Saturday, July 25, 2009

Diary of Addiction



Yesterday I came to grips and admitted an addiction. After eating 15 ounces of Swedish fish in a twenty four hour period and then noticing I was not happier as a result of my binge, I can admit my desire for the sweet, red gummy-like fish can consume me. I believe it qualifies as an addiction.

I always liked any gummy candy, but Swedish fish are my number one favorite. My 91 year old Mom likes them too. In fact, the bag of candy I so decadently consumed was actually purchased for her (something I'm not proud of). In a weak, sugar craving moment which occurred after weighing myself and learning I had just lost another two pounds, (the fear of weight gain was absent) I succumbed to my craving and went fishing for a treat.

When I decided to open the bag and made a promise to myself to buy another for my mother, I told myself I can have just a few and then put the bag away. Well, that is exactly what I did....although I repeatedly reopened the bag and ate my fish in schools of five over the course of the whole day and into the next.

When the last fish was consumed, I began to think about the experience I just completed. First of all imagining a gummy wad in my stomach that will probably take weeks to digest did not feel good. I can honestly say after the first few fish went down the hatch, I did not fully enjoy the treat. In fact, it seemed the more I ate, the less I tasted them and the less control I seemed to have. Before long, the fish were eating me, not me eating them.

This incident had all the markings of addiction. I could not control myself after awhile. The fish were all I could think about. I told myself I had self-control, but yet I gave into this craving. It became very clear that the sweet cherry taste of Swedish fish is not more important to me than being in control of my own actions.

I realize addictions to alcohol, tobacco and drugs carry with them other elements that make them even more self destructive than my love of Swedish fish, but believe the bottom line of whether or not eating, drinking, smoking or using a chemical substance actually improves your quality of life, the answer seems clear to me. External influences can never replace the contentment that comes from within. I temporarily forgot that.

Since I choose to live my best life, I want to remember to make decisions that support that goal. Asking myself how what I am about to do will feel, and whether or not it is in alignment with who I am is a great place to begin. If it is in alignment, I feel joy.

If I had listened to my intuition, I would have walked away from the fish. Next time, I will remember this experience and make another choice that will actually feel good to swallow.

2 comments:

Kathleen Richardson said...

Kate,

I was so impressed by this entry that I posted a link to it on my blog.

Kathleen

Kate said...

Thanks, Kathleen....I believe many will resonate with the hidden addictions that pop up in our lives.