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My Addictions

by Marie Cadette Pierre-Louis 2 months ago in Friendship
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A First Step toward a Better Life

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

Right now, I am in a long-lasting process of trying to know myself better and getting to be self-conscious about my actions and feelings. In the meantime, I am also analyzing my relationship with foods and drinks, which are two of the principal elements that maintain us alive and healthy.

During my younger years, I didn’t use to be concerned about my diet, because I wasn’t pressured enough to be so. Most debates surrounding me were either focused on people dying because of malnutrition in my own community, or people who are eating more than enough all over the globe.

The second subject is much more popular because everyone seems to know a bit about it regardless of their origin and their close environment. Therefore, whenever the conversation about food habits takes place the ideas that come to mind are obesity, cholesterol, and diabetes; all of them are related (sometimes equivocally) to the image of an obese person who eats more than they could digest.

Our culture has such a huge obsession with weight and size, that at least 39 % of us are being stigmatized, discriminated against, and even bullied because of our larger weight. It goes without saying that, in most people’s minds, the skinnier you are the healthier you become. I am not going to say all the contrary, however, I will explore a much more complex aspect of this matter and go into the nuances instead of just focusing on this stereotype imagery of food addicts.

Photo by Sarah Elizabeth on Unsplash

I Was an Addict throughout My Whole Life

As a skinny girl and a picky eater, I haven’t taken my consumption habits quite seriously. I was just doing what my mouth and mind were asking me to without questioning any of them.

The turning point of my life began only a few days ago when I realized that I ate chocolate too often and couldn’t even write without being in a profound need of this food. This observation coincides with all the struggles I have engaged against some parts of me, which are both stuck in my dark past and overwhelmed by so many social expectations.

For those who haven’t read my first stories, if you want to understand the contextual facts behind my addictions, it might be important to know that I was always struggling with some mental issues during my childhood and adolescence, which forced me into maintaining some eccentric habits unconsciously.

I was just looking for something to make me feel alive and functional back then because I was not getting this feedback from my environment.

Therefore, even though I couldn’t notice it quite clearly myself and name the problems, I had different food disorders, like serious restrictive food habits sometimes and even some addictions.

It is very intriguing to find out that, while I was trying not to eat, because I decided to harm myself, I used to consume some non-nutritional foods at a very high rate, because I felt like wanting to fill up some blank spaces in my life.

During my lifetime, each moment I had at least an addiction, which in general was considered a serious problem neither for me nor for my parents, whether because they didn’t see these habits as the principal problems I was struggling with, or because they had too many things to help me go through.

Therefore, having some food addictions was probably the least thing to restrict me from. Besides, I didn’t want to eat at all, as a result, when I enjoyed something for real it was like a miracle.

When I was a child, I was fond of chewing gum and sweet popcorn. In my teenage years, I became a fan of sweet coffee and a cake from my country.

I remember that my mom would wake up very early in the morning and prepare coffee because that was the only beverage I would drink without any difficulty.

The sweet addiction that I came across recently is chocolate. It started last year when I bought a packet of chocolate that I really loved. I started to buy several other categories moderately, which I realized to be as delicious as the first one. Within some months I practically had chocolate everywhere (backpack, pocket, purse, closet…), and ate them each moment I felt depressed.

As I was eating the last bar I had last week, I decided that I would not buy chocolate within at least a month and try to be independent of it.

I really wanted to know how I had chosen the foods to be addicted to. I was wondering what main characteristics I had been looking for in these foods, and how I could manage to not come back to any of my addictions or submerge in others.

Thus, I took the opportunity of knowing my addictions to reflect on my consumption habits profoundly, from the very beginning up to now.

Maybe chewing gum, sweet popcorn, sweet coffee, cake, and chocolate are quite different foods when it comes to texture, but all of them are sweet. Considering this fact, it is almost clear as a day that my principal problem is sugar. Apart from this, I couldn’t see any other common traits between them.

Well, I know somewhat one of the reasons why I enjoyed chewing gum. When I had not had enough money to buy actual food during lunch, I could masticate a chewing gum all day long, pretending I was eating something else. Besides, it cost less money than all types of foods my classmate used to eat during lunch.

But, still, I preferred to eat sweet and fruity chewing gum. As a matter of fact, when I was in primary school, the normal thing was to buy dozens of them to eat in the morning.

Let’s be honest, this money could buy a regular salty cake.

Besides, the sweet popcorn was a very rare food that I could find in only one boutique very far from both my school and my house, waste of time and loss of energy were not a problem for me though. I would buy my popcorn each afternoon I have money, and bring it to school the day after.

It is almost the same thing for the sweet cake. There were different other beneficially economic choices that I could make, like eating salty cake which cost even less than the sweet one. Besides, drinking bottles of coffee each day was a very weird thing for a young teenager ―it was like a drug maybe…―. On top of this, I used to drink them very sweet and fake they were just regular beverages a pupil would bring to school. I was a serious addict…and most adults didn’t even realize this.

Photo by Lians Jadan on Unsplash

Now I Know the Problem…What Next?

After analyzing all these facts, I have come to this conclusion:

I always have one addiction, and each moment it emerges in a quite different aspect. As you may have suspected, it is nothing else, but sugar. Because it is the common trait among all these foods I have been in love with, and up to now I still have a particular attraction for sugary foods.

During my teenage years, I was in a very risky state, and I wanted to be stimulated more so that I could resist the external pressure that I had upon me. Thus, the association between coffee and sugar seemed to be as effective as a regular drug. But still, it was an association only a sweet tooth would do.

If in the past I considered myself only a picky eater, I need to broaden my visions of my own consumption habits. As a result, I am reviewing all my complex relationships with foods and drinks, including my addictions.

I recognize my weak points and I know that the internal battle I am going through right now is not that simple. But it is inevitable if I want to be healthy and fully proud of myself.

Like most of these young people, living alone in a foreign country our life is full of adversities. However, through my experiences in the recent years, I have come to realize that even during my difficulties, I must find certain stability mentally and physically. If not, I have only worsened my own conditions.

The key to helping me cope with anxieties, as well as addictions, is not consuming what I feel like consuming, but what is good for me, because the accumulation of this unhealthy habit would end up with another kind of anxiety itself and jail me in an infinite spiral in which anxieties are creating other kinds of anxieties. I don’t want sugary foods to define me, and nor do I want the stresses that foster this habit to be transformed into a simple justification. I want to overcome both stresses and addictions, or at least I should know how to live with the former (my stresses) so that the least can disappear.

As I am trying to know the details about sugar itself and why I have been always a fan of it, I wonder why most of us love eating sweet food. I hope that my next story will provide effective answers to these questions.

For now, I am just thanking you for having read this story.

*Originally published on Medium:

Friendship

About the author

Marie Cadette Pierre-Louis

This is me, Marie. A writer in becoming!

For now, I am a translator and content creator.

See more about me on Instagram (@mariecadettepierre) and twitter (@cadettelouis).

Buy me a coffee by signing up to Vocal+ through this link.

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