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Confessions of a Sugar Addict

04/19/2013 12:09 EDT | Updated 06/19/2013 05:12 EDT
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sugar on a black background....

Trapped in the anxious thought that a dream is closer to never happening than it is to coming to pass intensifies the chase, digs the hole, peels the scab and reopens the wound.

A craving starts to form and it feeds off of the luxury of the negative thoughts I have afforded the moment: "I won't make it. The goals I once wrote with great belief that they would come to pass are nothing but pie-in-the-sky ideas that far exceed my potential."

I sink into the moment and feel myself spiral into the volcano of low thinking and the gnawing of an internal pull to fill a craving brings me to a search for my fix, which makes me feel better. I surrender to the white crystals which makes me feel so, so good. It numbs the pain from the voice that tells me it's not going to happen, that I am not enough, that I am no more than the sum of thoughts at this very moment. The lows are then taken to the very highs.

In this space I am alone, but in my thoughts there is a plus one. I surrender and feel the initial change in my body, the tingling before the numbing, the conscious traveling along to a more pleasant point where there really is no deep thought. It just is. The power of crystals take me past my last encounter. Ah, yes. This is good. Former thoughts are silenced. Present ones don't exist.

In this place, there is no thought of the future. My being is in the present moment -- only under the influence can I do that. I can savour the stillness with my drunkenness, by how easy and calm and quiet here is. Nothing talks back. Even my thoughts are in a coma. I can't even hear the phone. The next demand, the next judgement, the next unsolicited opinion, is silenced. The looks of scrutiny, screams of criticism and feelings of not belonging are buried in a faraway room -- this space is where only me, and my plus one, stand.

Who was I to think that time and time again, I would survive without you? I tried to walk away permanently, but there are times I can't imagine us losing this connection permanently. You understand me. You make me feel better. You ask no questions. You're there for me. You do not judge me. You love me unconditionally.

But then I crash. I feel like I've reached my max and stop using. Things no longer feel that great. I feel heavy and full and empty and high and low. In this right, there is wrong.

I struggle to be honest with the problem. I see 205 flash before me. 175. 190. 130. 145. 150. 140. The fluctuations are indicative that the real issue is not me and not you, but the abuse. I want to reach for you to numb the pain of the numbers before me, the past and the present. But I sit and decide to be honest with myself in this moment.

Hello, I am a sugar addict.

Triggered by extreme stress and anxious thinking , I quickly yearn for a sugar fix. I can easily numb the present -- or really, the past -- with a few extra doses and keep applying until the pain/reality/disappointments/heartache are minimized by the overdose, which takes me to the point of thinking, "it's okay." I add another layer.

I empathize with other addicts in the struggle. Your drug of choice may be alcohol; for some, it's food; for others, your addiction may be an abusive or simply unhealthy relationship you want so badly that you give into a situation, and this also brings you to temporary highs followed by the lowest lows soon thereafter -- and quite honestly, more often than not.

Regardless of your poison, finding the root of the addiction gives you power over the substance. This "abuse" to my body, by whatever poison has its power, can only invite other, similar suitors to follow this lead.

Blog continues below slideshow...

  • Arizona Raspberry Iced Tea
    Amazon.com
    These recognizable-anywhere cans are bad news: They contain 23.5 ounces, nearly three times the suggested serving size for the tea inside. With 90 calories per 8 ounces, finishing an entire can adds up to almost 270.

    Photo from Amazon.com
  • Starbucks Bottled Mocha Frappuccino
    Amazon.com
    The 9.5-ounce Starbucks to go contains 180 calories.

    Photo from Amazon.com
  • Jamba Juice Smoothies
    Flickr: libookperson
    Granted, Jamba Juice All Fruit smoothies are made with much better-for-you ingredients than a can of cola. However, it's still easy to mindlessly sip your calories when a 16-ounce size clocks in at least 210 calories.

    Flickr photo by libookperson
  • Minute Maid Lemonade
    Amazon.com
    A 12-ounce can of the summer favorite clocks in at 150 calories, more than a can of Coke and the same as a can of Pepsi.

    Photo from Amazon.com
  • Snapple Apple Fruit Drink
    Amazon.com
    There are 100 calories in every 8 ounces of this fruity pick, but the bottle is deceiving, since it packs 16 ounces.

