I’m a food addict. Just like a drug addict, I have no control over my food intake. I wasn’t always this way. It started happening a few years ago when I suffered a few setbacks in life. Rather than deal with the pain, I used food to make the pain go away. Sugar, to be exact. I ate a certain amount of sugary products per day that set my mood intake to an upswing. Make no mistake about it, food is a drug. When used to ‘soothe’ it works almost exactly as the most dangerous drugs out on the market today. In other words, the sugar gets you high.

Stock photo. Not me BUT you get the idea.

Consuming “highly palatable” foods, or foods that are high in carbohydrates, fat, salt, sugar, or artificial sweeteners, triggers the pleasure centers of the brain and releases “feel-good” chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.

Over the years, my excessive sugar intake would eventually have a negative effect on my health. Unbeknownst to me, I had reached that dangerous sugar level threshold this past week. Without realizing the damage I had done to myself, after a week of excessive eating, I sat down to have a taste of a family member’s leftover Thanksgiving side dish of sweet potatoes and almost immediately, I fell into a catatonic, almost diabetic coma! The dish was overflowing in butter and brown sugar. I literally overdosed and no, this is not a laughing matter. It turned out to be a very serious health issue.

The truth is that excessive intake of sugar is toxic. Anytime that a toxic substance is introduced into the complex entity that is the human body, countless health problems can surface. This is the result of sugar directly or indirectly producing systematic, harmful responses in the body.

Almost immediately I became incapacitated. I could barely think, reason or speak. I became extremely tired. All I wanted to do was sleep. And sleep is exactly what I did. For three days! I couldn’t wake up. When I did, I was tired. I could barely walk from my bedroom to the bathroom. The only thing I wanted was ice water and despite the cold weather, I wanted my bedroom windows open because I couldn’t breathe. I was in the grasp of ‘Sugar Shock’.

SUGAR SHOCK™ is a mood-damaging, personality-bending, health-destroying, confusion-creating constellation of symptoms affecting millions of people worldwide, who often turn to processed sweets and much-like-sugar carbs, which send their blood sugar levels wildly soaring and plummeting.

This is all in retrospect. While this was happening, my family had no idea what was going on. They thought I was just tired and needed to sleep because I am also an insomniac. But by day three they knew something was not right. If I didn’t improve they were going to call an ambulance. After three days of my not eating, I started to form sentences. I told my husband I had heart burn of such intensity, I thought a blow torch had fallen down my throat. My husband called my gastroenterologist and within a few hours I was able to TeleMed with my doctor virtually, who in turn did a quick diagnosis and within the hour my husband was at our local pharmacy picking up a prescription for me.

Another two days had passed and slowly I was able to get out of bed, walk a bit, but I was still very, very tired and extremely weak. I was also hungry but at this point, I was too terrified of eating anything. We weren’t sure if I had diabetes or some other form of malady. I’m scheduled for blood tests but in our current covid pandemic, I’m leery of going to any medical facility. I have another TeleMed appointment next week with my GP, who will probably be more thorough. I’m hoping they can send someone to my home to take my blood samples.

It’s now been nine days since my toxic episode. Technically, nine days “sober”. To say that I have had the scare of my life would be an understatement! I was never so frightened in my life! It also caused me to evaluate my life and ask myself ‘what the f**k are you doing to yourself? to your family?” I was on a death spiral. I was literally killing myself.

I googled what someone with diabetes and acid reflex should eat and in that moment, I changed my eating habits for good. I’m nine days sober and I haven’t had a drop of sugar, nor carbs, nor bread, nor anything other than plant-based foods. I’m a born-again, semi-vegan who has experienced a serious, life changing lesson. Today was the first day I haven’t felt any stomach pains, nausea or esophageal pain. I am, however, still very, very weak. This looks like it is going to be a slow recovery. The lesson I am being forced to learn is going to be a painful one so that it is forever embedded into my brain that I had better get my act together. Quickly. Or else.

I hadn’t realized how those setbacks had affected me subconsciously. The final straw was when my brother died this past April from covid-19. It’s all been too much to bear. I was on a crash course and there was no one to help me. Except God. I did cry out to God to save me. I told Him He saves junkies and drug addicts, why couldn’t he save me, a food addict? Apparently I needed something drastic to happen to me to get me to change my evil, toxic ways and God sure delivered. Lesson learned!

When I was finally able to walk into my kitchen, the first thing I did was open up my fridge and throw every offensive piece of crap into the garbage. Then I took a swab of vinegar and cleaned the inside of my fridge to pristine. I started watching YouTube videos for Beginner Vegans and came up with a battle plan. Hubby went to the market and bought me the produce and vegan products my soul so desperately needed. I’ve eaten sparingly because I am still terrified of ever going through this experience again. I can not emphasize enough how scary this whole experience has been for me. There are no words.

I’m taking my meds. Twice a day.

I’ll be following up with my GP next week.

Special Note: I haven’t felt like my old self, Cindi, in a very long time. She’s back. Nine days sober and counting.