A Farewell to Sugar

For the past five and a half years, I have been either pregnant or on Zoloft. I am in the midst of my second menstrual cycle since taking my last dose of anti-depressants. The PMS is horrifying.

It’s Day 28 of my current cycle, and my period is set to arrive at any time. I have finally emerged from a bout of PMS that made me want to tear off my skin. I was just irritated with everything and felt easily overwhelmed. I lost my patience and struggled to stay present with my children. I even had to sleep in the guest room because just the idea of sharing a bed with my sweet husband made me cringe. I knew that if he so much as breathed (as he is wont to do), I would jump out of my skin.

My adventures with postpartum depression ended so recently, but my hormonal adventures are clearly far from over. I am reading a great book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause, and it has given me a ton of ideas. I’ll be writing a lot more about premenopause and hormones but for now, I am giving up sugar. The book has confirmed what I always knew: it destroys me.

I decided to compose a letter to Sugar to officially end our relationship. I got this idea from The Creative Penn, an amazing podcast and website for all of you aspiring writers out there.

Here’s the letter I just wrote:

Dear Sugar,

It’s over.

It’s not me. It’s you. It is most definitely you.

You are a temptress. I can’t just have you a little in my life. It’s all or nothing. And so, it’s nothing.

IT’S OVER.

You seduce with me with sweet nothings. You manipulate me by shredding my self-esteem. And then what do you give me? NOTHING BUT AGONY AND REMORSE.

Our relationship has been long, complicated, tortuous and abusive – yes, abusive. You are an addiction. You are a drug. Just one little taste, and I’m lost, slipping down the slope, from a bite of blueberry muffin into the lust of a gallon of ice cream.

It’s over, Sugar, it’s over.

Except I know, from past experience, that it’s not. Or, it’s over, except there is going to be some emotional heart ache in the coming weeks and months. Getting you out of my life is going to be hard work.

It’s going to be worth it.

I am sick of the PMS. Sick of the extra pounds. Sick of blindly eating food that makes me hate myself. Sick of binging until my stomach hurts. You turn me into something that is less than human. You keep me from my authentic self.

I think I am going to be writing you a lot of letters in the coming months.

I am ready to accept responsibility for our relationship. You will keep coming around, knocking at my door, tempting me with cake and ice cream and all manner of confection. I will be tempted, sorely tempted, to steal just a nibble, but I know the nibble is just the gateway to binge after binge after horrifying binge.

Let me be clear: it’s over.

You can knock, shriek, pound, holler, do whatever you want. I am not going to answer the door. I am not giving you an inch back into my life.

I am stronger without you. I am happier without you. And I am so much healthier.

I would say “good luck” and “best wishes,” but we both know that is not true. So let me end this letter with a more appropriate valediction.

Go fuck yourself,

Courtney