When I stopped drinking, I desperately wondered what I would do with my nights? How would I fill them? How would the time pass?
When I gave up compulsive eating, binging and purging, I desperately wondered what I was going to do with ALL THE TIME. My eating disorder was my life. If I wasn’t obsessing about food, eating, not eating, my weight….what would I do, what would I think about?
AND the act act of binging and purging all day and night filled hours and hours each and every day.
My days and nights stretched ahead forever, and I was flat out terrified.
I believe fear drives most of what we addicts do. If I put down the food, I’d have to actually face my fears instead of avoiding them through my eating disorder.
But no matter how much I binged and purged and starved and weighed myself, the fear remained.
And so, I learned to face my fears. Once I saw what terrified me, I could address it. Once I’d addressed my fear and saw it didn’t kill me, I began to see that I could deal with my life – I could show up and grow up.
For me, getting well through a 12 Step process gave me clear guidelines for facing life. It also gave me peers and eventually folks to help. My life has purpose. I have plenty to do that feels fulfilling. (Of course, the 12 Steps are not the only way to get well. Whatever works, works! The 12 Steps worked for me.)
Today, I am present at my job, doing the best I can to the best of my ability. I’m a better friend, as I’m not spending all my time thinking about me and MY weight and MY food, blah, blah, blah. I am present in the world.
It didn’t come instantly, but I did create a meaningful life, filled with ups and downs that I can handle.
And I never, ever feel the ‘need’ to ‘use’ food for anything but tasty fuel.