Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. White chocolate Magnums. Nutella on toast. Green and Black’s chocolate. Pick n mix sweets. Cake …. biscuits … and more cake.
Recently, I’ve been eating far too much of all of the above.
I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but nowadays I seem to love sugar more than ever. I know it’s common to crave it when you first stop drinking and I did experience that a little. In fact to start with I pretty much ate what I fancied because staying sober was the only thing I cared about.
Then, for a short time, things changed quite dramatically. As the pink clouds rolled in I began to eat more healthily. I was on a sober high. I think many of us know this feeling; after years of beating yourself up with alcohol, it feels so good when you finally stop that you just want to look after yourself by sleeping properly, exercising and eating nutritious food.
Of course, that saintly living didn’t last. Fast forward to now and I’m happy to say that tomorrow I will be 5 months sober (yippee!! I am very happy about this) … however on the way to this milestone I seem to have acquired a bit of a sugar addiction.
I’m still doing a lot of good things, like going to the gym and cooking from scratch (all made possible because of one of the best gifts of sobriety – the ability to get shit done). So that’s good. But in the evenings I find myself ploughing through tubs of ice cream and eating Nutella out the jar. I am never quite satisfied.
It’s become my way of treating/rewarding myself at the end of the day. There’s a sod-it element to it all. A ‘you’ve been good all day now you deserve whatever you fancy’ type mentality. That kind of thought process is very similar to how I justified my drinking. I also binge on sweet treats when I’m sad or unhappy. If I’ve had a bad day, my first thought is no longer ‘what am I going to buy to drink?’ but ‘what am I going to get to eat?’.
I deserve it don’t I? Just like I used to ‘deserve’ all those bottles of wine.
What I can’t decide is how big a deal this really is. Part of me thinks: don’t worry. After all, it’s still fairly early days. Stopping drinking is an amazing achievement and if my biggest concern is about eating too much ice cream then that’s not a bad place to be. I’d always like to be a dress size smaller but I haven’t put on weight, yet. And so far overdosing on chocolate hasn’t led to me missing work, passing out on the sofa or sleeping with men I’ve only just met.
On the other hand, I can see that using anything as a way of dealing with emotions is not wise. If (fingers crossed) I stay sober for good, will I still be doing the same thing in several years time? I remember going to restaurants as a child and always, always wanting dessert even if I was stuffed from the main course. Always wanting chocolate as my after school snack. Maybe sugar was my first love, before I discovered a much better substitute in my teenage years.
Is it unreasonable to want to be ‘fixed’ completely, within a few months? Is this my alcoholism talking, the part of me that just wants everything right now?