Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shopping for Heroine?

I had to go to the grocery store. The thought had been plaguing my mind for the past few days, and it was as daunting and frightening as a spooky haunted house on Halloween. I didn't want to go. I was afraid. I wasn't sure I could trust myself yet, especially alone.
I pushed the cart slowly, consciously aware of each step I took I walked with trepidation looking for what I needed while trying to avoid what I didn't proved impossible.
I stopped. The items on the shelves evaporated and it their place where thousands of syringes. They stood in perfect rows, glowing and calling to me. The temptation was almost too much to bear. I looked around to see if the other shoppers had noticed, but they continued to shop, seemingly unaware. They happily picked up multiple syringes and piled them into their carts. Each cart was piled higher and higher with the addictive substance. Babies cried for the drug on the shelf, and mother's handed them to their child to quiet them with no worry or regard. I had to press on. Somewhere in this huge store was the FOOD my family needed to survive. But I had to FIND it. And I had to make it through without falling into temptation. Stay strong, I whispered to myself. My hands shook a little as I turned the corner to the next aisle. I passed my go to treats that were special to me for special occasions. The problem was, once I started I couldn't stop. I never meant to be an addict. I criticized those who couldn't kick those kinds of addicts. And here I was...a hypocrite. The illusion of heroine lining the shelves faded back into the aisle of cookies I had been hoping to avoid.
Sugar was my addiction. I had to be strong. Falling off the wagon was not an option today. Kicking the sugar habit was one of the toughest things I've had to do. It never leaves you. It's the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you think of at night. You dream about it. You CRAVE it when you are stressed. You negotiate the reasons you DESERVE it. And it is everywhere you look.
An alcoholic can live without alcohol. A drug addict will not die from giving up drugs. And a person who is addicted to sugar will not die giving up sugar.....but you have to have FOOD to eat and sugar is in MOST of it.
An recovering alcoholic stays away from bars and parties where they will be serving alcohol. They have sponsors who they can call when they are feeling weak. A drug addict changes friends and location many times when trying to kick the habit to keep falling back into bad situations that would take them back to square one.
When you are addicted to sugar, there isn't a support system. I can't stop grocery shopping. There are no stores without sugar. There are no restaurants with no sugar. Our whole society is centered around food. It is a lonely world without it that most people don't understand.
What has shocked me the most about this discovery, is how this must effect children with Autism who are on special diets....especially ones who do not speak. As parents and loved ones of these children, we tend to say, "Oh, just a little here and there won't hurt." But if they really are addicted to these gluten and casein filled foods, then it really DOES hurt. It's like giving the heroine addict one more hit. It only makes fighting the cravings that much worse. When these special children need to work so much harder than other children to focus and learn, how can we justify clouding their brains with constant thoughts of their addiction?
I am not perfect, but having this experience in my life has made me re-think what I allow my kids to eat even more.
I think of a sign made of tagboard and marker hanging in a school. The title read, "What to do to relieve stress..." Two suggestions written in bold letters: Drink Sundrop; Eat Ice Cream
Kids tell the truth.

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