At dinner the other night, my daughter matter-of-factly announced to her friend that I’d eaten most of her Halloween candy last year. I might have protested if it hadn’t felt true. Also, her friend had just admitted her parents confiscate all the Halloween candy on November 1st and blame it on some nefarious Candy Fairy, so I guess I was feeling a step above that.

What a difference a year makes, and then again none at all. For the last three months, my stress levels have been through the roof at work and sugar intake has skyrocketed accordingly. It’s my favorite vice and it eases suffering in some way I don’t really understand but do accept.

I have fallen off the sugar wagon, which incidentally has peanut cup wheels with gum drop hubcaps. The carriage is constructed of solid, buttery toffee and the driver sits atop an oreo cushion (double stuff, of course), armed with a red licorice whip. I guess the only reason I didn’t want to fall off the wagon in the first place is I feared it might get away from me and then I could never nibble on its many delicious parts.

I’m not giving up or giving in, though the wagon description did make me very hungry. I am only admitting as proudly as I can that I haven’t got this thing licked. Or I do have it licked and that’s the problem. I’ve come to a certain amount of peace in accepting that my love of sweets is as much a part of me as my love of solitude and office supplies.

I could ask the nefarious Candy Fairy to pay a visit Halloween night. This feels too extreme and cruel, and I can hear the cries of my kids and sensible people asking “why don’t you just not eat the candy, ok?”

I’ve given a lot of thought lately to this expectation that I can remove a character defect that has been with me, I suspect, from the womb. For now, it feels easier to accept that I have a problem and always will. I’ve definitely made measurable progress overall in the last year, which I hear is the goal. This feels like enough for today and, in fact, it feels pretty great.


28 thoughts on “candy wagon whee!

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  1. Ugh- this sugar thing drives me batty too. It’s been 6 weeks for me now sugar free. I don’t say that in a triumphant way, but just a matter-of-fact way because who knows how long this one will last…lol. It’s a merry-go-round, and it seems we all jump on/jump off at different times for different reasons. Last night the boys and my wife were eating cake (it was her birthday) and I had about 1/4 tsp of it. Damn it was good. But left it at that. My wife said “slippery slope” and yes, it can be. I have been fine with my fruit and stevia (1 packet in my cereal, if I have that day). So far nothing has been setting off alarms (other than birthday parties – which has been a lot lately – damn Libras πŸ˜‰ ). But I feel ya, Kristen.

    There is something about the sugar thing that sticks a lot more than the booze did…and that’s amazing I can say that, because booze was like air to me for survival. I think there is the part of me that says “sugar can’t kill” or “I can’t get arrested for having too many Caramilk bars in my bloodstream”, etc. Rationalization. I mean, everyone else seems to manage fine…why can’t I? Etcetera. Like you, I just can’t seem to shake this thing. I just know in my heart of hearts I have trouble moderating it right now. I usually feel lousy, overweight, exhausted, self-pitying, shamed, etc. when i get on my sugar runs. Sounds familiar. And so does what you say about your love of solitude and office supplies…oh yes! (We’ve discussed the office supply stuff before – that will NEVER leave me, and don’t care to give it up ever…I will die with a stapler, a whiteout dispenser and two 3-ringed notebooks attached to me. And maybe a donut)

    Keep the good fight going! Progress and insight and sharing…these are the valuable things you have going. Will I be singing the same tune in a few days, weeks, months? i hope so. But if I don’t, I am not going to beat myself up. Worse has happened.

    Great stuff… πŸ™‚



    1. We seem to be on different cycles with sugar, which I find interesting and motivating. Right now, I’m cheering you on and you’re giving me hope. The sugar problem is not black and white (like the alcoholism) and I struggle with that, but also know I feel better when I feel like I’m not slipping backwards. Thank you for your kind words and continued support, Paul. It means a lot.


  2. I think we’re twins. I too have an unnatural love for office supplies, a need for solitude and a sugar addiction. Sigh…

    And just what the heck is it about Halloween candy that makes us all go a little nuts? I mean…I’m a grown ass woman and can just go to the store and buy any amount and any kind of candy that I want! Why does Halloween candy hold such an appeal?

    Pardon me while I scarf down another peanut butter cup in all it’s chocolately, peanut buttery goodness.

    Crap…now I’m hungry.



    1. Right now they’d have to pry the peanut butter cups and gel pens from my cold dead hands. I am learning not to buy the halloween candy at the store, and hopefully this will eventually translate to year-round cookies/candy/ice cream. Trick or treat candy will pose a new problem, which I will deal with when the time comes. A month long vacation somewhere tropical until all candy is eaten sounds nice.

      Thank you for your comment, Sherry. It helps to know I’m in such good company.


  3. Admit nothing.
    Taste everything.
    Dispose of wrappers in the next zip code.

    As long as you’re keeping an eye on yourself and eating and enjoying (as opposed to just eating to eat), hopefully you’ll be alright.


  4. Ah…put down the bat.
    My favorite expression is we can’t hate ourselves thin, or un-drunk, or sugar-free or sane…LOL, you get the idea.
    I love the way you matter-of-factly wrote about this.
    It just is.
    Like in meditation when those little monkey mind thoughts come in, we can listen, or we can acknowledge and move on, accept and keep moving toward the freedom.
    I get off the wagon, I get back on. Off/on…. I have accepted it may always be like this. I have accepted that I feel not as good when I am on. It doesn’t really matter if I am on or off today; that has nothing to do with you and your struggles. All I know is that I relate, seriously, you are definitely not alone in this, and Halloween should be outlawed, if only for the cruel trick of the little one-bite candies that fool us into believing we aren’t eating as much until we see an empty bag..that is the truly scariest thing about Halloween to me!

