While shopping at the grocery store this past weekend, Rick grabbed numerous bags of candy for Trick or Treaters on Halloween. I looked at the candy in the cart and said, “Hmmm. It seems you only bought candy that you can eat.”
He looked at me and replied, “Of course!”
“Maybe I want some,” I quietly whined.
His look displayed shear panic as he responded, “But you hate me after you’ve eaten too much sugar!”
“Ha ha ha ha ha!” I cackled (much like the Wicked Witch of the West), but then I immediately winced at his abrupt candor regarding my sugar issues.
Almost two years ago, I changed my eating habits and have had phenomenal improvements in my health. While fasting from sugar for a forty day period, I discovered that I had no depression during that time. I have struggled with bouts of depression all of my adult life. I always chalked it up to PMS or life’s circumstances. In spite of PMS and the same circumstances, that deep pit of despair I would fall into never appeared for the entire forty days. Could it possibly be the sugar? I searched online and found plenty of information to back it up.
I didn’t want it to be true. I didn’t want to give up sugar. I love sweetness! I gradually fell off the wagon and struggled, again, with depression until I reminded myself that sugar might be the culprit. I stayed away from it, and the depression disappeared. I’ve had to repeat this pattern a number of times until I finally accepted the fact that I can’t eat sugar.
Sugar is very addicting. It’s a toxic drug. I’m like an alcoholic; once I start, it’s very difficult to stop. I occasionally get lured into eating a candy bar by thinking I can eat just one. One candy bar always leads to more – which leads to depression.
I fell off the wagon a few weeks ago and had a large bowl of ice cream. I don’t eat a lot of foods that have added sugar, and the longer I stay away from desserts, especially, the greater the effect on me when I do succumb to their temptation. What followed wasn't very pretty.
When I wake up in the morning in one of my funks, I forget that it was caused by the sugar I ate the day before. I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. I have a huge pity-party for myself and don’t like anything that Rick does or doesn’t do. I want to walk out the door and live by myself, away from everyone. It’s a terrible feeling and nothing I do can snap me out of it. I cry out to God for peace, but I can’t grasp it.
As someone who internalizes negative emotions, I suffer in silence. My husband takes the impact of my mood, though, and I vent my depression as nastiness to him. Why is it that the one we vow our greatest love to is the one who also sees the most undesirable parts of our personality?
As I’ve struggled to keep sugar out of my life, I wonder how many other people combat depression because of sugar, or possibly other foods, and aren’t aware of it?
I encourage any of you who suffer with depression at any level to take a look at what you eat. Look at your other symptoms, too. Do you have digestive issues; pain in your body; skin problems; sinus issues; headaches; serious PMS symptoms? They can all be caused by food. It has been amazing to finally get my health issues under control by watching what I eat. Medicines will not cure problems; they just hide the symptoms and will usually bring on even more issues.
Now – I just have to stay conscious of avoiding candy and desserts. I hope I’ve learned my lesson this time. I hope my husband’s words never leave my memory. “You hate me after you’ve eaten too much sugar.” It makes me cringe. I adore you Superman – please forgive me!