My Reese’s-lapse (or Tales of the ‘Blog Bod’ Part 2)
No..NO NO NO!!!! No worries, folks! I’m still sober and the liquor stores around me are still struggling financially without my patronage. Didn’t mean to scare ya’! (As a matter of fact, at this very moment I have 3 years, 213 days, 12 hours, and 37 minutes without a drop of alcohol. Woo hoo!!!!! ?) Recovery rocks!
So what did I relapse on?
It’s the damn REESE’S!
I had a Reese’s-lapse…
What. The. Hell?
Historically, I have never had much of a sweet tooth. Ask my family and friends – passing up dessert was a typical thing for me and quite often, still is. I have always been very much a savory girl – chips, cheese…those were my downfall. I could have chocolate in my house (including Reese’s!) for a year and it would sit there untouched. It just wasn’t my thing.
When I got sober and was shipped off to
rehab summer camp in 2013, even though technically I was part of the chronic pain program at the rehab, they strongly suggested that you attend the other 12-Step meetings (besides Chronic Pain Anonymous which we had once a week) at night with the rest of the campus (make no mistake…..even though I kinda denied it at the time, I absolutely needed to be in those 12-Step meetings!) I noticed that all of the kids (yeah…I was kind of an old lady there) were eating all of this sugar during the meetings!
In particular, I remember seeing the most ENORMOUS bag of gummy bears I have EVER seen being passed around from person to person every single night. I found it slightly odd. Was this some kind of “rehab thing” I was unaware of? Are gummy bears known to detox us better than, say, vegetables?
Or maybe it was a rehab ritual that I hadn’t read about prior to going! (For a lot of these peeps, it wasn’t their ‘first rodeo’ as they say. They knew how to walk the walk and talk the talk. I was clueless.) I had done so much research ahead of time…how did I miss this?
Believe it or not, I actually had a bit of time to prepare to go to rehab prior to going. It took us (my family) some time to figure out what the hell to do with me. I could have gone to a local rehab to get sober, but we knew that there was a lot more that I needed help with…mainly, to learn how to cope with living with this chronic pain & illness. To say that I had ‘given up’ for the past 4 years was a gross understatement.
So although getting sober was extremely important, there were…um….some other nitpicky things that my family really hoped would get addressed like getting me to shower and eat. Or leave the house. Minor details.
When my sister came across Silver Hill Hospital and their Chronic Pain & Recovery program it sounded perfect. The program was relatively new and there were only 2 other programs like it in existence at the time. This was the closest one.
After calling the Program Director up and speaking with him about what the program was all about, we took a road trip up to New Canaan, CT to have a 6-hour assessment to see if they felt they could help me. I had to get assessed by the physical therapist, be interviewed by several of the doctors in the program, and do some kind of long online test. I don’t remember much more about it. That whole period was such a blur of pain, despair, humiliation, and feeling absolutely worthless. It was the worst feeling that I have ever had and I pray that I never have to feel that way again. (My sponsor assures me that I don’t…if I keep doing the next right thing.)
Okay…blah blah blah…long story short, I get a call on the way back to NJ that they’ve accepted me into their little program (I think they have a cap at 8 people at a time.) I was excited, nervous, scared, horrified, confused…I’m sure there are more feelings I can add on top of that…but you get the gist.
My daughter had been away at this 3-week theatre camp in the Catskills that she had dreamed of going to since she was a little kid, so I asked if I could put off my intake until the following week so that I could leave following her end-of-camp show. They agreed.
This is all why I had time to prepare for
rehab summer camp ahead of time. I studied the list online of what I could bring and what I couldn’t. Now that I’m remembering how humorous the list is (but believe me, I totally understand why they can’t allow these things) I see another blog post in the works for another time. You fellow recovery peeps will get a kick out of it right along with me! (They actually took away my tiny little pack of Listerine breath strips. You know…those things that melt on your tongue? Yep…alcohol in them.)
I did not see ‘humongous bag of gummy bears’ on the list of things to bring.
By the time I get to Silver Hill, I was 2 weeks without a drink. Being that it was the first (and God-willing LAST) time I had ever tried to get sober, I had no idea that you are not supposed to stop booze cold turkey. Did you guys know that? I guess it can be pretty dangerous and you can die. I was very, VERY fortunate that I was fine. No DT’s or anything. Weird (and very lucky!) Do not ever detox without medical supervision.
So why the gummy bears?
You recovery people who have read this far knew the answer before I even finished typing the first mention of ‘gummy bears.’ When you get sober, your body craves SUGAR. Makes sense, right? Your body is so used to having that sugar from the alcohol that has been mysteriously put into your body all that time. When I finally asked one of the ‘frequent flyers’ what was up with the gummy bears and they clued me in, I thought…..huh…how strange….why was I not craving sugar like so many of them were? I was actually longer without a drink than many of them since I was dry for 2 weeks before I got there.
I was passing on the gummy bear bag without partaking for the first few nights, but then on night 3 or 4, I decided to take a few. The gummy bear peer pressure was strong. I caved.
