Day 14

The 30 day sugar quit is going well. I haven’t succumbed to temptation, though I’m surrounded by sweets at home. It reminds me so much of the months after I quit the drink. I’d be in the kitchen making dinner and see my husband’s beer on the counter and think “oh there you are”. The crushing disappointment and resentment that swelled up seconds later was I guess why they recommend you remove all alcohol from the home in early sobriety. Whoever they are. It wasn’t an option for me then and it isn’t an option now with dessert. To tell the truth, I take almost sadistic pleasure in depriving myself and not giving in to these base urges for comfort. This would worry me more if I didn’t remember how badly I felt while strung out on sugar just last month.

I lost the rest of the holiday five last week. I’m eating a lot better and mostly untroubled by cravings during the week. My trigger times are weekends, which probably explains why I had a rough time emotionally on Saturday. Little (big) things set me off that normally don’t. I don’t have my crutch of sugary, numbing foods anymore. It is no coincidence that I breezed through the holiday season and abused sugar throughout. Now it is is time to find healthier ways of coping with stress.

I took my first meditation class yesterday. Actually, it was a combo yoga/meditation class, and best of all it was included in our Y membership. The instructor seemed peaceful and centered. As we say in recovery, I want what she has.

She started with about 10 minutes of instruction, which focused on the throat chakra. I’d heard the word chakra before, but if someone had asked me what it meant, I might have guessed something you eat or wear on your feet. How fitting then that I started class the day she talked about the importance of opening up your throat chakra not only to say what’s in your heart, but to communicate it in a way that is loving and respectful. I waiver between stifling and stuffing down what I really feel and letting it spew out in scalding sheets. I am ready to work on this.

The good news is the lack of sugar hasn’t triggered any cravings for drink. I was worried about this before I started, but if anything I feel more reminded of how deep and ugly that need for alcohol was at the end of my drinking days. This unleashing of old, painful memories reminds me of where I was around the 6-month mark in sobriety, when I started feeling feelings again and they just kept coming at me. I remember it as a scary, trying time, but one I got through. This time around, the challenge of what to do with uncomfortable feelings is more familiar. I know I will get through it and I also know a little better what helps and what doesn’t. I guess this is the whole point.

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19 thoughts on “Day 14

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  1. As you say maybe that is the point… I find things that I have to be careful of with my addictive personality all the time. Some are harmless, other than to the wallet!, others could be more damaging for health and relationships and my well being etc. … as they say “Progress not Perfection”

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  2. Fantastic, now there’s a six month feelings hurtle to look forward to? It’s always something. I’m starting to feel like Lloyd Bridges in “Airplane”. I had no idea there’d be this much to deal with when I drank that last beer. But no step for a stepper. Thanks for the heads up. Thanks for writing!

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    1. Whistler – normal people feel the struggles of early sobriety in early sobriety. I am a late bloomer, I guess. Only in hindsight did I realize when the toughest points were. I guess it’s good to be prepared for the tough spots, but It’s different for everyone. So carry on and keep doing what you’re doing as long as it’s working.

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  3. Still hanging on as well, though we abandoned our other resolution of eating meals in for 30 days over the weekend. We really just wanted to leave the house and do something. I blame winter. I blame doing dishes everyday. I blame the bland lo mein dish that pushed me over the edge. The sugar thing is actually a breeze compared to that.

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    1. Glad to hear you guys are still going strong! Allowing yourself some meals out sounds like a smart change. This time of year is bleak enough and with nutritional info and trackers, there’s no need to avoid eating out. Enjoy!

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  4. Great post! Sounds like sugar abstinence is really paying off. I quit sugar about a year into sobriety for several months and it felt amazing. I have made several false starts in the past year to do it again and I can’t seem to keep it going. I applaud you! The meditation sounds like a great addition to you recovery program. I would like to try both again! Thanks for sharing!

    xoxox

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    1. I am excited about the meditation! This sugar thing seems so much trickier and harder to cut out altogether. I have done a terrible job of moderating with sugar when I tried. So yeah, I get what you’re saying.

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  5. Thank you so much for this post. It has given me a lot of insight into the process of those I love who are/were alcoholics (recovered and not), and also for this: “It reminds me so much of the months after I quit the drink.”

