Writing Group topic: Compulsive overeating as a disease

Well, about the chapter. I had shared with a friend last week that when I read that chapter (I read the book while travelling) I found myself disagreeing with some of it, but I wasn’t quite able to articulate why. Someone has put her finger on it, though – I do have a problem believing that the whole thing is genetic, lying in wait only needing to be activated by my first ever experience of sugar.

My personal experience is that I always ate too much, but I was not a compulsive overeater while young. Besides, as was mentioned, how come there are now more obese people (or people with our disease) than ever before? Are they breeding more? I don’t believe so… for me personally, I believe my disease is made up of two parts. On one hand, yes there is a drug – like alcohol, sugar is a drug when overused; my body is more sensitive to that drug than other people. Just like some can’t have penicillin. However, just because I abstain from that drug (which is the genetic part, arguably), doesn’t mean I’m going to be OK.

When I left Greysheet in May 2006, until I crawled back in October of that year, I never picked up sugars (or grains, or starches). I knew better than to have those – and yet, I found myself in active food addiction again, bingeing and dieting and all the rest on foods that might be Greysheet abstinent if weighed and measured. So I know there is more to it than my physical body’s reaction. I have a mental disorder and I don’t know about blaming genes for that.

I think I still hold the tension between it being a disease and it being a choice. Before I got to the stage I am now, in my early years, I made choices that led me down this path. Like the man in the Big Book who decided at age 30 to not drink until he was retired – I could have made choices; I just fail to believe that my destiny was always going to be oblivion through food – no matter what I did – a genetic “predestination”. Of course, now that I am where I am, I have stepped beyond the threshold of choice and I recognise I have a disease, hence I take my medication no matter what. I don’t fret about it, and I don’t ask “why”. It’s just there and as someone else said, how wonderful a disease that allows one to get better and better!

Anyway, for whatever reason I am as I am… I still don’t eat, NMW.

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