Saturday night found me sitting at home on my own feeling wretched. My one bad day had morphed into a run of bad days. Confidently declaring I choose skinny, after pouring my heart out to you guys on Friday turned out to be nothing more than a bunch of words and a really strong statement of intent, you know? I believed it from the bottom of my soul as I tipped those words onto the page, but somehow the intent never got wired up to actually drive a turnaround in the way I was behaving. For that reason, Saturday had been day four of what felt like a freight train descending into anarchy.
From a position of food sobriety, I’ve often wondered how it’s possible to have both my head and my heart lined up behind a determination so strong that it could support the weight of a thousand cravings, only for me to watch it fall away to dust when I’m in the grip of an overwhelming need to eat shit, and lots of it. At the very moment that I’m pushing food into my face, I can hear the sound of my Asshole voice laughing hysterically, as he takes the piss out of my naivety in daring to believe I’d ever have the power to stop him in his tracks.
So. Two steps forward and ten steps back huh? If you’ve clocked my conversation with the Shitbird Scale this week, well. What can I tell you? That’s the aftermath of the last few days and it officially sucks. I had to reset the dial yesterday morning, and by some miracle I managed to pull a textbook day right out of the bag. Yesterday, happily, the Gods of Skinny were on my side.
As I laid my lazy arse back in that big fat armchair on Saturday night, I was catching up on one of my favourite medical dramas on the TV and the Psych doctor said something which struck a chord. He wasn’t talking about me, obviously, but in that moment when I was beating a path back and forth to the freezer eating one raspberry magnum ice-cream after another, he may as well have been. What he said was this…
Ironically relapse can be a very important part of recovery…it happens to most addicts at some point and it’s very often the utter misery of falling off the wagon that motivates those that suffer to finally get serious about staying sober.
Ain’t that the truth.
The only person rooting for me to keep on eating ice cream was Charlie dog, who always gets to lick the lolly stick so to be fair, although I feel sure in his little furry bonce he’d want the best for me, him rooting for me to stop would be a bit like turkeys voting for Christmas and on that basis I forgive him for egging me on.
Even as I ate those ice-cream lollies, one after the other, I didn’t really want them. I just felt compelled to have them. But the words spoken by Dr Whatever-his-name-was kind of stopped me in my tracks because I was miserable. Utterly fucking miserable. And somehow, for once I wasn’t easy in my own company. It was a lonely place. Just me, and the pile of lolly sticks sitting in the chair with a drooling dog at my feet. Some life, right? The thing is, it’s not my life.
It used to be, but it’s not any more. And in that moment, realisation dawned that I was just passing through. I wasn’t staying in that old life. I’d visited it, briefly – well not that fucking briefly if we’re splitting hairs – but it was as wretched as I ever remember it, and I wasn’t staying. No way Jose…it was time to come back. I practically sprinted.
If we’re looking for the learning opportunity here, it’s glaring me in the face. The moment I started messing with my food plan a few weeks ago coincided with my decision to just reintroduce a bit of sweet stuff into my diet…it doesn’t take Einstein to make the connection, does it? No refined sugar equals food sobriety with no binges and an inner peace. Reintroducing refined sugar on the other hand – even in small quantities – well, I’m right back to that combative broken relationship with anything that goes in my mouth.
So listen, I’ve been back to the dark side, and I’ve learned a lesson. To those of you who can achieve and maintain balance by eating a bit of what you fancy from time to time, well fair play to you and I’m more than a little bit envious of your self control. Me, I clearly don’t have the ability to control shit when I’m under the influence of sugar. I sort of knew that, based on the first four months of this year but like a true scientist I needed to prove the theory. And now I have.
So I can’t have it. And I’m not going to have it. This is day two of my refined-sugar-free food sobriety and tomorrow will be day three. Next week’s conversation with the shitbird scale will paint a different picture, and the horrors of this last week will become just one more scar amongst the motley collection which have opened and closed many times over the years.
My heart feels lighter already 🙂