    Photo from Amazon.com
  • Sunkist Orange Soda
    Amazon.com
    There are 170 calories per 12-ounce can of this sweet drink.

    Photo from Amazon.com
  • Dr. Pepper
    Amazon.com
    A 12-ounce can clocks in at 150 calories, more than a can of Coke and the same as a can of Pepsi.

    Photo from Amazon.com
  • Dunkin' Donuts Strawberry Coolatta
    Flickr: ReneS
    Even the small size of this frozen concoction from the coffee chain is a diet danger, with 230 calories in 16 ounces.

    Flickr photo by ReneS
  • Monster Energy Drink
    Amazon.com
    There are only 100 calories in 8 ounces of this pick-me-up, but who only drinks half a can? The whole thing will set you back 200 calories.

    Photo from Amazon.com
  • Nesquik Lowfat Chocolate Milk
    Amazon.com
    An 8-ounce bottle of this sweet sip adds up to 170 calories. Beware of larger sizes that encourage bigger portions.

    Photo from Amazon.com
  • Barq's Root Beer
    Amazon.com
    Each 12-ounce can contains 160 calories.

    Photo from Amazon.com

When I shift my eyes from my goals to my self-defined deficiencies, nothing rocks this boat faster, and with each recovery I am reminded just how much my thoughts direct my life. Like a compass, my feelings speak the direction to my thoughts and my next decision, and they are a direct messenger to the unfolding of my life. From that point forward, what I want is either attracted into my life or withheld by my own thoughts.

At times we think we are in a war with others, when really we are at war with ourselves. Ironically, my thoughts are like a magnet, drawing like images towards me and bringing with them things I don't want into my life.

There is more at risk from dwelling in a sugar addiction than weight gain or diabetes. The root cause is left undiscovered, causes the addiction to resurface more often than not, and remains there as a barrier between where I want to be and where I actually am. Undiscovered, I am alive yet imprisoned by a dependency on something else to live.

I remember hitting 130 -- I smiled at my arrival. This is where "I'm supposed to be." Like an alcoholic fresh out of rehab I vowed to never return to "that place." I get comfortable in the destination, forget that it's a journey and my trigger points test the vow. 135.

The yo-yo begins yet again. The stabilizer becomes the stress point to "keep it together." I dance with the temptress and once again I occasionally give in, then just a little more and a little more. 145. I have fallen off the wagon and the fact that I am here once again spells failure. The word flashes before me and I make that second, that number, my life sentence. Sip. Take a hit. Overdose. Indulge.

Yet again, we begin. On this path to getting clean from something that has fought me for years. What brings me back each time are the lows when I sink into the trap of feelings whispering "less than", "too much", "not quite right", "far behind", "too big", "not the right fit", "unwanted", "failure". All hushed by three words: I am enough.

So I begin to think.

This time, let's travel the journey to the real root. Connect the thoughts. What am I really "hungry" for? What is it that I "thirst"? What really triggers my spiral?

In this moment, wherever I am, is where I am meant to be. Anxious thoughts of what should be and need to be only become the trigger points to "hit the bottle". The exterior forces are not the defining factors on who I am. I am so much more. Beneath the layers are woven stories. In the stories are lies that I've made myself believe on any given bad day, and at my lowest moments they knock on the doors of my thoughts to remind me that they are there.

The internal struggle begins and the addiction wins -- this time. For just a second. My belief -- however small -- that there was any truth to what they spoke gave them room in my headspace. Allowing myself the luxury of negative thoughts becomes the joy-stealer. If it were not there, it would never resurrect itself. The season is ripe for a spring detox.

This is bigger than a number on the scale or the vanity of a look. A desire to find the root of it calls for honesty and transparency. We want to find out what we really think of ourselves: Trace our thoughts to the things we criticize in others, gossip most about friend and foe alike, the things we are easily aggravated by and that path may lead you to a few truths within yourself.

That applies to addicts as well as to those not blatantly in the struggle. When we give up our power to something or someone and hook our very survival to their presence, craving it as if our next breathe depends on it, therein stands the "void-filler". What are we really seeking most?

Fill that search with the confidence that you are not void of anything and the relationship between the addict and the drug is over. Dig to the root and discover the "why" and you find the answers you were unknowingly searching for all along. We were born filled with all that we need-yet we search the exterior, depleting our cells in a chase that's not our own.

Begin, yet again. This time get to the root, knowing that this will forever be one continuous journey.