by Robin Korth
I am a recovered alcoholic with a 42-year history of bulimia and anorexia, as well. Both of these addictions began at age 12. I stopped drinking at 51. I stopped puking at 54. Through all the years that I was abusing my body, causing upset in my own life and tearing apart the lives of those around me, people couldn’t understand why I continued to do what was killing me. I continued to abuse alcohol and food because these actions were the answers for me—until they turned on me and became a self-hating problem.
One of the biggest misconceptions about addicts is that our problem lies in what we are addicted to. Whatever we are addicted to—food, sex, gambling, drugs, prescriptions, alcohol, shopping, work, exercise—isn’t the problem for us. We see it as the answer. Why? Because this behavior makes us feel better! We have a hole in our soul—in the core center of who we are—that we are trying to fill up with something from the outside. The biggest hole we all have is that we do not truly love ourselves. We use addictive behaviors to fill this hole.
Alcohol and food killed the pain of me not loving myself for a very long time. Then they started killing me. I had no clue that they weren’t the problem—that I wasn’t bad, somehow flawed and a terrible person. The truth is that I was an inside-wounded person who had been using the numbing of booze and the comfort of overeating in order to survive.
When they stopped working, it was my choice to either continue living within my addiction to the very end, which would eventually be a too-early death—as is the sure end for all addictions—or I could choose to change. I could tear apart everything I thought was true about myself and about life as I was living it. I could begin to heal myself by turning on my soul as I began to really learn and love who I am.
I was not able to stop abusing myself with food and alcohol on my own, because it was my thinking and feeling that caused me to turn to these behaviors in the first place. I found the support I needed in the gutsy honesty of a twelve-step program. If what was once a comfort to you is now destroying you, know that you are not alone. Please reach out to someone you trust and tell them the truth, as you tell yourself the truth. Each of us is meant to have lives that are loving, joyous, and free. This includes you.
To learn about her new book, “Soul on the Run,” go to www.SoulOnTheRun.com.