I cannot believe how much I hated it. I detested this thing that had subtly seized my mind from a very young age and was still today successfully robbing my joy, my choice, and most importantly for me, my freedom. It took me years to not just name this thing but admit to its presence as it would classify me as broken. Admitting that I was a Food Addict would mean that I was not that good girl I was supposed to be. Today, I can happily say, damn it, I am an addict.
Food has been my comfort sole provider for more years than I care to admit. It saved me through my challenging childhood, my self-developing college years, my difficult marriage, and my husband’s death. Today it still lives within me, and I can honestly say that I have constantly loathed it. It has managed to strip my happiness and self-trust, while deteriorating my confidence in making right food choices myself. There have been times that the thought of wanting a cupcake had brought me more anxiety than finals week at your local university.
In my lifetime, I have practiced two major behavioral patterns: bingeing, or following a diet plan (at times, even simultaneously). I have yo-yoed between an obscene amount of weight, and I have lost at least 150 pounds from my heaviest to my lightest. I have been a carb free eater, a vegetarian, and a gluten free follower. I have started and stopped a vast amount of diets, and albeit some were temporarily successful, none managed to end my addiction.
Then one day I just stopped. I became tired of believing all the external sources for ridding myself of my weight and my addiction. That’s when I decided never to diet again, of course, this decision shot my fear level off the spectrum. But NOTHING I was doing was working, and I had stepped into this emotionally and psychologically unhealthy roller coaster that was taking me for a ride. I decided to get off the ride.
I realized that so many years of hating my
had actually caused me to hate myself.
I lived in a world of guilt, shame and frustration that lead me to believe that I had to be fixed. But, I didn’t know what to do. How would I step away from something that was and still is embedded in my being, something that had helped me through some of the most stressful times in my life? I, however, craved freedom to make my own choices without that voice in my head telling me what to do. I was ready for that freedom from addiction and the return to ME.
It is then that I made a huge discovery. Great self-reflection made me aware of the patterns of hate I was following. I never hated others, but I did hate myself. It occurred to me that the things I wanted in my life such as self-acceptance, freedom, peace, kindness, and patience can only be derived from love, not hate. Yet hate was my inner guide. I had no balance for a healthy mind, body, and spirit experience. My negative thoughts and that nagging voice in my head were leading me away from the love adventure I knew I wanted. I then understood that my addiction had nothing to do with that cupcake I craved and stressed over, but my desire to find myself. My addiction was not a bad choice, bad luck, or a mistake. It was my way to freedom, my path to self, and my return to love.
I am learning to love my addiction
and in return, love myself.
It is part of who I am, but it no longer dictates what I do. I am coming home. I am creating beautiful things with the natural talents within me, without any dictation from my addiction. I am bringing back inner trust knowing I can eat that cupcake without guilt or shame and trusting that I won’t need another one in an hour. I am being gentle with myself and staying here in the present moment with the confidence that I can handle whatever comes my way without having to escape into a hot fudge sundae. I love myself, with my imperfect body, my beautiful dreams and my loving soul. I feel lighter, not because of my weight, but because I am discarding all thoughts that are not of love, harvesting a quieter mind.
I am not broken. I am an addict but my addiction is a gift, my path to myself. My life is a day by day event, and although I encounter very strong obstacles, my newly found love will overcome my lifetime fear. I have been blessed with the right people and the right tools to guide me to the balance I was born with and deserving of. I have learned that in the darkest moments of our lives exists the capacity for us to shine the brightest.
(c)Voce di Maribella, 2015