I hosted a birthday party for old friends tonight. Someone else brought the requested dessert. The four-minute rule definitely applied but even though they ate quickly, I was uncomfortable. However, I just let myself feel that and watch myself feel that and I was okay. After they left and I was finishing the dishes, I fixed myself a bowl of fresh pineapple. But it wasn't what I wanted of course.
This isn't the first holiday season I've been off sugar. There have been holidays in the past when I've been dieting or have given up sugar for 3 months or until the New Year. But this is the first year that I've had the commitment to stay off it. And that meant something tonight and I hope it will continue to mean something.
In several ways, I am more nervous around sugar than I am around alcohol. Some of it is long abstinence from alcohol. This is my 22nd holiday season with no booze. It's familiar now; the decision not to drink has happened hundreds, maybe thousands of times now.
But sugar abstinence is infinitely newer, less solid. And that isn't the only thing. If I took a drink or asked for one, I think my friends would be shocked, horrified and they would do everything they could to talk me out of it (tell me to go to a meeting, call my sponsor, rethink it all). Even the non-alcoholics know how dangerous alcohol is for someone like me.
But with sugar, I don't think anyone would think much of it. They might be surprised or just assume that I had it handled or had changed my mind about the parameters of my commitment. As a culture, we are coming to understand alcoholism a little better. But sugar addiction is less understood, even scoffed at in some circles.
What this means to me is that it a lonelier place, staying off sugar, than staying off alcohol. And that's what I was feeling tonight. Lonely in my commitment.