After-dinner hours for me mean endless scrounging for something to chew on. I always liken myself to a Piranha as I cruise through my cupboards trawling for edibles. Apples are my favourite because they are 'healthy' and have the good carbs and okay sugar, i.e. sugars that I accept as inevitable. If there is no fruit I have a bit of a problem and that's where it's important not to have almond paste in the house: I might make a double portion of Detoxinista's fudge. Or I'll make ONE cracker with almond paste. Or two. Or three. And that would turn into a binge. Any cakes, cookies or crisps, roasted nuts or anything gluten- and dairy free will be chomped through. Himself is lucky I don't like nougat and I respect his ownership of certain bars of chocolate (well, mostly I do). I need to chew and chewing gum doesn't cut it




*Do you have any addictions? I do: boy do I have addictions! I have what you call an addictive personality.

I'm even addicted to life. Truly, that is weird when you think about it. Life is so hard and so often full of really nasty stuff that I sometimes wonder why we hang on to it so grimly. Even though the biological imperative has been met, we still feel obliged to keep a grip on breathing in and breathing out. Look at my 98-year old mom-in-law. She keeps telling me she is so tired of life but she is still doing the in and out.

Back to my addictions. I realised fairly early  on that I might have a problem with drugs so I steered clear of those. Only once did I try a reefer and was seriously disappointed. A friend and I were pub-crawling and I rolled and lit up a cigarette. In those days Dutch people mostly still rolled their own cigarettes and so the only surprise that caused was that it was NOT a reefer. I was persuaded to try one draw on my friend's reefer and was sorely disappointed: it tasted sweet. Eeeew for me and I happily went back to my non-threatening tobacco.Image result for joints weed

*Years later my Irish sister-in-law got me to roll a cigarette in a pub in South Africa: we were inundated by interested males:-)

While I was quite happy to be hooked on tobacco I had no idea that I actually had a more serious problem looming and that in reality I have tolerance issues with alcohol . I can hear you laughing loudly  and saying: "oh, is that what you call it? We call a spade a shovel. You're a lush!"  Which is true. But every lush has their own reason for their being. Mine, I am sorry to say, cannot be blamed on my childhood. My parents were really not that horrible. I have had some difficult things happen to me but in the main I seem to have landed on my feet.

*I mean, if every one who had a child with a handicap, or married young or lost family were to be a lush then there would be more alcoholics than there are. And there are quite a lot more than we think.
                                                                           Image result for alcoholic

There are many many people who regularly drink way more alcohol than can be considered healthy who are not actually addicts. And many who ARE addicts who don't cause problems. The last category is in the minority but let's go with the theory that they do exist. I do know quite a few. But not me. Oh no. When I drink, I drink. A lot. All-fall-down a lot. I drink till the cupboard and the bottle and the store are empty. I get maudlin and phone my far-away family and friends and cry oceans of tears into the phone. I fight with people. Not a pretty site and not a pretty atmosphere. I worried about ending up as a bag lady. So much so that I tried the AA for a while, went into therapy for a while and climbed on the wagon (fell off once while using anti-depressants that I got hooked on) and have now been dry for 11 years. Then I went off the anti-depressants, went off alcohol and a year later went off tobacco. It got so my GP hoped I hadn't gone off sex...

*How come I found it relatively easy to stop drinking and smoking? That is where my theory of intolerance comes into play.

I am not able to sip at substances. Anything that I put in my mouth goes in in great big gulps.  I binge on alcohol, tobacco, food. Sort of orally challenged? Every time I put something my body likes into my mouth, my mind and body react really strongly. They want MORE. NOW! LOTS MORE!!! I am greedy. I am basically a binger. Is this 'just' a case of a Binge Eating Disorder? To a certain extent, but not only BED. Really it is just me. Doing that thing again. But look, I've gone on the wagon (11 years ago) now. I haven't smoked for 10 years. The food binges are really not that much of an issue any more. Mainly because I just make sure there is nothing worth eating in the house but it is really not that bad anymore.

*So what am I waffling on about?

The thing is, last night I realised that I am still a smoker. I thought that, because I haven't wanted a cigarette now for 10 years, because I hate the smell of burning tobacco and dirty ash trays and never want to smoke again, I wasn't a smoker. But I am. Every evening I substitute a cigarette with apples, soy yoghurt, fudge, fruit and whatever else is there. But really? In truth I am lighting up. While I'm eating whatever it is fine. But then I need to light up again. So I find something to eat. The scariest part of that is this: if I am also still a smoker, then I am also still a drinker. I am and will be in recovery for the rest of my life.

Damn! And I was going to write this really cute blog about  'beauty beyond recovery'. Not yet:-).