One of the best things about being an author is meeting new people. I have received wonderful cards and telephone calls since writing my book thanking me for sharing my experience with my drug and alcohol addictions. Not all of the responses are from people who have had problems with drugs and alcohol but a lot of people have expressed how they have been touched by the relation between addiction to drugs and alcohol is right there with their weight problems. I was amazed of how many of those responses I got.
One person described how their weight became a problem when they were very young. I have so much respect for these people and their honesty because I know how difficult it is to share this information with others. They talked and described how food became such an obsession that they would hide it because they felt everyone was watching what they ate all the time and every time they did put on weight it became even more intense. They not only hid food but they would get up in the middle of the night when everyone was sleeping and go through the cupboards looking for anything to eat and as it progressed they even started going through the garbage.
Before they knew it in some situations after living being overweight they found themselves being made fun of by their peers, being left out of social events and being talked about. It hurt very deeply and once that hurt became so painful one woman described how she went to the extreme. She became so angry and disgusted with herself she started finding ways she could to stop eating. Diet pills, fad diets, and starvation were her primary methods and when those things didn't work she focused on large amounts of laxatives and then progressing to purging which was making herself throw up after she ate anything.
She became obsessed with it so much that it emotionally took over. Every hour of every day was so consumed with how she looked and when she looked in the mirror which became one of her biggest fears she saw a different perception of herself than everyone else saw. After starving herself and abusing herself for quite some time she had lost so much weight it was a threat to her health. She described how she started having shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and numerous times fainted but she still saw herself as being fat and not being fat was her priority. She felt like she had control over something for the first time. When she was overweight she didn't feel like she had control and all the abuse she took from other people and she felt now like she was in control of her own body but now it was threatening to her life.
This has been going on for years with her and it hasn't gotten better. She feels strongly that it has not become and addiction with her just as my alcoholism has with me. Addiction is addiction no matter what the obsession is about. Weight, gambling, drugs, alcohol, and even cleanliness; they are all issues that affect different people in different ways but if they are not handled correctly could result in life threatening situations. My life has revolved around addiction throughout my family and no matter who's addiction is health related or not it can impact the functionality of a family in various manners. It has been difficult to get them all under control because each person views their addiction as playing a less affective role to the other family members while in reality every addiction has impacted each family member in a different way. We work through each issue daily and hope that they other person is willing to work towards a healthier lifestyle but when it comes down to it, the responsibility falls on that specific individual.
Eileen DeClemente is the author of ALIVE A Courageous Story of Addiction, True Love and Forgiveness. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years back, Eileen decided to write a book on her experiences as a recovering alcoholic for the past 20 years and her family's relationship both then at the height of her addictions, and now. Eileen is a courageous woman who shares her story in hopes that her words will give hope to even just one hopeless person!! Eileen has been intimate with death-but she chose life!!