Oh boy…this opened the sugar floodgates. Even for those of you who are not addicts/alcoholics, I’m sure you have probably noticed that sugar is extremely addicting. There are studies showing that it is actually more addictive than cocaine! So once you start eating it, it can be very difficult to stop.
I needed more sugar. For the next few nights, I took advantage of the vending machines outside of the meeting room. Berry Skittles became my best friend.
Okay…this next part you are going to think I’m making up, but I swear to God it’s true. You can ask my buddy and roomie (and now fellow-admin of our FB group “Attitude of Gratitude with Chronic Pain“) and she will tell you it is the God’s honest truth.
For some unknown reason, the peeps in the chronic pain program had access to computers and the internet.
It’s true. I think one of the doctors mentioned one day that there was a little ‘computer lounge’ in the basement of our residence and my ears perked up. The peeps in the drug & alcohol programs were strictly prohibited from internet, so why we would have access is beyond me, but hey…who’s complaining?
When I got back there after classes that day and decided to investigate whether this was true or not, we had to ask the nurse on duty to unlock the door to this rumored ‘computer lounge’ that I was foaming at the mouth for. She looked all confused and said she didn’t even know there was one! But she made a call to get approval, and the next thing you know, we are walking into this brand-new computer lounge that looked like it had never been used!!!!!
(I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they stopped letting patients have computer access soon after I left. I’d be very curious to know. You’ll see why in a minute.)
We didn’t have access to the entire internet (we couldn’t go on Facebook or anything like that. Boo. ?), but we had access to something waaaaay more dangerous when put in my hands. I had access to the golden ticket…
Armed with my password, the fact that I had “Amazon Prime”, and the mailing address I had given to all of my loved ones prior to me going away, I was able to order things and have them shipped to me at
REHAB summer camp and receive them within 2 days!
Granted, every package I received had to be inspected by the nurse on duty before I got it, but I still ordered many delightful items, including shoes (one of the young kids had a kick-ass pair of Converse that I decided I could pull off) (turns out…I couldn’t), shampoo (alcohol-free, of course) and CANDY!! Lots and lots of candy!!
Runts, as a matter of fact…..the big economy size (right, Jackie?) The nurses on duty even seemed a little shocked that this Amazon ordering wasn’t against the rules. But it wasn’t…at least not when I was there.
**Sidenote: Remember when Hostess stopped making Twinkies and the whole country went into a chemical-laden spongecake panic? It was a huge deal, right? When I was at
rehab summer camp some company took over production of the Twinkies and they were put into production again!
Now, I never cared much for Twinkies, but I’m an alcoholic. Tell an alcoholic she can’t have something, and she MUST have it. So when Twinkies were put back on the market, I checked to see if my beloved Amazon carried them and they had just gotten the new ones in stock! So a click and two days later, I’ve got a box of these new Twinkies that I’m passing around. One of the nurses had NEVER had a Twinkie before! I hooked her up..
Back to the candy….
So Jackie and I would stay up late nights devouring these Runts. The dread that I originally had at the idea of having a roommate (geez Louise….I’m a grown woman for God’s sake!) was soon lifted when I met her and my smile came back due to her hilarious sense of humor.
It was very bizarre having the doctors take me off of Ambien and having me try various other (non-narcotic) sleep meds every night to see which one worked best for me, all while being all sugared up. I remember actually dozing off mid-conversation on “Trazodone night” with a mouthful of Runts while we were giggling like schoolgirls (we had sleepover parties…so much for that whole ‘grown woman’ thing). Next thing I hear is Jackie saying, “Are you okay?” ? lol
So that way-too-long explanation is imperative to the explanation of my recent obsession with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Eh….not really actually. But I’ve gotten this far so I’m just gonna run with it.
When I started designing this website back at the end of October after having the idea to use it as a next step between my ‘Gratitude Project‘ and a book based on it, I have spent an enormous amount of time ON MY ASS on the couch. Not all day, thankfully. My new life and Lauren 2.0 thanks to my beautiful 12-Step fellowships, keep me busy most days. But once I get home late afternoon I’m here…on the couch….until, like…3am. No joke. (It’s 2am right now!)
I know. It’s terrible. It shouldn’t be much longer as I’m getting really close to having the layout I like. But it’s been like this for months. That’s where ‘blog bod‘ comes into play. Add the Reese’s obsession to the mix…and the clothes get smaller. Weird. They just keep….shrinking….
I decided to lay off the Reese’s at the beginning of the week. Enough, already! As long as I don’t have one, I’m okay. That ‘phenomenon of craving’, right?
I had one. And it was all over. The Reese’s-lapse. Delicious, but addicting.
So tomorrow shall be Day 1 again. Anyone know of a local chapter of “Reese’s Anonymous“? Do I need to go to ‘Reese’s-hab?’
(Enjoy this AWESOME Reese’s retro commercial from 1981. Remember this? It’s very normal to be walking down the street eating peanut butter from a jar, right? Oh, and I’m so glad it says PEANUT BUTTER in large letters on the jar. lol )