I Am Addicted To Cake

I’ve been sober from Phentermine for over 4 years. I even went on the Dr. Oz Show last January and talked about it. Additionally, I have not had so much as a sip of alcohol since February 26, 2017. My 4-year sober birthday is coming up soon.

Those substances are no longer a pressing problem in my life, because I work really hard in recovery to stay sober. However, as I’ve shared before in other pieces scattered all over the internet, addiction is like playing an endless game of Whack-A-Mole. Just when I think I’m finally doing well, another problem appears. This time (well, probably all along, but I need to lie to myself right now so just go with it), the issue is food.

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

My inability to lose weight is a constant source of stress and shame because I have never quite been able to do it, despite the fact that I have tried almost everything and I am an extremely diligent student. I have starved, purged, diet pilled, ketoed, Plexused, Herba-Lifed, cut out food groups, fasted, and prayed, but by far my favorite diet was the one where I mostly just drank a lot of alcohol, and we all know where that got me.

I’m not obese (yet), but trust me when I tell you that there is a 400-pound woman inside me who screams very loudly about wanting MOAR. She pops up anytime I’m having a feeling. It doesn’t matter what kind — it could be horror or elation, boredom or anxiety, and this chick yells at me COOKIES WILL MAKE YOU FEEL NOTHING and she’s correct. It works, even if it’s just for a moment.

The problem is me and my inability to cope with feeling shit. Because no matter how numbing eating an entire box of granola can be, the self-loathing, acid refluxy disgust that inevitably shows up afterwards is one hundred times worse than the feeling I was eating to escape from.

I’ve been in therapy for years. I have worked the twelve steps multiple times. I have shared intimate details of my life and written out my deepest, darkest fears and I have burned letters to people who have hurt me. I’ve hired the most badass personal trainer in town and I’ve done the things and I buy the food.

That 400 pound lady wants me to eat myself into an early grave. She has no interest in leafy greens. That bitch wants her carbs and she wants the ones that come from a box or a drive-thru.

I’m sick of her shit.

Photo by Justin Campbell on Unsplash

Next week, my son is going to start an Intensive Outpatient Program, otherwise known as group therapy, three days a week for two hours, and I’m required to attend a group therapy for Parents Who Are Raising Kids Who Attempt To Self Harm (I made that name up myself) one day per week. My other son is starting Occupational Therapy so he can learn how to, and I am quoting a Psychologist here, “learn body awareness.”

That is a lot of fucking therapy.

Yesterday was my husband’s 39th birthday. As we sat in a mostly-empty restaurant, I went from politely sipping French Onion soup to ranting in a hushed but angry voice.

I do not want to have two sponsors, two programs, a therapist, a personal trainer, AND A GROUP THERAPIST. Seriously, how fucked up am I to need that many people in my life to get myself straightened out? Am I really that bad off, or am I just determined to get better?

He never replied, really, probably because he doesn’t know the answer — but he did laugh at me, gently and supportively like a person does when they’re proud.

When we got home, he packed up the remainder of his birthday cake(s), yes, there were more than one, and sent them home with my mother-in-law. Did he do that so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat them?

He would never, ever admit it. But I‘m almost certain that is why he gave it all away, and when this dawned on me much later, I experienced a feeling that I did not have the urge to escape from.

It was the absence of guilt for allowing another person to care for me and about me.

Damn.

So, I guess I’ll stop feeling embarrassed for needing a literal army of support, because it turns out that I actually DO need all of those people. I’m making progress. I’m allowing my husband to love me, finally, after almost 16 years of marriage.

Writer, mother, and recovering alcoholic living in the Deep South.

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