Veganism has been a natural outgrowth of my recovery from addictions. I first became aware of the notion that I was addicted to anything in 1989. I was depressed, overweight, and literally suicidal. I happened on the book "Women Who Love Too Much" and it mentioned that women with particular emotional issues were also likely either alcoholic, an addict, or compulsive overeaters. I had grown up in a religious home that did not allow alcohol, so I had never had a drink and didn't use drugs, but I was 50 or more pounds overweight. With some trepidation, I attended my first Overeaters Anonymous meeting.
I felt that I had found the right place. After a few months of recovery there, I fell victim to something that happens often to addicts: I switched addictions and began drinking. I very quickly developed into a full-blown alcoholic, but because my OA friends were familiar with the symptoms, they lovingly confronted me about the amount I was drinking and the insane things I was doing to my kids and self to keep drinking.
I have been sober in AA for ten years now and a member of OA for eleven years. As I have grown spiritually, the path has narrowed. In July of 1999, I recognized that I was as much a sugar addict as I was an alcohol addict, and through applying the spiritual principles of the program of AA to my sugar addiction, I have been freed from it since then. It was Christmas of 2000 when I realized that I was also addicted to animal products, not just meat, and made a decision that, for me, came from a deep desire to live my life according to the will of God, whatever His will for me was. I have eliminated all animal products from my diet and have begun to take steps to be more a part of the world I believe God created for me to live in, instead of being a contributor to the rape of this marvelous planet.
With all that is in me, I believe that as long as I continued to eat animal products and live a "normal" American lifestyle, I would be cutting myself off from the light that comes from a Being greater than I. For me, that is not something I could live with; the purpose I was made for, I believe, is to grow spiritually, and never stagnate. I cannot stop, because to stop is to retrogress and to lose what little bits of truth and light I have been allowed to have in my heart and spirit.
Today, my addictions to alcohol, sugar, and animal products are in remission. If I let go of my spiritual growth, however, I am at risk for slipping back to any or all of them. Today, by the grace of God, I am able to be a happy, grateful vegan.
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