Recovery Means Healing & Sanity
I am a recovering alcoholic. Anything I say regarding alcoholism is for me and for the one it resonates with. I am not trying to get anyone to jump on any bandwagon of any kind. I do not even necessarily encourage sobriety unless that’s what you want. For me, I needed to stop drinking because alcohol, my best friend, was also my best allergy. I just cannot stop drinking it once I start. Once I start drinking I have to continue until I pass out or am so physically incapacitated I cannot get any more. I do not argue the disease concept. If one is not an alcoholic I can see how one can make fun of the disease concept of alcoholism. I remember being in active drinking making fun of it myself! “I can quit anytime I want to. I just do not want to.”
Recovery from alcoholism means abstinence from alcohol (wine, beer, liquor) of all kind for me as well as drugs. I do not do ‘pot maintenance,’ ‘pill maintenance’ or any kind of street drug or Doctor prescribed pharmaceutical therapy. I do take St. John’s Wort, American Ginseng for ADHD and an occasional Valerian Root for nerves or potential anxiety causing situations.
My particular issues surrounding eating are generally disordered. There is no nice box to put me in. I’ve never been bulimic to the point of throwing up. But I did purge with laxatives or over-exercise. I was never anorexic to the point of the glorification of anorexia I see on websites and quite frankly, I still don’t understand that. [ie, “Pro-Ana” or the showing of my bones.] In fact, one sure way of enraging me back when my mind was starving was to notice or comment on my body at all. “You’re too skinny!” would evoke such hatred in me I couldn’t recognize myself. A friend said it this past Christmas as a matter of fact but because I am NOT in ‘eating sickness’ I wasn’t enraged. I am eating healthily and my mind was definitely not starved. Of course, to be fair, I did feel the need to point out to her I was within a healthy weight range. :)
Another funny point is that I am a sugar addict. Like alcohol, once I get ‘too much sugar’ [some magic number I have deemed 12 – 18 grams] at one time, I am ‘activated.’ This means I’ll not eat regular food [unless I have to eat a small amount, to avoid suspicion] but I WILL sneak and buy a party bag of M & M’s and engage in a night-time ritual of eating them one by one in isolation until I am about sick. When I am REALLY in deep, one party bag can last only 2 days. I’ve done the same with other sugary foods.
Recovery from bulimarexia and sugar addiction means I eat higher protein than ‘normal’ and complex carbohydrates. To avoid a sugar cycle, I avoid sugar. If I accidentally eat more sugar than I intend or I decide I want cheesecake on vacation, I have to keep an eye out for signs of irritability, tiredness, or impulse control lest I start a cycle. [Read: Sugar is Addictive! if you have similar sugar issues and desire healing. ]
Codependency puts my own autonomy, happiness, or well-being into someone else’s hands. I need for them to do or think or say a thing in order to be okay in my skin. I need them to change for me to feel safe. And if they don’t, I hate myself. I am of the ‘controlled’ variety which means I was prone to feelings of shame and low self-esteem. And because it was permeating my entire existence, it provided fertile ground for my escaping mechanisms like alcohol love, eating dysfunction and sugar love. Those, in turn, would eventually deplete so many endorphins from my brain, that caused me to need even more relief [emotional regulation] in the form of ‘cutting’ and self-injury. This is why I now take St. John’s Wort in addition to keeping my protein up per meal; to help biochemically engineer a reconstitution of healthy endorphins.
Codependent recovery means reclaiming my life. So I made a whole page on it all by itself.