Sunrise Brings Hope

Fourth of July has come and gone and I survived. It was my first official alcohol-free holiday! We went to a BBQ that lasted 9 hours and throughout the course of it I consumed 13 sparkling sodas. It was incredibly compulsive. Immediately upon finishing a can, I grabbed another and shoved it in my koozie. I kept thinking about how, if I were still drinking, all of those cans would have been beer. Not to mention, glasses full of rosé.

I have notice that without booze in the mix, my compulsive tendencies SHINE! It’s something I’ve dealt with for my entire existence. The past 23 years have been a mixed bag of compulsions that manifested into unhealthy addictions.

My first memory of over-eating is from third grade – a bread bag full of miniature powdered donuts. I was already fat at that point, so it’s safe to assume that I was stuffing my face far earlier than third grade, but the doughnut incident was the first one I vividly recall. Much of elementary school remained the same, somehow managing to consume far more than necessary and always sugary, sweet desserts. I remember entire sleeves of Thin Mints, boxes of Kudos (such a sorry excuse for a granola bar), and packages of pink Zingers rolled in coconut.

While being the fat, funny, loyal friend in elementary school didn’t bother me, the transition into fat, loathsome, embarrassing outcast in junior high was debilitating. It was in junior high that my compulsions shifted from overeating to self-harm. When I finally escaped junior high, I graduated into high school and full fledged anorexia.

com·pul·sive
kəmˈpəlsiv/
adjective
  1. 1.
    resulting from or relating to an irresistible urge, especially one that is against one’s conscious wishes.

Of course, from there came alcohol.

At this point in the juncture, I am happy to say that I am not full on struggling with any of these things. Wahoo! Of course, there are good and bad days, but that’s life. Throughout the years I have removed each and every negative coping mechanism. Now that I’ve removed alcohol, my compulsions are jockeying for a new outlet, such as consuming 13 sparkling sodas in 9 hours…

In all seriousness, this self awareness is major. It’s allowed me to shift my compulsions in a more constructive direction. I’m working on pushing myself to write more, to read more, to run more. It will always be a tightrope of sorts; finding that balance between comfortably completing these ventures and becoming obsessed with completing them but at least I know what I’m up against, and how achievable it all seems now that I am sober.

Every single day is better and better. Each morning is another chance to explore this new life, and I am dead-set on enjoying as many minutes of it as possible.

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