November is Diabetes Awareness month.
Diabetes affected me personally, and I see its negative effects on the lives of many people that I know, both personally and professionally. And the kicker to this is that having Type 2 Diabetes was, for me, completely avoidable; and this seems to be the same for the majority of people I know who have this diagnosis. We know today that Type 2 Diabetes is oftentimes preventable. For me, the Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis was completely a symptom of my primary disease of food addiction.
I remember my doctor telling me for a couple of years that I needed to be careful because I was “pre-diabetic.” I would leave those appointments feeling ashamed and embarrassed, blaming my lack of willpower as the reason I couldn’t stop shoving so much food in my mouth. I would then be determined that I would change. But….of course, I couldn’t. I really wanted to and I really tried, but nothing changed. In fact, it just seemed to get worse.
In June 2013, I went to yet another doctor’s appointment—except this one specialized in Obesity! My hopes were high; I was hoping with all my might that this might be the day when I finally got the help I really needed, whatever that was. And I did get help; I was told that I was no longer pre-diabetic. Now, I was a full-blown diabetic with type 2 Diabetes!
The good news was the doctor prescribed me a medication that would control my blood sugar levels; I only had to inject myself with it every day. How simple is that?! PLUS…wait, there’s more good news…it would help me lose weight. YAY!!! Phew, I was finally getting some real help. My doctor was treating me for diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, sleep management and obesity!! Great stuff, right? Wrong!!
All along, I was being treated for the wrong disease! All of the maladies I was being treated for were symptoms—horrible consequences—of the primary disease I really had. I had untreated food addiction and, until I received treatment for that disease, my symptoms might be managed but they would continue to worsen … which indeed they did!! I continued to see this doctor who regularly suggested I consider weight loss surgery. (Remember that I had already had weight loss surgery and it had completely failed because I couldn’t follow the diet.)
Needless to say, not a lot changed in the next few years; my anxiety, sleep apnea, diabetes and high blood pressure were being “managed” by drugs; my weight was holding steady at about 300 pounds, and I continued to hate myself and believe I was a complete failure.
Thank goodness this ended when I finally received a proper diagnosis and, therefore, proper treatment, and was presented with a solution to the disease I actually had which, wouldn’t you know, cured ALL of my secondary diseases. I was taken off all Diabetes medications within six months. This is not rare; we have worked with others who, under doctor supervision, have had their insulin reduced after only a few weeks of abstinence.
Those of us who work in this field and/or have walked the path with other recovering food addicts have been witness to this over and over again. It is my hope that, in the near future, one of the solutions presented to those with Type 2 Diabetes will be to consider treatment for food addiction.
Check out our upcoming events. In mid-January, we kick off another four weeks of recovery in Florida:
Remember, abstinence and recovery first, absolutely.
Wishing you peace and abstinence during the holiday season,