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Getting clean, coming clean & staying clean by Ashley N.

I got clean when I was 25 and definitely did not think I had a problem with alcohol.  I came to treatment at Turning Point of Tampa with one goal in mind:  stop using drugs.  Alcohol was not even on my radar as a problem.  I remember making several phone calls to friends from college, crying about this crazy treatment center telling me that being clean meant being sober too.  Long story short, I came to believe that alcohol was a drug just as much as anything else I had used because it was mind and mood altering and I couldn’t ever have just one.  About the time that I realized alcohol was a drug, my Higher Power saw fit for me to realize that there was yet another drug in my life.  Food.

My first rationalization for why food was not a drug was that I didn’t HAVE to take drugs or drink alcohol, but I did HAVE to eat.  It is essential to life.  But after every rationalization, I normally have a rebuttal that makes everything as clear as mud.  In this case, my rebuttal is, to me, as clear as rain:

When I was using drugs I hid it from people.

When I was eating copious amounts of food I hid it from people.  Literally, I hid in bathrooms, closets and my car.

When I was using drugs I lied.  A lot.

When I was purging I lied about it.  A lot.

When I was using drugs I NEVER just used a little amount for a short period of time.  I used a lot.

When I was binging I NEVER just binged a little.  I binged for hours, days and weeks.

When I was using drugs I avoided my family, friends and God.  If I wasn’t cursing God, then I was begging God to not let me die over an overdose.

When I got on the scale multiple times a day, I always said a little foxhole prayer to God for the number on the scale to be just what I needed to get me on that self-esteem high for the day so that I didn’t want to kill myself.

I could go on, but I think you get my point.  What I have learned through 12 Step Recovery is that anything that I use to make me feel different is a drug.  After I got clean I was able to be honest with myself about my addiction to food.  Today I am willing to look at all aspects of my life and for that I am grateful.


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