In order to keep the post somewhat condensed, I'm going to avoid talking about the weekend festivities. Just know I had an awesome weekend- which was to be expected because it was Hallloween. I did not have any sugar- I'm on day 19 of no sugar.
What I really want to talk about is my ARP meeting that I went to last night. My normal meeting is on Thursday nights, but there was a meeting yesterday, and since I was working last Thursday night, I opted to go to the meeting last night. It was different because, it was a group of 10-12 people, all struggling with either sugar addiction or compulsive over eating, or something food related. It was one of the best meetings I've ever been to; it was one of the hardest meetings I've ever been to. So many people were crying. Our addictions are real; and they are hard. To me, these addictions are especially hard because I feel like out in the "real world", no one else sees these problems as problems. Eat! Drink! Be Merry! Right?
But in reality, people are silently suffering. They are in their kitchens while their husbands are in the shower- stuffing as much toast and jam in their mouth as fast as they can before he gets out and catches them. They are locked in their rooms with a stash of secret candy because they don't want to be judged by their roommates. They are sitting in their cars in a fast food establishment's parking lot, stuffing down food when they're not even hungry. They are stuffing stuffing stuffing- and they are doing it alone. Silently. Alone.
And then they hate themselves. They hate that they can't control their emotions; their bodies. They're embarrassed and that's why they hide. There is all this self loathing and hatred. There's no control and they're mad that they so easily let go of their control. Sometimes they might punish themselves; mostly they just disintegrate into a sea of self loathing and pity; despair. Fear. Denial. What else?
It's really hard to admit you have a problem, let alone start taking steps for 'recovery'. I respect these people so much. I wanted to hug so many of them. When it was my turn to share, I talked about the void I feel; the one that I don't know why it's there or where it came from, or how I'm supposed to get rid of it when I don't even know why it's there in the first place. How, for so long sugar filled it- how it literally can melt away negative feelings and turn them into happy ones...but now that sugar is gone- how I'm struggling to learn to overcome these feelings by myself. I know that I will overcome these feelings and this addiction, but it's one step at a time and sometimes we want to just be healed. We don't want to go through the process. The process is the hard part...but yet so necessary. Every person in that room was struggling with some MAJOR issues in their lives- or they were struggling with past issues that haven't been resolved yet. To see that I am not alone in this seriously strengthened me so much. I know I have this blog, and friends and followers who support me- and I am so grateful. But I still feel so much that I am doing this alone- and that makes it hard. Last night I didn't feel alone. I was able to relate- and be related to. Someone else understood how easy and hard this is, because they are doing it too. Some have relapsed; some are starting over; some had easier weeks than the rest of us. But we were all there- together. Learning, and lifting each other up.
I think it's never too late to change. You can change your life at any age- no matter where you are. Right now, you can start changing. I still have hope and faith that God will help me become the girl I'm meant to be and want to be- and help me overcome my addictions and weaknesses.
A woman called me afterwards to thank me for sharing and offer support and it meant so much to me that someone would actually track down my phone number and call me. I cannot believe the ways in which I'm changing and growing from these classes and the experiences I'm having right now. I am so blessed and so grateful for the things I'm learning. I am stronger than I ever could've been on my own because of these classes and these people and God. Every day I'm literally shocked that I'm still going; every day I'm so grateful that I'm still going. I know I may relapse at any moment- but so far I've made it. And if I relapse, hopefully I can forgive myself, pick myself back up, and try again. It's in the process, not the end result- where true change happens.
I promise I will add some pictures from the weekend so that you can see my costume- I just have to take a few extra steps to scratch my face from the pictures and then I'll upload them. Please be patient with me! Will add soon!