Saturday, May 30, 2009

ADDICTION: Part 2 - Hi, my name is Stages of Change and I am an...


I am an addict.

I am an alcoholic, and I am a binge eating, compulsive, food addict.

I also firmly believe that I have the capacity, if I went down various paths, to become addicted to virtually any of the other things in life that one can: drugs, sex, spending, relationships, etc. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if in some magical way, I woke up tomorrow and the world no longer had or needed food or booze, I would likely pick up a new addiction within a few weeks.

One year ago, to the day, I left rehab.

I went to rehab because I was in a massive struggle with alcohol and with food - a struggle that I was losing, big time.

I went to rehab because I was an addict.

An addict because I had continued to eat and drink despite the negative consequences. I continued to eat and drink even though my health had been getting worse for years. Even though I barely graduated high school, and didn't even make it a year in college because partying was more important. Even though I had become 300, then 400, then 500 pounds. Even though I was depressed. Even though my weight and my drinking lead to me tearing my knees up...both of them...seperately...multiple times. Even though drinking had led to me being hit by a car. Even though my behaviors were devastating my family and loved ones. Even though I had blown tens of thousands of dollars on food and booze.

Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Bottom line is that I was an addict. So, I went to rehab.

As it turned out, I loved rehab. It was one of the best times of my life. I learned, and more importantly, accepted to my very core, a number of extremely important things during my time there.

Well, it's a year later, and know I'm way over 600 pounds; probably 150 pounds heavier than I was that day, one year ago, that I left rehab feeling like a million dollars; feeling like I could do absolutely anything, and would.

I have done well enough, largely due to external forces, with not drinking, but eating has kicked my ass.

Why have I continued my food addiction?

Why do I still compulsively binge-eat?

Why is that possible, when this last year has been so amazing?

The year: Rehab was incredible. I had a relationship that taught me a lot about life and myself. I read a book that changed my whole outlook on life. I slowly, over the year, completely changed my world view and political opinions. I learned humility. I only recently established a burgeoning faith.

This year was the most challenging, brutal, wonderful, amazing, transformative year of my life. This year was all about growth, and healing, and change. There was, however, one thing that didn't change. One thing that remained constant throughout the year: the eating. I ate through it all. And so, here I am.

Here I sit, on the verge of death.

THAT is fucking addiction.

And, horribly, due to all my fantastic growth in the last year, I now know that it's all my fault; I can't deny it. I can't blame it on anything or anyone else. I can't blame it on the addiction. It's my fault.

All this time, I've had the control to stop the bleeding and start the healing, but I have chosen not to. I have chosen to not do what is necessary for me to succeed. I have chosen to fail. I have chosen to continue to eat myself towards death.

I say this not to punish myself. I say it not to beat myself up. I say it because it is the truth. The raw, unfiltered, unemotional truth. And, and I cannot stress how deeply I believe this, the Truth sets us free.

So, this is my truth. No, let me rephrase that to make a point: this is THE truth. Because truth, no matter how much we may wish it was, is not situational. The truth is what it is, always.

And so, I have hope. I have hope because the truth is that the ONE thing in this world that has proven, unequivocally, to work; the ONE thing, above all else, that can heal people's addiction, is the ONE thing I have not yet tried.

It's easy to get down, and feel miserable, and be frustrated that one year after leaving rehab for addiction, I am worse off than ever. But then I remember. There is one thing I haven't tried yet; it's insane that I haven't, but it's the truth.

So, here I am. I either choose to take the necessary step and do What Works, and start healing, or, I choose my addiction, and I die.

*The thrilling trilogy concludes shortly with part 3: ADDICTION - The Justice of Recovery*


  1. You have already choosen. You picked "What Works" and start healing. You would not be blogging about it, if you had not.

    My friend, It sounds too simple but I believe it is a Journey. If you are committed to the journey then all paths lead to the top of the mountain. But not all paths are the same. It is your Journey.

    Keep trying every day.

    Peace and Good Luck to you.

