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On Sunny Lane: What Are You Addicted To?

A friend recently told me one of her family members died of a drug overdose.

I could commiserate with her, because I had family members who died as a result of addiction to drugs and alcohol. I don’t know why they couldn’t just give up their addictions.

Well, I guess they tried. In fact, they tried more than once. They tried by going to a 12-step program. They tried by just abstaining from drugs and alcohol. They tried by participating in a residential treatment plan. They tried a lot of things.

But, they were still addicted.

And, it caused their deaths.

I am probably an addict, too. I tell myself that obsessing about food, especially chocolate, is not an addiction, but I’m only fooling myself.

I can find many reasons to eat, besides the obvious three meals a day. For instance, I reward myself with food. If I made a big (or little) accomplishment, I have a piece of chocolate, or a dish of ice cream. If I’ve had a hard day, I do the same.

Coming into the house from a shopping trip; getting up from a nap; relaxing in front of the television; are all occasions for popping a tasty morsel into my mouth. If I see food, I want to eat it.

I’ve tried various approaches to curbing my appetite, with limited success. Fact is, eating, especially chocolate, is a pleasurable experience. Who doesn’t want to have a pleasurable experience?

Besides, we need to eat! That just makes the addiction harder to control.

I’ve thought of it a lot. Everybody probably has an addiction.

For instance, some people are addicted to shopping—buying things whether they need them or not. Others spend so much time working that they neglect their families. Some people collect things and have them all around the house.

We could name a myriad of addictions that cause us grief, as well as pleasure.

Every time I eat too much chocolate, or too many cookies, I regret it. I think about how it will harm my body and I hate myself for my lack of self-control.

Fact is, I want to have the pleasure of my indulgence without facing any consequences. However, having this relatively benign addiction helps me to empathize with people who have more serious struggles.

Maybe, I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Maybe, I shouldn’t be hard on others. Maybe, no one should.


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at

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