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*