  2. The detached way in which you talk about your issues seems to be a way in which you avoid really getting up close an personal with what you need to address. It seems that when a person really opens up, for all to see, vulnerable, naked... that is when life change begins. Instead of facing the ideals from a distance, it might benefit you to open up, and drop the false front of wisdom. If we are in the midst of addiction we are NOT practicing wisdom. Pushing your comfort zone, being completely brutally honest... what an amazing place to do that. Showing your true self to a group of people that do not know you, and that you do not know.

    I hope that one day you will get down to the nitty gritty, and show what is really going on in plain language, and not a distant detached observer.

  3. Hey MISTER!! I just got your comment. I have been kind of stressed and missed your two posts. Glad to see you getting back to working things out. I hope I can read more soon... don't fade away again!

  4. At the risk of sounding too personal, may I ask what was the book that changed your life so dramatically? Just curious. I think you are a wonderful writer, by the way. Thanks for all that you share.

  5. I'm a 12-stepper in OA and you know you have to go into program. Don't wait another day. As you said, you're life is on the line. It's only your fault for not recognizing the severity of the disease, but not your fault that you have it. Not everyone knows what it's like to have the obsession of craving that can only be lifted by an HP. Read the Big Book again, substitute "food" for "alcohol," go to meetings, get a sponsor and you will live and prosper. Best wishes.

  6. Let the healing process begin. You can do it.

  7. It sounds like you have hit rock bottom with your food addiction. Now you can start your recovery - don't be too hard on yourself about gaining weight in the past year - you've done an excellent job of not drinking, and as you know, take things one step at a time and you'll get to a good place with your eating, just as you have with your drinking. Good luck - you can do it!

  8. Dude, best wishes. You will find your way out. I believe it. I can tell that you are an extremely smart and capable person from all of your fantastic posts---you can do this!

  9. The fact that you are aware of this and admitted it is the big first huge step. Now it is just putting one foot in front of the other. It is progress not perfection. ( I learned that in OA)

    You can do this one bite, meal, minute, day, and hour at a time. Please, Please, Please, NEVER GIVE UP!! You have your whole life ahead of you. You are an incredible guy, kind, gifted and talented.

    We are all here to support you. Please use this blog as one of your tools.( you're a great writer and your blogs are great to read) Here we share not just our accomplishments but our trials and imperfections as we all have them.

    Hang in there bud!!!

  10. Good luck beating the addictions - can you find something good to get addicted to, like exercise, a creative hobby or even work?

    Hugs x

  11. I think addictions are somewhat interchangable. You can give up alcohol, you can give up cigarettes, heroin, whatever, but not food. That one, you have to come to terms with, you can't just live without. The homeless lady on the corner prefers heroin, but will settle for alcohol, if that's all she can get. Anything but sober! I'm with you on the easily addicted, I'm not a huge fan of the alcohol and can barely stand to drink it socially, but I smoke weed as if it was about to be made illegal. I also have a problem staying off the cigarettes, and have been borderline with some other substances that I recognized (thank you cigarettes) that I was starting to have problems with.

  12. I think your raw honesty is impressive and probably very necessary for you at this point. I also think you're probably not giving yourself enough credit where credit is due. If you're an alcoholic and you've done "well enough with not drinking" over the past year since leaving rehab, then you've done something great. (I don't know why you attribute that to "external force" -- it's still something you have a choice about, right"? And you've chosen not to do it. Damn good for you).

    Everybody knows that hard as it is to kick any addiction, trying to deal with two at once is extrafucking hard (the main reason AA meetings are so smoke-filled). Obviously continuing with the binge eating is an extra problem because the longer you do it, the more weight you have to lose. But it sounds like you have done some great work in the past year and that you are getting ready to do more. Good for you.

  13. I don't know what book you have read or what you consider the truth to be. I found my truth in the Bible and a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Once I realized that my body is His temple, I had a major change in attitude. I no longer binge. I started at 290 and am now at 196, it has been slow and I still have a way to go but I will get there. Bondages to addictions can be broken if you belive they are broken. God bless.