We hear all sorts of stories about how addiction – drugs, alcohol, gambling – affect people in their jobs. Lethargy, tardiness, absenteeism, the list goes on. For me, when I was in the throes of addiction, the most damaging manifestation of my addictions was obsession. The all-consuming thoughts about how and when I would get more.
I am a recovering cocaine addict, as well a recovering anorexic and bulimic, and while my addiction to hard drugs had the most tangible consequences that ultimately resulted in me seeking help, my behaviours and feelings caused by my obsession with food were always the most damaging to my relationships and to my professional life.
I was constantly distracted by thoughts of how I could avoid meals, when I could get more sugary foods, when I would have a free moment to purge, and I was grumpy and intolerant when I couldn’t have or get these things. My self-doubt compounded all of my insecurities and it didn’t take like long before all creativity was stifled by fear of criticism and a sense low self-worth. Self-obsession and distraction left no room for passion in my chosen career, nor did it allow for consideration of my colleagues or respect for the work I was presenting. I soon became a dead weight and a liability to the company I was working for and the effects became tangible.
Addiction to sugar is no different. As with the obsession with any other addiction to mood and mind altering substances, the obsession with sugar and sugary foods is just as damaging to a person’s day to day life, including their professional life.
Whitney Johnson talks more about her experience of the effects of sugar addiction on her professional life.