A few years ago, I was in San Francisco visiting friends around this time of year. They had a tradition of exchanging chocolates on Valentine's Day. I was in a period of no sugar and when my friend asked if getting a chocolate tulip would be a problem for me, I lied and said no. I ate that tulip, several of the chocolates out of her box, bought my own box of See's at the airport, and was off on another several years of sugar addiction.
Last September I celebrated 20 years of sobriety from alcohol and drugs and yet my sugar addiction is in full bloom. For a year, I've been working with a great spiritual director/counselor who has had her own issues with food. We've been circling around the issue of abstinence for all those months. In early November, I gave up ice cream, my sugar of choice. Dreyer's Twice Churned Caramel Delight to be exact. I've had ice cream once since then at a party but I'm feeling a bit clearer about letting that go. But I'm still eating sugar and using it to numb my feelings, both past and present.
Valentine's Day this coming Sunday seems a good day to let it go, as a gift of love for myself. I'm not dieting, I'm not abstaining from other foods, I'm just going to let go of what I call "intentional" sugar, the sugar I eat to slow down, to relax, to numb out, the sugar I take as a drug.
I can feel my resistance, I can feel my fear. I don't know what is going to happen. But I'm going to let it happen. I don't want my life to be about a box of chocolates.