Addiction Shows Up in Unlikely Places

I don’t know about you but the more time I spend with me, the more the “past” haunts me.  During these “stay at home” times, most nights I’m by myself since hubby is an essential employee.  Despite my best efforts, the inner gremlins of the past creep in.  I think about those I have hurt.  I think about the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” things.  I think about “what if”.  Not always a good place for a recovering addict.

I love this simple message:

“Don’t Stumble On Things That Are Behind You.”

I thought hard about this seemingly simple directive about a habit which trips so many of us up: looking back. Allowing the past to deter and diminish our present and our future.

I had an “epiphany” last night.  As I was thanking God for the blessings of the day and asking for his guidance, I realized I had again substituted one thing for another.  My addiction had shown up in an unlikely spot –  not really unlikely for me. Showing up in unlikely places is not uncommon for addicts if we don’t keep things in check.  No, I didn’t have thoughts of using drugs or drinking.  No, I didn’t go on a shopping spree.  I was eating “junk food” and hiding it.  Crazy, right?

I thought about the went last 5 days hubby had worked.  I went to pick up some groceries and here is what happened.

  • I stopped to Dunkin for my iced green tea.   It was Friday so I got a “free” donut”. I was out a second time on Friday to pick up Baby’s medicine.  Stopped at Dunkin again and got another “free” donut.
  • Went to Aldi’s for some fresh fruit and fresh veggies – a good thing, right?  They had Cadbury mini eggs on sale.  I have been obsessing over them for a week so I bought a whole bag along with a bag of Robin’s Eggs.
  • Stopped to Wawa and picked up bottles of Wawa diet tea. Not very healthy because of all of the artificial sweeteners.
  • Had to stop myself yesterday from going out just to get a Dunkin tea and a donut.

Each time I go on a shopping run, I end up buying something I normally would not eat or drink.  WHY???  I want what I want when I want it.  LOL. The crazy part is I was hiding all of this stuff from hubby.  I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal BUT it is how it starts, right?  Substitute one thing for another and keeping secrets.

I know I am only as sick as my secrets so I am letting them into the light….I’m sharing it publicly as a way to be accountable.  As harmless as it may seem to someone, it is the start of the spiral.   I beat myself up.  I start to justify things with “I haven’t gained any weight”, or “it is stress eating” or when this is over I will do better.  The truth is by then it will be too late…..the weight will be back and I will be miserable.  I have been riding the stationary bike every day for at least 20 minutes which has helped to keep me from gaining weight BUT it doesn’t justify the sneak eating.  This is an old behavior from my days of being a bulimic – the only difference is, I’m not purging.

I know I’m not alone….finding things to keep us busy and out of our heads can be tough.  I have been creating angels, reading, sewing and cleaning out closets.  I have been doing at least one video meeting a day – over the weekend it was 3 meetings a day.  WHY?  Because I know when I hear what others share, I am out of my head and I know I am not alone.

Today I am giving myself grace – it meets us in the asking for strength from our Higher Power.  Because of this I can move forward (and so can you) in His grace. Even when life is complicated and messy.

It’s not about locking things in a secret compartment of your heart. When we turn things over, no matter how insignificant it may seem to our Higher Power, He can give us the rest we long for. Healing for our heart wounds.

The reward of faith is freedom in our Higher Power. With this faith, the past has no hold on us.  Grace fixes our gaze forward.

So the next time I’m tempted to beat myself up because of a mistake, I will turn things over to my Higher Power and choose not to beat myself up, not to re-hash a painful conversation, not to blame another person … not to stumble on things behind me.

Instead I will reach for grace. I will reach for my Higher Power and call to Him for help.

This seems like a jumble of thoughts but I need to be accountable.  Are you struggling with keeping away from the “junk food”?  What are your best tips?  Share them with us..

Have a blessed day!

Hope Wissel

What Defines You?


Happy Friday!  I am in Day #2 of covering for a co-worker while she is on vacation at my part-time job.  There will be time to reflect, set goals and get down on paper what I want to do for the rest of the year.  It can be a very quiet office.

Today’s subject is a little different.  I have talked endlessly about the time I spent reflecting last week and this topic actually came up.  I have wondered what direction to take my blog.  Do I want to focus on business topics?  Do I want to focus on life? Do I want to have simple solutions to life’s challenges?  Then driving home, it hit me……….

The picture above was posted by my daughter as we had a moment before we left North Carolina.  Being in the gray area of diagnosis for my MS and Addison’s has caused me to feel like I am my illness.  Crazy, right considering I am always saying #mswillnotdefineme BUT the truth is I was letting it define me.  I was letting it become a part of everything – the reason I was gaining weight, the reason I was emotional, the reason why I had aches & pains and the list goes on. In an effort not to own or be responsible for what was happening, I quickly and easily blamed my diagnosis.  The truth is I am a 59 year old who beat up her body for years.  The years of drug addiction, bulimia, abortion, playing hard and never thinking about my health.  I had aches and pains before I had a diagnosis or two.

