I dreamed that my sister brought home four big grocery bags full of donut holes. All different flavors, glazed, some jelly filled. And because I'm me, I couldn't not have one -- not when they were all right in front of me, free for the taking. And because I'm me, I couldn't eat just one or two -- even knowing sugar would now make me sick, I couldn't stop eating them. I ate probably two dozen. Like in waking life, they weren't even that good, I just ate them because they were there and free and I wanted to make sure I got my share of them. Even knowing it would make me sick, I couldn't stop myself from eating them.
In the show West Wing, the character Leo is an alcoholic. In one episode, he described what it's like:
"I'm an alcoholic, I don't have one drink. I don't understand people who have one drink. I don't understand people who leave half a glass of wine on the table. I don't understand people who say they've had enough. How can you have enough of feeling like this? How can you not want to feel like this longer? My brain works differently."
I've never had something in a TV show resonate so strongly with me. That's exactly how I feel about food. Junk food tastes good, how can anyone stop with just one cookie? Just a bite of a slice of cake? One piece of fried chicken? How can anyone not sit down with a fork and just eat an entire cake? How can someone go to a buffet and stop with one or two plates of food?
Knowing that about my brain, I do my best to avoid situations like that instead of having to try to resist them. The nightmare really scared me though, the powerlessness I had over the situation.
All that being said, I don't know if I believe that food addiction is a real thing or not, but it doesn't matter. I don't need a name for this issue of mine, I just need to know it exists so I can avoid situations that I wouldn't be able to control.