Thursday, February 19, 2009

Still the beginning ...

I know there are major differences between overcoming alcoholism and overcoming compulsive overeating. But there is at least one advantage that the recovering alcoholic has that the recovering COE does not have. 

An alcoholic can choose to remove all alcohol from her house, can choose not to go into a liquor store, and can choose to stay out of bars. In essence, she can virtually eliminate alcohol from her immediate  surroundings. I know that doesn't remove the desire or the craving, and I am by no means minimizing the struggle. The alcoholic will eventually have to learn to survive in a world where alcohol is present. But stop and think for a minute. The alcoholic has the ability to completely stop drinking alcohol, get it completely out of her system. I, as a compulsive overeater, do not have that choice. If I stop eating, I starve and die.

The struggle I'm having is that first meal, that first bite. Just like the alcoholic's first drink, it can lead to a binge, which leads to me wanting to purge. So, the struggle the COE has is that she must eat, but not overdo; she has to indulge, but only a little. Do you see the dilemma here?

I was chatting last night with another COE at an on-line OA meeting. When I mentioned this to her, she said she thought that an addiction to food was the worst addiction one could have. I would imagine everyone struggling with an addiction, be it alcohol, drugs, or food, thinks theirs is the worst one out there. I guess all we can do is take it day by day ... or, as they say, "one day at a time."

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