As a people pleaser, I always listen to what others have to say then adopt my actions.  I think back to when I started blogging, nothing planned just sharing my strengths, hopes and experiences.  Over the years, yes 3 1/2 years to be exact, I have changed to fit into a mold of what others are doing or suggesting, simply trying to find a purpose.  Playing the comparison game.  Hoping for more readers.  Hoping to turn those readers into customers or followers.  Believe it or not, I actually have lost my love for writing.  YIKES!  Scary but true.  I have wondered if I should continue or give it a rest. I wondered if anyone would notice.  So many questions.

Then as I reflected on this simple post, I realized what I loved about my blog was I got to share and write whatever I wanted – business, personal, tips, recipes and I didn’t care because I knew somewhere it would touch the person who needed it.

So, I will continue writing.  I may share about my struggles with doctors and my health.  I may share about my amazing pink bubble and my business.  I may share recipes.  I will continue to share words of encouragement on Sundays.

I am owning my diagnosis, realizing it is just one part of me and what defines me.  I am owning my blog as mine to do with as I want.

Another ramble but I hope it has touched someone – whether you are struggling with a medical diagnosis, growing your business, finding yourself or just looking for something to read.  I would love to hear from you via comment or email at

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Weight Loss – Recovery or Journey

Sitting in my Thursday morning Weight Watcher‘s meeting when a friend, Annamarie, made a statement that got me to thinking….”I thought my weight loss was like recovery but it is a forever journey”.  WOW!

Having been through recovery TWICE – once for bulimia and then again for drugs, this statement really was an “AHA” moment for me.  If I am honest with myself, I would have to say that I probably thought the same thing.  It has been a long tough journey to loose 105 pounds – with only about 15 more to go to my goal weight but I thought the end was near.  I will celebrate the loss of 120 pounds despite the time it took me but unlike like bulimia and drugs – you can’t STAY away from food forever.    

Bulimia was a little bit easier for me to kick but the drugs were a process.. 7 days in detox, 30 days in a residential program and then 2 years of a Narcotics Anonymous meeting EVERY DAY!  Protecting my weight loss will need the same vigilance that I had in my early recovery.  Instead of celebrating the weekly weight loss, I will need to celebrate the “protection” of that weight loss for 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 6 months, 1 year.  My weight loss journey has been a process too.  Just as I quietly celebrate my years of being clean (23 in October), I will celebrate every year that I am able to maintain goal weight.  I will use the tools that I used on my JOURNEY to goal in my weight loss RECOVERY – tracking, healthy guidelines, exercise (UGH!) and weekly meetings.  Unlike the rooms of NA, I don’t know if I will ever be able to walk away from my Weight Watcher family for it is with their help, encouragement and support that I have been successful on this journey.

Are you on a weight loss recovery program so that when you reach your goal you will go back to old habits?  Or, is your weight loss recovery only a part of your journey to be healthy and at goal weight?  Maybe it is semantics but it can effect your whole outlook on the road ahead.  As for me, I am in recovery from my food addiction and unhealthy eating which continues to take me on a journey that includes meeting new people, trying new recipes and helping others to know that they are not alone in their journey to a healthy way of life.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.
Hope Wissel

Random thoughts

Good Morning Everyone – today is one of those mornings when I don’t have much to say.  AMAZING, right?  LOL.  Just some random thoughts to clear my head.  

Words can’t describe the emotions that I had on Monday when I heard about the bombing in Boston at the marathon.  My thoughts quickly reverted to that dreadful morning on 9-11.  The day of the dreadful shooting on the Virginia Tech campus.  The days were similar.  No one was expecting anything this horrific to happen. Lives lost and lives changed forever.  These days brought me to tears of gratitude for the safety of my family and friends.  911 and the VT shootings could have had different impacts on my life as family and close friends were “too close for comfort” to the events of those days.

During times like these, I reflect on all of the blessings in my life.  Whether those blessings have come through trials or whether we see them as precious gifts – we have all been given them.  My blessings include my family – although we don’t see each other as often as I would like (life always gets in the way) they are always in my thoughts and prayers.  The people that God has placed in my life for sometimes just a moment, for a season or for a lifetime are a precious gift. The trials of my life include my battle with drugs, my bulimia, cancer that struck and took my grandfather, my Aunts – Edythe & Elsie and Alzheimer’s that took my grandmother all helped to shape me into the person that I am today.  The greatest blessing of all is my daughter, Belinda Heldreth and of course my hubby, Rob.  

What are your blessings?  Think about all of the things – good or bad – in your life that have helped to shape and guide you to where you are.  Hug the ones that you love and tell them that you love them.  Reach out to old friends when you are thinking about them instead of waiting for the “perfect moment”.  Life is short.  God has a plan for all of us and although we don’t know what it is, we need to savor every moment.  Take the good with the bad.  Turn it over to God and he will get you through it.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings… Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.