    I have had people criticize me when I say that letting go of sugar and wheat and dairy felt as hard as what it must be like to give up drink or drugs (one of them, back when I was doing this so intently, was even a drug and alcohol treatment center counselor, heh!). But because many people don’t think you can be “addicted to food”, I think it must have seemed like I cheapened their struggle for sobriety by comparing it to taking away foods or “just a diet.” I struggled deeply with removing these foods from my life, and pretty much had to do it on my own, too (I did have a dear friend by my side in the process, which helped, as did the online community of “food weirdos”). To read that it reminds you of the months after you quit drinking validates my own experience so much, and brings me some relief. 🙂

    One of the things I have found difficult about *some* people (not all) who are sober from alcohol, is that there seems to be a kind of “discounting” if you are not a part of their “club” as a recovering alcoholic. It’s like hearing, “You just don’t get it. You are/were not an alcoholic, so you can’t know what it’s like.” I totally get the “members only” attitude in a lot of ways. Recovering people need to feel like they belong and that people understand their specific struggles. And joys… But just because my drug of choice and struggles with substance abuse did not revolve around alcohol does not mean I do not understand withdrawals or cravings or the depression that can come when you just so much want to take in what you can’t have.

    I quit smoking, too. I think that counts as an addictive substance, and therefore demonstrates a capability for understanding what recovering from alcoholism is like. Maybe not totally. But nicotine is a drug, and not an easy one to give up. It maybe does not work on the brain and mind in the same way as alcohol, though. I get that.

    I feel thankful for the acknowledgement that addiction/withdrawal/cravings/temptation can encompass so many more things that just alcohol or drugs (as in traditional street or prescription — not as in nicotine or caffeine… although I think they are technically drugs, too).

    So yeah, point is — thanks. I feel better and, like I wrote, much more validated and less discounted by reading this, and it helped my heart a lot. ♥♥♥
    Celeste

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    1. Aww, you’ve helped me a lot, so this makes me happy to hear. There are many things to get addicted to and their physical effects vary greatly. But maybe the root cause of why we seek escape in the first place is the same for many. Once we take away whichever substance for comfort, the healing process and challenges would seem more similar than different. We could all learn from each other.

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  6. HI,

    Hey, thanks for your awesome comment on my blog… it’s lovely of you to drop by and read.

    Yes, I think that it was Knapp’s book that really turned me around, and that quiz showed me that my denial days were over. I too got out in time – but just barely, I think. The bad things that happened towards the end were really, really bad. I am surprised that I lived through some of them, to be honest.

    But I made it through, and I’m here, and I am comforted and astounded at the amazing online community we have. I’ll definitely pop in here and see what’s going on….

    Take care, and the best of luck with the sugar quit – tough! And I am happy that you have ‘discovered’ the throat chakra – it is also the one that I need to work on. It’s my determination to open it that has led me back to writing. It’s why I started my blog 2 months ago: it’s all about honouring the chakra 😉

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  7. Ok I have to ‘fess up. I totally fell off the sugar-free wagon on day 4. At Wedding no. 2. Sorry. I just don’t have it in me to do it right now this January when I am up against my MA deadline. I just couldn’t be bothered with the effort. One thing at a time (well two if you combine the permanent alcohol free status). It has made a huge difference to what I am choosing as an alcohol alternative though. Just now out for lunch with Mr D I went to grab an innocent looking soft drink and took a quick look at the label (which I would never do before) and sure enough – 38g of sugar per serve. I never realised how sugary soft drinks were. So I went for the free water instead. I am more aware but I just can’t go cold turkey right now. Sorry to let you down BBB … although you have been amazing at raising my awareness. Sounds like you are doing awesomely! xxxx

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    1. Dear sweet Mrs D, you aren’t letting me down! I completely understand and it sounds like you have a ton on your plate with your thesis and social calendar. I know just what you mean about the newfound awareness of sugar in drinks. I cut most sugar out of my diet for a couple of weeks last spring, and ever since then have had a hard time justifying all the sugar in sodas and juice. That is one thing that stuck, so glad to hear it’s helping you too.

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  8. “oh there you are”…. I had to laugh out loud there. I think I’m harboring some resentment toward bagels and baguettes, I swear they are taunting me when I go grocery shopping. I’ve done well cutting out the sweets though and most refined items. I’m certainly more aware of what I’m eating from a total health perspective and not just a calorie-counting perspective. So those are good shifts.
    So glad you’re doing well!

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  9. One thing, ok, not just one thing a million things, but another thing that quitting drinking has done for me is make me much more aware of my body and the effects that my lifestyle have on it. Before, all of that was buried under drunkeness and hangovers. Now I actually feel things. It’s really pretty cool, like some kind of machine I can tweak. Let’s see what happens if I do this, how about this? I fell of the sugar wagon for a couple of days last week when I was traveling and then felt like crap for two days afterwards, but I’m back to no sugar, no flour, no white rice, and very few carbs and I feel great.

    My body is cheering me on.

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