startling to realize how much of an addict I still am.

Here I am walking around all limber from the gym (which I actually went to on Saturday!), looking better than I have in years, sporting my size 12s and inching into 10s/mediums, generally a pretty successful Sparker. And yet.

Was there something in the stars that day? I went to a dark place, but at least I was able to come back.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Addiction is so sad in all its forms.

    Kudos to you! for ending your eating session. It signals great progress!

    I have sessions like you describe periodically, too. I am always grateful that they don't go on for days and days. Spark people's influences snaps me out of it. It is a reminder that I have made progress but will probably always be a Works In Progess, like many. But there is excellent support here, and that helps me to meet my challenges.

    Yes, the back-to-back illness really knocked off my feet. I lost my second round and threw in the white towel. I had no energy left to fight my body's need for rest and healing. Today I am finally feeling better, am interested in eating healthier, and doing a little walking inside the house today for a bit of light workout to ease back into it for Sunday's push re Plan. My family said I should have used my netti pot (I was too lazy). I dunno....maybe that would have prevented this last bout of glop from overtaking me.

    Keep up the good work. I will join you in same, soon.

    1035 days ago
    No matter how hard we try, and how "clean" we try to be, I don't think food addicts like us will ever be completely free of our addiction.

    Before I retired, I always binged on the week-ends, attempting to relieve some of the stress of a demanding job and more demanding boss.

    When Peter and I were first married and having serious adjustment problems, I ate every time he went out. Ate, and hid the evidence.

    I still occasionally have times when I over-eat exactly as you described... robotically, beyond being full, and still eating.

    I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to have that kind of craving for alcohol or drugs. Not understanding, I still sometimes think that "they" should be able to stop... and that makes me ashamed when I realize that I am more like "them" than I want to admit.

    Thanks for your blog. It was well written and right on track. My thoughts and prayers are with Philip Seymour Hoffman's family, especially his children, who will have to grow up without a father.

    Gail emoticon
    1038 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/3/2014 2:17:01 PM
    KD, as you know I use food to medicate also. I see this just as deadly as hard drugs, alcohol, sex addiction, etc. Same problem different form.

    Our addictions are triggered with our successes. Plain and simple. Always happens. Most people would blame others, or God, etc. We don't.

    The dark spot you were talking about was the uncovering of the subconscious mind where the ugliness we hang onto resides and pulls the strings of our lives. Good news: also within the subconscious mind is the opposite: unconditional Love, Peace and Joy. We MUST go through the darkness into the Truth within.

    It takes a while before we get the process down pat, but it is doable and it is worth it.
    1038 days ago
    emoticon Good Job getting back on track quickly!
    emoticon I once hesitated to call Overeating an Addiction, but I have come to understand that it really IS very much the Same Thing as any other Addivyion. Watching the News Reports this morning about Phillip Hoffman's death, I was struck again by the similarities . We may not die with a Fork in our hand, but if we do not continue to be "Ever Vigilant" we may very well meet much the same end as any Drug or Alcohol Addict faces.
    1038 days ago
    It's a wake-up call for sure. Our eating is, indeed, an addiction. I will testify to that. But once an addict, always an addict. Just perhaps not an active addict. Perhaps one who is able to fight it daily. But it is always there, teasing and tempting, if we allow it to take over. I quit smoking cigarettes on January 15, 1976. I remember the date always. And even today I am on occasion tempted to smoke a cigarette! It is the one thing I have strength to stay away from, because I KNOW it is an addiction and will get me again. But we cannot stay away from food altogether.

    I'm so glad you are in the place you are, because I know the long, hard fight you have put up and how much you have conquered. I know you are back again from that scary place...now keep on looking and feeling good!
    1038 days ago
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