Emotions and Sugar

…..go hand and hand.  Don’t you agree?  I do not want to admit it, but it’s true.  I cannot be successful in this journey if I am not speaking the truth to myself.  These emotions that I speak of can bubble up at any time. Especially when there is a memory involved. That’s when sweets are MY BEST FRIEND! What about you?


So, today my mother would have been 88 years old.  It’s her birthday.  My mom passed away when I was 26 years old.  So it was just a couple of years ago!  Just kidding, I am far, far away from 28 years old! Now, back to the sob story about my mom dying when I was just a wee 26 years old….

So my mom was 43 years old when I was born, and my father was 50. Can you imagine?  It was 1970!  Back when bread was only $.25 a loaf!  In the late 60’s and 70’s it was okay to smoke and drink while you were pregnant.  Are you starting to get a picture of why I turned out the way I did?  Oh, there’s more.  All I can really remember growing up is being a “fit thrower” and even more importantly my mom ignoring me when I did this until I calmed down and went on with my life.  I had a pretty screwed up perception of how life was for me.  My mother used alcohol and food to “fix” her emotions and my father was a gambler and smoker.  Weird that I turned out to be a recovering alcoholic/drug addict and an ex-smoker WHO loves sweets, huh?

With this information in your hot little hands, it’s clear that today was a little more difficult than others, or it SHOULD HAVE been.  Here’s the deal, I am 45,  you do the math about how long it’s been since my mom died.  We weren’t even that close when she died, and THAT should make it more difficult, right?

I was living here in California when she passed, and I hadn’t had a lot of communication with her for years. She was drunk all of the time, and I had no desire to talk to her. She hid the fact from me that she was really ill. She went into the hospital and they called me, telling me that she was in a coma, and probably NOT going to make it!  Wait…. What?!? She might not make it? So, I climbed on a plane and went to check it out.  Her liver had burst! Her… liver… had… burst! So when I walked into that hospital room, THAT was NOT my mother!  It was disturbing, and so, so sad, and I was 26 years old!  I was unsure what to do.  Remember, all of my brothers and sisters are dying and practicing alcoholics! I was the ONLY one there!

I sat down beside her and started talking, about all the things that should have been said all of those years.  I cried, A LOT!  I called my best friend from school and she came to sit with me.  The next morning my mom passed at 8:36 am and I held her hand when she took her last breath.  I drank all night, and all day the next day.  I really don’t remember a lot of what happened.  I was numb, and at the funeral, it was over.  She was out of pain.  I came back to California and did not drink again for a long time.  I was scared after seeing that type of death. I will continue on that later!

All of these emotions, you would think, should have bubbled up today. They did not.  The bottom line is this:

I have been through therapy, NLP Breakthroughs,  AA and the 12 steps 4 times and have practiced several years of personal development. I listen to audios on self improvement every day and read lots of books.  I work on it EVERY SINGLE day!  Her birthday gets easier every year, because I am a different person every year.  I am better every single year. I am more emotionally equipped to handle things like this every year, even without sugar!

Up until February 25, 2008 (my D&A sobriety date) it was CRAPPY every year.  Her birthday sucked and the day she died sucked. I kept reliving it over and over and over.  When the issues were resolved (with all that work listed above), it got easier.  I chose forgiveness of my mom and her decision to kill herself with alcohol. I chose to stand up and take responsibility for my own actions growing up, and even when I became an adult. I cleaned out the “shit” that had built up.  So, NO this day was not an issue.

For some, emotions bubbling up to the surface will be an issue when trying to abstain from sugar.  I can only tell you, this too shall pass, with time.  In the meantime, here are some things you can do to help:

  • Plan ahead.  If you know a date is coming up that will trigger some emotions, plan ahead. Plan to keep yourself busy that day, and for God’s sake, DO NOT rehash the event.  What’s happened, has happened, you cannot control it!  You can only control your attitude about it.  You can honor your loved one, or yourself by having a quiet time dedicated to them, and then move on.
  • Gratitude list.  Every single day. I cannot stress enough how this simple act will change your life.  PERIOD.  It prepares you for bad days and emotions bubbling up.
  • Exercise.  It relieves stress, and actually regulates your hormones so that emotions are NOT that strong when they do rise up.
  • Sleep. Get good sleep.  If you do not, figure out a way to do so.  Be responsible for your life.  Be responsible for your sleep habits.  If you stay up too late, go to bed earlier! Do not consume caffeine after 3pm in the afternoon.  Make sure you have a pattern.  Go to bed at the same time, awake at the same time.  Lack of sleep makes you make HORRIBLE decisions.  Reaching for the comfort of sweets might be one of those decisions.
  • Don’t beat yourself up.  I know you hear this all the time.  Why do you still do it?  You are human, that is why!  There is plenty of affirmation audio on YouTube that is FREE to listen to in order to get yourself in a better mood.  LISTEN to it!  We all slip up, if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human.  God did NOT make trash, so have your little pity party and GET ON WITH IT. So what you screwed up!  Acknowledge it, and make a plan to do better next time.
  • K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Silly!  I used to try and incorporate all these changes at once and that’s why I never succeeded at any of them.  It was too much, and I chose to give up because there was NO possible way I was going to be able to accomplish all of that!  Make simple, single changes.  Giving up sugar is HUGE. JUST do that, if that is what you are working on.  If it’s adding exercise, start out 3 times a week.  That’s good enough. YOU’RE GOOD ENOUGH.

I know this was a long post, and thank you for sticking in there with me!  I hope you save this and if you want to know any of the books I have read, therapy I have been through, or what the heck NLP is – I would be happy to share that.  Shoot me an email at sugarsobriety@gmail.com or comment below!

Oh yeah, today is Day 8 without sugar, and I feel good!  Happy Birthday MOM!  I love you!