A Twist on “One Year, No Beer”

1 YEAR NO SUGAR, 20 YEARS NO CIGARETTES

This month marks 20 years no smokes, and 1 year no sugar for me🤩 My foto was taken last weekend and shows how I feel living in freedom🎉

I’ve had numerous substitutes for beer since I gave it up in 1999 at 22 years old.

Cigarettes, though they didn’t give me the delicious hug that alcohol delivered, still gave me a hit of ease and comfort that I needed to get through my day.

Sugar, chips, crackers, along with all things binge-y and snack-y, filled the same beer-and-cig-shaped hole after I gave them up.

I quit cigarettes for the final time in September 2001. A mix of Zyban (the re-labeled antidepressant Wellbutrin) and nicotine gum (ONLY ONE BOX) was my winning combination to quit entirely.

The sugar game has been a much longer and more painful one to play, but I’m so grateful to say that it has been one year now that I have not indulged in any candy, cake, ice cream😮, cookies😮😮 or any other confectionery.

I acknowledge myself💪 for my commitment, my willingness to surrender day by day – even through cravings and temptations – and to recommit as needed to the decision that just for today, for this hour, this moment, I will not eat sugar. I will not buy that bag of chips or cookies.

Those things are like beer for this alcoholic. Once I start, I can’t stop.

Most days, I live in a position of neutrality, safe and protected, from the desire to binge.
On rare days, suddenly I see the cafe dessert case from across the room, like it was a long-lost lover 😍

I get captivated😵 by the bright promise of pleasure that is held in the creamy crown of carrot cake, the cool pastel slice of lemon pie, the brown buttery crumbs of apple turnover, or the dark gaze of chocolate mousse.

Sugar and bingeing gave me that same warm embrace I sought in a romantic partner.
Nowadays, when I notice the urge to splurge, I see it as data – information about my internal landscape.

Something is off within me if I want to use food to medicate my emotions.

Today I don’t abandon myself, reject or ridicule, when I feel that old familiar craving come on, or that hollow emptiness that rises inside like thunderclouds building on the horizon⛈

I just notice and be. I sit with myself. I acknowledge my awareness as an act of self love🥰️
The love I sought through sugar and smokes, I give myself.

This I have found to be the winning formula🧘- praying and staying in a space of willingness to surrender, moment by moment, any craving to numb.

Whether it be to use food, sugar, or smokes, sex, substances, or shopping – any and all of these can be void-fillers and vitality-killers.

Now my next frontier is my phone📱
I’ve lost countless hours in a technology twilight zone, coming to and wondering where did the hours go – along with my inspiration and intention for productive action.

I get to apply the same principles I’ve used in my recovery with substances, smokes, and sugar to my relationship with technology.

The consequences are just as real, the self-loathing and powerlessness like any other addiction.

I’ll keep sharing about my progress on this path in hopes it helps you on yours.

Wherever you are on your journey, I acknowledge you. If you’re in denial or acceptance – suffering and hopelessness or moment-to-moment surrender – or total freedom and peace, I invite you to meet yourself with compassion🙏

And I will meet you there too.

Because I’ve been there before, and I know, and understand.

What is it for you? What is your crutch? And where are you on the journey?

There is no better use of my experience than to help others with what I have learned.
I am here for you💓

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