To be sugar-free for the last three years, I’ve been scrupulous. I’ve been vigilant. I’ve been committed. I don’t see that changing. Enough people who’ve gone back to eating demon foods and felt terribly sick afterwards have convinced me that it’s not a good idea.
But while I’ve been scrupulous and vigilant and committed, I’ve also been waiting. Waiting to feel as settled and resolved around food as I am around alcohol. By three years sober, I seldom gave alcohol a second thought. Three years of sobriety had carved a new groove in my brain, where drinking wasn’t a response. I didn’t have to fight the cravings any more, I didn’t feel an urge to drink. I was at peace.
I’ve been waiting to feel that way about food. And I get sad and angry that it isn’t happening. It’s still painful to walk by the imported chocolate bars or the donut case at my grocery store. It’s seriously uncomfortable to be confronted by a table loaded with little treats as I was two weeks ago at a gallery opening. It isn’t the sugar I want but the freedom to eat whatever I feel like.
I realized recently that I need to stop waiting for that peaceful absence of desire. Because food is everywhere and because I have to make food choices every day and several times a day, it’s going to take a lot longer to get to that place, if ever. I can be okay with that, I think, if I stop comparing the two manifestations of addiction and accept my abstinence for what it is: an ongoing habit I’m developing.
What are you waiting for in your relationship with food?