You don’t know, what you don’t know.
I had an inclination that I may have an issue with sugar and it robbed my mind and my body and my relationships for the past 33 years. I had a coach say to me, “What if the life you want is on the other side of SUGAR?” It blew my whole mind and I immediately went into denial. No fucking way could I go without sugar. I had gone a day or two but for the most part it ruled my life, my mind and my relationships. After pondering on this idea for 3+ months I decided to try it. I made the decision to see what it would be like for 1 year.
I had no idea all of the shit I would uncover on the other side. In this addiction I had to confront the life and lies I had been living.
Sugar is the covers that I get to hide under when the big-bad-monster is under my bed. Sugar is the the momentary night light that puts everything at ease. When any anxiety, fear, or stress would show up in my adult life it was normal for me inhale in mass quantities brownies, cookies, chocolate, ice cream etc. The uncomfortable feelings would subside and when they would rise back up another bite was available.
Stress. Dopamine. Fear. Dopamine. Anxiety. Dopamine.
For the majority of the time I have succumb to my sugar addiction it has been in private, alone and hidden. MOST people in my life have never known or detected this secret part of my life. My family only knowns because they have been witness to the “missing” sweets. Most of all of my sugar consumption happen(ed) when I was alone, in my car, late at night, after I left an event or in the corner on the way to the bathroom at a party. Only trace to be found was the pockets full of empty candy wrappers, miles on my car spent on late-night scavenger hunts across town to fulfill a craving or the cookie monster confessions.
Choosing to go without sugar was choosing to walk into a dark room filled with all the dark emotions I hadn’t delt with. In this new dark room I had to rely on all my other senses. I had to find a voice that had never been used. Eating sugar basically allowed me to lie that everything was “okay.” Without it I found myself digging my heels in and having all of the difficult conversations.
My boyfriend that I have known for 3 years at this point, never even knew about my addiction. After 14 days of sobriety I confessed. he was so confused and didn’t understand how he could have never known. I let him know that the addiction and the uncomfortable portions of f my life don’t show up when I am in his presence. it is when he or someone else or ANYONE else is not around. The blanket of security shows up when I need to be rescued from myself. It is easier to eat pain and cover it up than it is to deal with it. It is easier to go to my vice than expereince loneliness, disappointment, anxiety, fear, saddness, worthlessness or the other assorted emotions I have been avoiding most of my life.
The sugar gave me a cloak of deception. Instead of dealing with the things in my life, I would slip my cloak on and everything would be “fine.” It is also why I have been agreeable in relationships and when the shit hits the fan, it is years worth of pain that hasn’t been resolved or dealt with. Much of the pain could have been subsided with dealing with the issue at the time but, in my brain, it was easier to cover it up and be silent.
Why choose to share this? If there is one person out there that can potentially see themselves on the other-side of their vice I want them to know it is worth it. It is not easy but it is worth it, to be the person you want to be for the people in your life.
On the other side of addiction is your entire life.
Learning to be comfortable in the uncomfortable is not easy.
It is worth it.
There is a lot less chatter on this side. My mind is calmer. I am saving money. The people in my life have let me know that I am a sweeter human. They say that in the past if they asked me a questions I was harsh and everything seemed to be an inconvenience. Who I am today, with the people in my life, is equally bold and able to experience mercy. I find that I like myself more, I am more comfortable in my skin. I am able to be present. My skin is clearer. I can make decisions more rationally because they are no longer coming through the filter of when I will be able to get to my next “fix.”
When it comes to conflict, now that sugar is no longer an “available” solution to scapegoat to, it took some practice but my conflict resolution is growing. When something upsetting happens, I have other tools, at my disposal, to calm my mind and determine an action step.
Some of the tools I have found useful:
- Reading a motivational book.
- Creating a plan and talking about the guidelines with the people in my life.
- The avert action – a physical movement you can do in order to change the state of the body and in result change the chemistry of the body.
How I did it.
First of all I went cold turkey from Thanksgiving all the way through March 23rd. Covid-19 hit and I ate a box of cookies in the parking lot of Costco. I told myself it was only one box. I was consuming much less sugar between March and September and yet it slowly increased and resulted in the same hidden binges that plagued me for so many years. On a Thursday evening, after a heavy day where I had a difficult conversation with my father I drove to 3 separate gas stations and there wasn’t a cookie, donut, puppy chow or chocolate covered pretzel that could subside my anxiety, hurt and panic.
The next morning I walked into a breathwork certification class full of pain, anger, hurt, disappointment, and shame. I decided this would not be my future and I was going to use the next 3 days to pull apart my subconscious mind and understand this addiction and see what it had to say to my soul.
The information my soul and subconscious mind gave me through breathwork changed my life.
Fire Breathwork Session:
In this session I was instructed to breath with the flame and allow it to speak to me. The flame was calm and strong the entire 40 minute meditation breathwork session. The information I downloaded in this session was “The flame is your truth. As long as you are honest and truthful nothing can disturb your flame. The light inside of you burns bright. Bullies, disruption, anxiety, stress, relationships, heartache are all going to come for you. As long as you are steady and truthful nothing will dull your flame.”
Trauma Breathwork Session:
This session is where everything was unveiled and my life would never be the same. In the beginning of the session my guide asked my subconscious to “taste” sugar and see what it would do for my body. In that request, all of a sudden I couldn’t breathe. All of my cells were starving for oxygen. Next my guide asked me to meet sugar and see what he had to say. A dark figure with a white helmet entered my mind. He came into my mouth and swopped through all of my cells with a candle snuffer and put out every single truth candle I had burning in every cell. I asked sugar who he was and he said “I am the cloak of deception.” Sugar, the cloak of deception and his job was to make sure that the life I was living was a lie. No ability to have truth when sugar is in my system. I was to ask him what he wanted me to know and this dark figure said, “If you want any relationship in your life, you cannot have any relationship with me. I will always win and your relationships will always be a lie when I am in your system.” This scared me. I want nothing more in this world than to be in a powerful relationship and I learned that I already was in one. I was in a relationship with my addiction vs. the people in my life. The last question my guide asked me is to go back in time and remember the scenario that I first tasted sugar. The imagine I received was an adult in my life handed me a piece of sugar in order to silence me. This made so much sense of why and how the addiction started. So many times in order to keep myself quiet I would resort to sugar.
I now have been sugar free easily out of a big of fear and a bit of excitement again for over 30 days. I don’t know what the future holds and understanding and learning about addiction continues to show me sides of myself I never even knew existed much less had a “silent” program running in the background.
Books I have read so far on the topic:
- Bright Line Eating
- In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
It is one day at a time, allowing my brain to heal and create new pathways without the fixation of dopamine “hits”.
When difficult situations come up I write it down, experience it and then determine action steps.
I will continue to be vulnerable, I will continue to talk to my therapist, I will continue to be open with my partner.
Sugar, the addiction I didn’t even know plauged my entire life.