Sometimes I feel like I’m holding my breath by keeping sugar at bay. There’s such intensity, a stronghold to stay afloat without a life preserver, treading water, and hoping that my will power and strength can abstain from the substance that weakens me. And it does that; it weakens me.

I heard in an interview yesterday someone asked what heroin feels like. She said,”It makes everything okay, deals with pain and makes it all okay. Any worries become alright.” Like any drug, sugar has the same numbing effect for many, including myself. From Mary Poppins, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, but it additionally sends the emotions down deep to a place where they remain dormant. It makes everything okay; all my worries go away; and all pain ceases to exist. Like the addiction of a drug, without it, the numbing agent ceases to exist and an aching for something continues, like an invisible limb, something missing.

Yet with any substance addiction, the destructive element of the drug destroys one’s insides. With the case of food addiction, it increases the waistline, infiltrates with toxins, and slows the body’s ability to digest and function properly. Then the psychological need for something, the addictive portion eventually affects one’s quality of life. One of those cycles like a merry-go-round that is challenging to jump off of for fear of the pain associated with the outcome…. the landing. “It’s not jumping out of a plane that will kill you; it’s the landing.”

The landing gear for detoxing sugar is similar to any removal of an addictive substance. I often footnote the addiction as personal to just me. Yet then I look around and see food addicts, so many in pain using food as a numbing agent. Do I need the data, surveys, and statistics to show others lurk in the same shadows? Hence, it is where we land without the substance to aid and abet us. It is having to feel the emotions that I would prefer not to experience, or normal stresses, the emotional or physical pain that comes and goes with life’s day-to-day.

There’s always been a peculiar statement about “everything in moderation.” Yet after much experimentation of this concept, it simply does not apply to foods as simple sugars. Moderation leads to greater ingested amounts until it can no longer be defined as such. Some say self control is the key to such behavior. Would you say this to an alcoholic about alcohol? Would you say this to a heroin addict about heroin? Sugar seems to have the same effect, and yet is not socially accepted as a “real” addiction. So many of us act as living proof that it is real, and we struggle often from its affliction.

So if asked to work in a bakery or a candy store, sugar addicts need not apply. It’s just a recipe for disaster.