Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death is tragic and sad. Addiction is a complicated issue. So complicated in fact, I’m having trouble writing a cogent post. I’m going to take the lazy way out and express myself in bullet points.
- I can relate to the Hoffman’s of the world. I remember what it felt like to experience self-loathing, to go to a very dark place where no one could reach me. Depression feels like a bottomless pit with no escape in sight. I’m grateful… really, really grateful that one day at a time I no longer experience that.
- I remember what it’s like to drink too much, even after telling myself I won’t do that. It’s been a long time since I’ve engaged in that behavior. Today alcohol has no appeal for me and I choose not to touch it.
- While not drinking feels effortless, I face the tiger named Eating Disorder on a daily basis. And yes, that’s an addiction. My eating disorder remains quiet as long as I abstain from the ingredient that wakes up my phenomenon of craving: sugar. I’ve also recently come to terms with the fact that wheat affects me in the same way. I’m beginning to have the willingness to investigate other grains and their effect on me.
- I’m on Day 44 of living wheat free. My eating disorder barely whispers now, but I can’t assume it will always be so well-behaved. I must remain vigilant about my food choices if I want to enjoy the serenity I enjoy today. It feels good not to white-knuckle.
- Last year comedian Russel Brand wrote an essay about addiction and abstinence. It’s been re-circulating this week. You can read it here. As I read it, I mentally substitute the word “sugar” where he uses the words “heroin,” “drugs” and “alcohol.” Doing that sums up an eating disorder pretty well.
- My daily reprieve doesn’t come just from abstaining from sugar and wheat. I also try to remain in a fit spiritual condition. There is a God, and it isn’t me. Every day I must turn my will and my life over to God’s care. And I must confess, I do this imperfectly.
- I believe I now enjoy life more so than those who have never wrestled with personal demons.
- Addicts aren’t bad people who need to become good. They…we…are sick people who want to be well.