I'm in Rehab, you guys.
Which feels so glamorous to say.
Don't get mad.
I know addiction is serious.
I come from a long lineage of alcoholics and addicts, so I know the reality of what it really means. But I have always been the boring one, the one to say no, I'm good, thanks. I don't drink, don't smoke.
What do I do?
I am a hummingbird, I tell people, which makes me feel exotic and light when really I am just saying I exist on sugar. Chocolate croissants for breakfast, nutella on bananas, fruit juice, jelly beans, cookies, donuts, those little granulated jelly slices that look like an orange? I am an equal opportunity sugar-slut. You got it, I'll eat it. And if you don't got it, I'll go out and get some.
The only thing more boring to me than trying to find a specific type of hinge in Home Depot is listening to people rattle on about their diets. Learning dietary information is like trying to swallow a big vitamin. My throat closes up. I shut down. Can't. Get. It. In. But I also can't seem to ignore all the connections between diet and autoimmune disease. Gut, brain & neurons, oh my! And fuck it if I'm not a mom who owes it to my kids to wander the cement wide aisles of Home Depot while trying to swallow a very dry vitamin.
Gulp. Here we go.
I checked in this morning. And by "check in" I mean I stopped at Starbucks for a venti chai and a chocolate croissant before I had my first meeting with the nutritionist. It's not actually a residential program, but I'm going to pretend it is because that will make me take it more seriously, and yeah, it also makes it more glamorous. I am at The Betty for mah belly.
(Let me just say that I am grateful that heroin is not my drug of choice. If it were, I would be dead. In anticipation of my appointment this morning, I went on a bender last night with some pharmaceutical-grade Tollhouse cookie dough. I actually felt nauseated, I ate so much.)
(But not sick enough that I didn't have two cookies when I woke up this morning.)
My "sponsor" is a woman named Willie who I already love. Like any good sponsor, she said I can call her anytime, day or night. Which is good, because already she warned me that people with autoimmune diseases cannot tolerate gluten, and most likely dairy. Sugar is a natural no. Over the next 4 months I will be getting blood work done to see what's going on in my gut, and together we will teach me how to eat again.
More importantly, she will teach me how to eat so that my children will grow up seeing their parents eat (and stay) healthy. Lead by example, and all that...
You probably already know this, but I learned that sugar produces a release of dopamine from the reward center of the brain, a response that mimics that generated by taking drugs. And this is not just sugar found in the usual suspects, but sugar found in processed foods, breads, grilled cheese, all my go-tos. All this time I have felt secretly (I hope) smug that I somehow ducked the genetic addiction that strangles so many people in my family, only to find out that I am just as addicted as anyone else. I'm just not as fun at parties.
So that's that. God grant me the serenity...
p.s. I will try not to talk too much about this, both in real life or on this blog because shut the fuck up, that's why. Unless you're interested. In which case, keep coming back, it works if you work it.