Little High, Little Low

Confessions of a sugar addict.

A few things are essential to my happy survival. They are faith, hope, love and until I was forced to give it up, sugar. I fueled my addiction from a very young age. I clearly remember my favorite commercials as a kid, advertising my favorite paths to a sugar high. I'm not blaming the media for my addiction or threatening a lawsuit claiming they have destroyed my health. I'm just strolling down memory lane, thinking about the good 'ole days when I could eat as much sugar as I wanted with no noticeable side effects.

I still want to  have a Coke and a smile. I still like to catch that Pepsi spirit. I still think Lucky Charms are magically delicious.

But now I can’t indulge, according to my new doctor. It seems that to fight Lyme disease effectively (); it’s essential to give up sugar and carbohydrates that turn to sugar in your body. Basically, all things good and yummy will feed the little spirochetes, making my recovery more difficult and prolonging my pain.

This is serious. It means no cookies, no pasta, nothing containing white flour, no red wine, no Coke.

No smile.

The morning after I went cold turkey off the sweet stuff, I was lethargic. I could barely communicate, except with mumbles and shrugs. My body seemed to be in shock, not knowing how to function without it.

So now, of course, I want you to join in my misery. It’s for your own good. Excessive sugar consumption is very, very bad (I’m shaking my guilty finger at you). Too much sugar can cause more problems than a little extra junk in the trunk. It can suppress the immune system, upset the body’s mineral balance and raise adrenaline levels in children. It can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, concentration difficulties and crankiness in kids. As if we didn’t know that...

Sugar consumption is also related to a higher risk for depression, according to Dr. Charles Raison at CNN Health.

“While processed sugars may produce a brief emotional high, several lines of evidence indicate that they affect our biology in ways that promote depression. For example, rates of depression in a country rise in lockstep with per capita sugar consumption.”

I’m not claiming victory yet. The other day, I was tormented by a half empty bag of M&Ms, cast aside on the dining room table by a careless member of my household. My withdrawal symptoms were in full swing. I was anxious and my pulse raced every time I looked at them. The showdown went on all day, as I tried to avoid being in the room with the little brown bag. A shiver went through me as the winter sun went down over Brookfield and I decided to dispose of the bag once and for all.

I grabbed them. As I moved quickly to the kitchen trash can, three lonesome M&Ms slipped from the torn bag, assaulting my unsuspecting hand. I threw out the bag, but the colorful candy coated morsels sat in my jittery palm as the battle continued to rage within me. They stood their ground. They didn’t melt. I ate them, savoring the taste and the little high that followed.

I think I need rehab or an exorcist to rid me of the evil Pepsi spirit.  

I’m begging you to break your sugar habit now, before it’s too late and you end up like me.


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