I was on retreat last week at the Oregon coast and my regular catsitter stayed at my apartment. As I was putting away the leftover food I’d brought back, I opened the freezer door and there in the shelf/rack on the door was ice cream. Chocolate ice cream. And not just a smidgen in the bottom of a container but a full unopened pint.
I texted the catsitter, who said she’d overslept and had to hurry off to an appointment and had forgotten her food in the fridge and freezer. I asked if she wanted to come back for them but she said no, that I could eat them. I didn’t care about the frozen mac and cheese or the mayonnaise she left because I don’t eat those anymore and they don’t tempt me. But the ice cream shook me.
You see, ice cream was my food addict’s drug of choice. Particular brands, particular flavors. I could eat a gallon in a day. Was I tempted by that pint in the freezer? You bet. Did I hesitate? Yes. There it was and no one would know. Well, except me. I’d know. And it would only be me who’d have to deal with the consequences.
Three years of abstinence from sugar gave me the strength to wash it down the sink and put the carton in the trash. I didn’t taste it or smell it. I just let it go. And I was confirmed in my knowing that I don’t want the stress of visual reminders, that a clean environment keeps me stronger.
What helps you keep strong in abstinence?