    It’s all good. I’m not drinking, I AM NOT DRINKING!
    That’s enough of a miracle for me


    1. ^ Yes, this. All of this.
      As long as we don’t drink.

      Sit, feast on your life.

      Love this post and your comment Mish.


      1. “Sit, feast on your life.” Love how you wove that into this. I am going to adopt this theme for the holiday season. There will be actual feasting (on food) but so much more potential there, you know? Thanks for this RoS.


    2. Okay, I really like what you said about the on/off pattern and how you just feel better when you’re on. Definitely the case here. It helps to know others slide back on and off and on again. And that fun-sized treats are just wicked. Sugar is nothing compared to drinking and we are not drinking. It is all good.


  5. Your sugar wagon sounds pretty awesome to me!
    I go through stages of worrying that I eat too much sugar. Then I think ‘nah…it’s nothing compared to drinking’. And then I have nights like tonight when I am wide awake because I have had too much sugar!! Honestly, it’s ridiculous. At least you are aware of the fact that you’re consuming too much. Sometimes it seems like the entire sober blogosphere is addicted to sugar but I think we’re all just super aware of addiction. I have some ‘normie’ friends who use sugar as a crutch but they don’t realise they’re doing it because they don’t get this kind if stuff.
    So go easy on yourself. πŸ™‚


    1. Not everyone has this hyper-vigilance towards excess, but I can’t imagine not having it either. The awareness has developed a lot more in sobriety, and now it’s figuring out how to live with it, how far to go with it…it’s always going to be something, but definitely not looking to ditch all the fun/comfort in my life. Always helps to know I’m not alone.


  6. Sweets are sweet. Always loved them. Since I got too heavy I tested out the sugar free alternatives and found some that are palatable. Although not as nice as all the other offerings, they help me with the craving of putting something in my mouth. Also, in combination with some diet changes I lost 17 kilo’s.
    An option for you to explore?


    1. Congratulations on losing 17 kilos and for making such a positive change in your life! That is something to be proud of. I hear you on the sugar- free alternatives. All those chemicals feel like trading one evil for another. Not sure if they have them where you live, but Kind Bars are more natural and low-glycemic. I’ve come to love fresh fruit. There feel like many options to explore and our taste buds do evolve, I think.


  7. Ugh. I so hear you on this. We should ask Jesus for help. (I’m joking! Kind of. πŸ˜‰ ) (My sense of humor does not come across without some inflection and facial expression maybe. Lord. !!!! Ack!!!. :))

    I was thinking about this yesterday after I ate a pumpkin scone for breakfast. Because I ate 9 little mini candy bars the night before hiding in the kitchen so the children won’t want some. “Mom?” Jack said when I leaned in for a pat while he was doing his homework, “You smell like peanut butter. Did you eat all the little candy again?” Busted.

    While we think and puzzle over spirituality we can also do that about candy too. It’s too bad we don’t live closer so we could discuss ad nauseam over tea and cake. Ahem, I meant kale and water.


    1. Mm, kale. (did you hear the sarcasm inflection?)

      I’ve become the stealthiest, saddest candy eating mom ever. I keep thinking “please don’t let my babies grow up to be like this.”

      I will continue to puzzle over spirituality and candy because I love these subjects and have much to learn. Wish we lived closer too, but this will have to do and it will do nicely.


  8. Never wanted or needed sweets when drinking. Now I’d rather start and finish the meal with dessert. But I am still thinner, healthier, and better today than the drinking years. By a long shot, mind and body. Life seems cyclic. A friend told me last week to avoid potentially reoccuring train wrecks. Lots of things can end up as blood on the tracks. We know what to do, it seems it’s the doing itself that takes a little practice, a little help. Tonight when I have 3 or 4 Dove chocolates after dinner I will not roll up the empty wrappers inside just one empty wrapper. I think that may be a holdover of some type of an empty beer can hiding technique. It’s better, we’re getting better. Great post Triple B. Thanks very much.


    1. At least we can see the train coming. Maybe we saw it before but didn’t realize we could step off the tracks. Now we feel this pesky moral obligation or we know the right friends or maybe – just maybe – we’ve started to realize that avoiding the train wreck is its own reward. I had to laugh at rolling up the wrappers in other wrappers. Do you hide yours under paper towels or other loose trash? What is that? We go to such trouble to hide from ourselves.


  9. Mmmmm love your description of the sugar wagon! hahaa

    I entirely agree with this; “For now, it feels easier to accept that I have a problem and always will. I’ve definitely made measurable progress overall in the last year, which I hear is the goal.” As the quick-fix-person that I am, I want to see result NOW!! But to make some progress over a whole year, or even a few years is brilliant and it’s still definitely progress. That’s the way I like it now a days.

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post, I hope you enjoy a marvelous weekend! HUGS


  10. TOO Interesting! I can’t go with out my ALMOND JOYS! But that’s about the extent of my SUGAR HIGH….LOL…What I do enjoy is your blog, and all that you share with others in Recovery, and it’s why I Nominated you & your Blog for *The WordPress Family Award*…as we all are a Recovery Family no matter what type of addiction. If you want to pass on the LUV or not…..LOL.. details are on my Blog Page: God Bless! *CAT*


  11. Oh, my God. Sugar. Do I know about that. Sugar is the devil. Sugar is PURE heaven. I could tell you stories . . . but maybe I’ll save it for a blog post. Anyway, this made me laugh. Thank you for that!


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