Friday, April 13, 2012

Anxiety and addiction

Several weeks ago, at a meeting of my Women and Food group, three of us (all in recovery from various forms of addiction) got to talking about our personal associations with being thin. None of us had been thin since sobriety. One woman associated being thin with being strung out on drugs, having cancer, being with narcissistic men. Another associated it with being high. I realized as we talked that I associate it with being anxious.

I was thin for a lot of my life. I was a skinny kid, a tall and skinny teenager, a thin young woman. All that time I was anxious. Some people dream of a lost childhood when they were innocent and pure. I dream of a time as a small child when maybe, just maybe, I wasn't nervous and scared. I started eating around anxiety when I was about 9. I started drinking around it when I was 19. I did both for 24 years. Drinking took away the anxiety. So does eating.

In my still limited thinking, I can't imagine being thin and not being anxious. I don't keep the weight on to be calmer. I keep eating to be calmer. And I'm afraid to give it up.

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