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Monday, July 9, 2018

The White Led to the Dark

I'm at Sandwich Theory in Montclair now, working in A.C., trusty iced coffee by my side. Punchy is at her friend's, gleefully making slime. We provided some ingredients this time--cornstarch, 3 bottles of glue. I'm picking her up by 5:30 to drive her to 2-hour gymnastics team training.

I may look like a nice woman, saying thank you for my Avocado Dream sandwich [a grilled veggie extravaganza on GF bread] when the young woman with dramatic dark eyelashes brings it to my table; smiling at someone who catches my eye to engage me; greeting Paul, the talented floral designer and candy maker in town when he says hello.

But I am a villain. Trust me.

It began innocently enough. You know I have been doing my best to skirt flour, sugar and alcohol consumption since April. You may have noticed I have not been falling into dark depressions, the ones I have sometimes written about. I have lost about 15 pounds, maybe more. My blood sugars are better. My mood has been calmer and kinder.

Yet here I am again in a cycle of vicious anger, now sadness, guilt, regret and shame.

My OA sponsor's point is that cravings get reduced, disappear, when you stop eating the triggering stuff. That has been the case. How else to explain no urge for the very best fudge, lined up in pans, and an Iced Mocha Sparrow on Cape Cod? No yen for buttery gingery snaps, ice cream and brownies in Maine? It's not as though I felt deprived.

But Saturday night, I had a little fresh cherry crisp at Dan's sister's; no ice cream with it. I wasn't going to, but then rationalized that it was ok, since the topping contained oats and the filling, many freshly pitted dark cherries. Then Sunday, when the family was coming for breakfast before we hit the road, I went to bustling Chase's with Punchy. I didn't feel like cooking when we had to pack up for 450-mile drive. I figured I could stick to a piece of the buckwheat blueberry muffin and small scallion/corn tart. [Buckwheat bread, toasted and buttered, worked well earlier in the trip.] I got a few white flour blueberry muffins, too, and one Cheddar apple scone. I nibbled here and there.

Then, the hellish drive home....11.5 hours....accidents ahead of us and back-ups....fights about cell phone use with Punchy [she uses mine periodically, and I worry about the amount of time and some inappropriate sites]. And....I had not planned my food. So instead of getting the little salami and cheese tray in the food store at the crazy-busy rest stop, I got a Whopper Junior at Burger King. Small, but still white roll. When we stopped for dinner in Massachusetts, after getting the flat tire changed, I got a medium toasted "Thanksgiving sandwich," with turkey and stuffing. White roll. I did not eat sweets, stared down donuts and candy and ice cream. Had pistachios, almond crackers, local goat cheese from a Maine farm. I had many large cups of ice water.

But under the best of times, driving with Dan can be bad. Add some white bread to that mix. It was not pretty. All hell broke loose. [Yet I have noticed that when we drove back from the Cape in May and June, for example, it was not hellish. It must be what I bring to the mix.]

I thought to myself, Figgy has been good. Don't attack her when you get home. But once I saw she had not taken out the bottles from the gathering she had July Fourth or carted the pizza boxes to the curb, I was pissed. Then I noticed that my large, expensive impatiens plant on the stoop was shriveled up and dry. The sink was full of dishes. I saw red. I was even angrier. It was very ugly. I became a she-devil.

And I was still a she-devil this morning.

And here I sit, still wearing a heavy black she-devil dress.

Yet I must work. I will have to figure out how to move through this mess.

The most painful part is that I can never take my cutting words back. Never. Even if there is much beauty I offer and share, will my family be able to see beauty above evil?

Thank you for listening.

P.S. Fig did get all boxes and bottles out last night and did all dishes this morning.


  1. Eh, family life is a balance, they’ll live. I am not undermining your efforts at accountability and self improvement -I admire and encourage them. And treating loved ones badly is a terrible feeling. But these are not new or fragile relationships or people, so apologize and go out of your way to do something for each of them, and then let it go.You’re no villain, Alice.
    Got to leave really early tomorrow so thought I would pop in tonight, hope your work went well. 💪

  2. co-sign to Liz. Also it wasn't like Figgy was faultless, you know. Listen, balance is everything and rage pumped up by white foods is no fun, but find time to forgive yourself .

  3. Thanks. I am still not doing well in the emotion department. I need a magical fairy to pick up and carry me somewhere.

  4. Agreed, no villain. All those things are stressful. But I think it's amazing that you can truly see that the sugar/white flour sets off a chain reaction. That knowledge is power.

    *Anecdotal evidence* ... Pete and I are challenging ourselves to cut our dessert intake in half. Even with that modest change, we can both feel differences. Sugar is no joke. Keep up the good fight.