Things I KNOW for sure about when I am faithfully abstinent:
My brain works better…I am not in a fog
My compulsive thoughts about food diminish or go away completely
I have so much energy
I am not very hungry…maybe at meal time
I feel like I can face anything
I feel happy with myself
I have no aches and pains
I have no migraines
I get up in the morning
I have fewer mood swings
So, then, why, oh why, does anyone ever relapse? Abstinence feels so good. How on Earth could the way you feel while bingeing and/or eating a diet of processed foods and sugars seem like a better alternative?
And this is the rub, isn’t it? The why? Why do MOST food addicts fall off track and dive right back into the food?
I am writing about this now, and I am trying so hard to understand it not just from my perspective but from the science of addiction.
My relapse, like all I believe, started with a moment when I felt that my weight loss made me vulnerable and slowly progressed from there to bingeing several times a day.
How do we prevent a relapse? Can we prevent a relapse? The science says we must have a good support system to do so. But I wonder if that is enough.
The disease drives me crazy in that the answer seems so simple and yet is so very hard to achieve and maintain.
Yes, abstinence is the key that unlocks the door to recovery, but turning that key takes major effort and remaining in recovery requires a daily commitment to abstinence and to maintaining a recovery mindset in a world that is full of temptation and discouragement.
But then things happen…scary things…that even in your years of practice you have not managed to prepare yourself for and then….
I promise you, I will keep trying to learn as much as I can about this disease. I will keep trying for you some days when I don’t feel like I can keep trying for myself.
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