Not Broken Enough

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chips

I used to feel like, all at once, I was too broken and not broken enough. 

 

Not broken in the right ways; the cool ways. The ways that become the fertilizer for a bestselling memoir or movie.

 

Alcoholics and drug addicts, these people are broken in the right way. They have gritty and shocking stories of rock bottom followed by a colourful path to redemption. 

 

Their bad behavior is behind them and now they teach and inspire with their humility and daily commitment to sobriety.

 

They are strong in the most beautiful and vulnerable of ways. 

 

They are glamorous and wise.

 

Their path, while hard, is clear: Drink or don’t drink. Use or don’t use. 

 

Food is different.

 

When you’re broken with food, it’s sticky and messy and there’s no before and after. 

 

Oprah never picks a book about someone who eats because food is her only true friend.

 

Reese Witherspoon doesn’t star in a movie about a woman who can never stop when she’s full because the parts of her that are empty can’t be filled with food.

 

It’s not an Oscar-worthy story of despair replaced by hope.

 

Instead of dingy, sweat stained hotel rooms scattered with needles and tin foil, it’s just a house in the suburbs with old chocolate bars in the freezer and half-eaten bags of potato chips in the top cupboard.

 

Heroin is death or life. Booze is yes or no.

 

Food is sometimes, maybe, moderation, portions, balance, special occasions, too much, just right, back and forth.

 

With drugs and alcohol you know when you’re winning or losing.

 

With food you never really know.

 

Alcohol and drug addicts can share their pain. They can offer up their stories and be received with pats on the back and gold tokens of progress. They can come together in meetings with warm coffee and honesty. They can be forgiven.

 

When it’s food we have to hide alone. Because it’s just food. It’s no big deal. Just don’t eat too much. What’s the problem? What’s wrong with you? Moderation!

 

Too broken to be “normal,” but not broken enough to be interesting.

 

Too broken to be acceptable, but not broken enough to be admired.

 

Too broken to be free, but not broken enough to warrant compassion.

Posted in

Sara Best

19 Comments

  1. Susan on November 2, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    Oh my god that is SO true. So exactly what it’s like! You have described me perfectly. 💖

  2. Margaret on November 2, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    I legit not 15 minutes ago sent a message to a treasured friend. I was asking her advice on what to do when you are an alcoholic, but your choices are not beers and wine, its chocolate, sweets and all kinds of other bad foods. Every one says oh just eat in moderation, limit to one bite. I cant I am all or nothing. I am surrounded at work with Halloween candy at the moment and I just want to inhale it all 🙁 . How do I work thru these feelings? any help or suggestions. Then I see your post on Facebook. it is like fate or something…..

  3. Ange W on November 2, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Wow! Very powerful and so on point regarding the addictiveness of food. Thanks for sharing this 💜🌈

  4. Jo-Ann Gauthier on November 2, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    OMG, totally agree with you. I thought many a times “how come there is no food addiction centers where I could get help, like alcohol and drug addictions”.

  5. Virginia Armstrong on November 2, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    Yes it is hard with I want to be able to eat what I want and not have worry about weight. But I have had a weight problem since I was a child. I the gastric bypass surgery in 2008 got down to 140 lbs. after 3 years I had stress with my mom with dementia and I gradually put the weight back on.

  6. Joann Danella on November 2, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    I can’t tell you how impactful this was for me, Sara. We were robbed last week. The guy was in my house, stealing my things while I was in another room seeing a client. Quiet as a mouse, sly as a fox – he was there in my space. Long story short – the cops caught him, and I have to testify at court this Friday. I have run every gamut of emotions – fear, anxiety, vulnerability, anger Anger ANGER, and deep deep sadness. Normally I would eat so unconsciously through something like this – completely and utterly unconscious. But because of your program, your book and my yoga and meditation practice – I chose to journal, to listen (suni-ai), to meditate, and to cope. Without food, without drink, without sweets – I am just in a state of calm. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  7. Judy Alton on November 2, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    I have always felt this way and expressed to trusted friends how this works. As an all or nothing thinker the food story just doesn’t work. It can’t be all or nothing. I thought if alcohol were my problem quitting would be easy but if you quit food you die. All tangled up in these thoughts with you.

  8. Wendy on November 3, 2021 at 12:26 am

    So true!
    Food is an addiction like drugs or alcohol,the trouble is you can’t survive without food like youcan drugs alcohol or even smoking for that matter.

  9. Amanda B on November 3, 2021 at 12:27 am

    This is so true. I’ve always felt with any addiction once getting the required help and with determination, the addict can just avoid the thing they were addicted to (and environments where they might encounter it) as it’s not necessary for survival. Food however is. You can’t just go without it. Yes you can practice avoiding the foods that don’t serve you, but just by the nature of eating and the very fact that food and eating is a socially acceptable thing makes it harder to beat this particular addiction.

  10. Emma Fletcher on November 3, 2021 at 2:28 am

    So true! Beautiful. x

  11. Margaret Bolger. on November 3, 2021 at 3:47 am

    So true ,ii have often thought this , food is different because we have to eat every day .

  12. Lynn Luisi on November 3, 2021 at 4:57 am

    Your messages have impeccable timing.
    Thank you.

    • Connie B. on November 3, 2021 at 11:42 pm

      I was just realizing something today that falls in line with all of these thoughts. I have been keeping my hands and brain busy making floral decor and it helps reduce the urgent need to be eating something. It’s a win right? Well maybe it’s not. Isn’t it just one excessive behavior traded for another? What does all of that mean? Concerned!!

  13. Teresa Dedman on November 3, 2021 at 5:20 am

    This resonates with me so much. After years of self hatred and guilt I finally understand. This article is so true and to the point!

  14. Marla Wegrzyn on November 3, 2021 at 5:56 am

    I’m a recovering drug addict and now obsessed with food…you have totally got the way I feel. Addiction is not the same for food. You can’t just walk away. This has truly been my hardest journey!! Thank you for sharing this.!

  15. Laurie Palmer on November 3, 2021 at 6:42 am

    Being an emotional eater and having a recovering addict son I can soooooo relate to this.

  16. Ursula Cherry on November 3, 2021 at 7:46 am

    Sara, I totally agree with everything you said so eloquently, thank you.

  17. Pam Richardson on November 3, 2021 at 7:56 am

    Love this Sara!! I’ve been saying the same thing for a long time. Not to minimize a drug addict or alcoholic’s struggle but with food it never goes away!!

  18. Maggie Masters on November 3, 2021 at 8:11 am

    This is so true, it made me cry.
    When I gave up smoking over 20 years ago, it was easy, I just stopped. I avoided smoky situations, avoided putting temptation in my path.
    But you can’t do that with food. When food has been your crutch since early childhood and there is little or no help out there other than “Go on a diet”, “Stop being so greedy”, no acknowledgement of the mental issues you can be going through.
    You are labelled weak, greedy, ugly, pathetic, worthless because you are perceived to have no will power or self control.
    There are very few people or groups who offer any true understanding or support.
    Thank you Sara for being there and understanding.

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