Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Story of My Addiction

There is something so powerful about coming clean. I hated posting what I did yesterday. I hate admitting I'm out of control. Again. But, as they say, admitting to the problem is the first step. Problem is, I've been at this same step a million times before. And I've had minor successes. Once upon a time, I even had a major success managing to control my addiction for almost 2 years. But you know......in thinking back on that.....I don't believe it was at the level of addiction that it is now. I think it was a comfort, a craving and definitely a learned behavior.

When I was married (1998-2003), the biggest thing my XDH and I had in common was eating. Seriously. So it was just part of a lifestyle. It was probably dissociative in that all the problems "disappeared" when we were having fun stuffing our faces. When I started making progress in counseling, admitting how unhappy I was in the marriage and changing things about myself, I started a healthy eating plan and I stuck with it for over a year. In that time, I lost 100 pounds, left my XDH and moved back to my house-of-horrors. (My mother's house where alot of the abuse occurred) The plan was to live there for a few months while the divorce settled and I was able to financially regroup and then get a place of my own. And then....I found out I was pregnant. (Another story for another post.....)

I was the PILLAR of healthy eating during pregnancy. I knew I was at risk for Gestational Diabetes and so I was beyond conscious of every bite I put into my mouth. It seriously helped that I had only 2 cravings....steak and garlic hummus. Other than that.....I had aversions to nearly everything.....coffee, chocolate, ice cream, anything salty, anything fried or greasy, breads, seafood. I remember having a hysterical sobbing breakdown crying out that I was going to end up with a stupid baby because I could not eat fish and boost the Omega3s! Oh, pregnancy hormones....good times! I digress. So, after my DD was born, I weighed 10 pounds less than when I got pregnant!

But then came maternity leave. Here I was, with a 4 pound preemie, ordered to stay in the house with her for 3 months (due to high risk for respiratory infection) except for emergencies & Dr visits. And I'm in *THE* house. With my mother. With very little privacy. Sleep deprived. With a body full of post-partum hormones and a head full of questions, confusion, fear, nightmares. Now mind you....my mother is a "do-er". If there is anything she can DO for someone, she will bend over backwards. She is also a "feeder". She set me up to lean on food as a comfort. You're upset? Here, have some cookies. Tough day? Let's go get cheeseburgers and fries. Let's stuff those problems down and pretend they don't exist!

So....she did my shopping. She cooked for me. I had a fridge overflowing with food, every day. Not that I don't appreciate her contribution because I do. I don't know how I would have been able to do that by myself since DD demanded to be held 24/7. I learned to do alot of things one handed but I was not comfortable cooking with her in my arms. In any case......enter the return of dissociative eating. Every time DD woke up to eat, I'd have something too. Our days were spent basically eating, sleeping, watching TV. As a preemie, DD basically just finished gestation outside the womb. She did nothing more than eat and sleep on my chest for those first 2 months. Couldn't resist adding this, DD at 8 weeks old in her favorite hangout:

These were our days. Not interactive at all; at least not for more than a couple minutes and then...Zzzzzzz. I was bored out of my mind, watched more daytime TV than is good for any one person! I felt completely and totally isolated. Her father had abandoned us. Having a child, a daughter no less, certainly brought up loads of issues for me, emotionally.

I met the infamous XBF when DD was about 2 1/2 months old. It's no wonder I latched onto him the way I did. He was my "escape". Someone to talk to. Someone who promised to get us out of the situation we were in. Two weeks into knowing each other, we were planning a wedding. And I threw myself into him, supressing myself in the process.

By the time I went back to work 4 months later, I'd gained 15 pounds. And then after being back at work for a week, the women in my department decided to get me fired. Long story not worth re-telling..... Sooooooooooo.....now I'm back to being home. And a single Mom with no job. XBF was already starting to pull away and things were going downhill so I was left feeling so utterly stuck. By the time I started a new job 3 months later, I'd gained another 15 pounds. XBF and I broke up a couple months later and I stopped eating. I lost 35 pounds in a month. Damn, I looked good. That was August of '05. Since then, it's been pretty much a slow and steady gain.

I believe it really took off after DD was born. Being in that house and all the bad memories. All the issues and anger with my mother that was never touched upon. It just got worse and worse. Almost a year ago, I was able to buy a condo and move out and I felt that my eating disorder would subside as a result. But it's not happened. I believe 100% that it's become a genuine addiction in the past couple years and, even though I'm making incredible progress in therapy and I'm overall quite content with what is in my life....I can't seem to shake it now. It's beyond just being out of the triggering situation. I am so disappointed in myself. I'm ashamed and I'm miserable, physically.

As I said earlier, I've been at this step many times before. Yesterday I was able to claim a good day for myself. I ate well. No binges. I went to bed early. Good self-care. But Day 1 is easy. It's a few days in where that horrible voice starts to seduce me again, reminding me how good it feels to indulge. Throwing out every justification at me until one finally resonates and sways me. What will I do different this time? How do I make this my final visit on Step One??


Marj aka Thriver said...

Thanks for sharing this. And that is the most precious photo--what an adorable baby!

Angel said...

What a beautiful baby! She is all yours, too.

The comparison of stuffing down emotions and eating for comfort are so close. Sometimes we can only deal with one thing at a time, one step at a time.