This February 18th, I’m coming up to 6 months of living a non-drinking life.
No, I don’t call myself an alcoholic – because back in 1997 – 2002 – I had 5 years of sobriety within the 12-Step rooms. My life was so very different back then – I was just stepping into the very deep abyss called me.
My life is very different now. I have now fully fallen into my own abyss – opening my eyes to see and allow the real me. Yes, I am an alcoholic – but I see how addiction manifests because of my DNA – my biological father is an alcoholic and on my mother’s side two of my uncles battled alcoholism – one died from it. And even as alcoholism destroys a person – I believe addiction is a choice. A diabetic makes a choice to eat too much sugar knowing the sugar will harm their health. An addict will pick up a drink or a drug, knowing somewhere deep inside it’s a bad choice and will harm them.
So today I’ve made the choice to live a non-drinking lifestyle. I don’t call myself an alcoholic – because of the heavy shame associated with that label. I want to emphasize that I have made a choice over alcohol – alcohol does not make a choice for me.
And as I swim deeper in the Stephanie abyss….alcohol no longer an issue….when stress does happen….I notice that my cravings for sugar and coffee have increased.
This increased desire to eat sugar to replace the sugar the body consumed from alcohol is nothing new to me. This “transfer addiction” was openly talked about in the rooms of A.A. and I have a memory of my beloved Uncle Donnie, who battled addiction to both alcohol and prescription drugs, sitting down to eat 4 to 5 chocolate bars at a time.
Normally, I’m a salt/potato chips over sugar/chocolate gal. But in the last month or so – I notice that I’m buying more M&M chocolate covered peanuts to snack on that has dangerously evolved to my filling a jar on the kitchen counter with these evil little things! At work, if a craving for chocolate hits I will go from classroom to classroom to office to office begging for chocolate!
Coffee! Oh, how I love my coffee!! My cravings for coffee has increased. I am normally a one large coffee in the morning gal who actually can’t wait to wake up and enjoy my morning java! Add to my loved one large coffee in the early morning the two more coffees I now have when I arrive at work!
This blog won’t speak about the science of increased serotonin levels from consuming chocolate and dopamine increases from drinking coffee and how these brain chemicals and neurotransmitters tie into addiction.
For now, I’m just gonna say that as I add more months to living a non-drinking life – I am truly experiencing how my body works very hard to keep giving me some of those “feel good” chemicals by increasing cravings for chocolate and coffee.
I wish my body would crave the healthier path of exercise to increase my dopamine and serotonin levels. Addiction to exercise is a truth, a reality – but not the path I have traveled – yet! LoL!! Hey, I wonder if addiction to exercise is why runners chase after the runner’s high?
But, as the saying goes…too much of a good thing is just that – too much.
Too much this, too much that. Is too much a choice or is it addiction?
Moderation. This does happen – again with choice.
But what motivates this choice of moderation?
For some of us, like myself, too much of anything is addiction and in my belief – addiction really is a choice.