Do You Need a Good Reason to Get Sober?
Or can we figure it out as we go along?
Last week, I was looking through some old pictures of myself and was struck by how rapidly my weight had changed over the years. I was always skinny growing up and stayed that way until I started law school at about age 26. Then, over three years, my weight skyrocketed by over twenty pounds per year.
I remember buying an expensive suit in my first year of law school. It was the first suit I ever bought, and it instilled an unexpected sense of pride. To me, that suit—which I could barely afford—represented my transition from working in retail shops and warehouses to pursuing a prestigious profession.
I only ever wore that suit three times. On the third day that I wore it, the pants tore apart at the crotch as I stepped into a car. I had gained so much weight in such a short time (just months since I had bought the suit), that my clothing was literally ripping apart at the seams.
It gets even worse—the incident happened in front of two of my professors as we were on our way to meet with a client who was having a preliminary hearing in court. There was no time to change, and I had to go through the entire day at the courthouse awkwardly holding a legal pad over my lap and hoping nobody noticed the giant hole in my pants.
Despite that humiliation, I kept gaining weight. By the time I graduated from law school, I had crossed the line into obesity.
At the time, I told people that I was stress-eating. The truth was that my alcoholism was finally catching up to me.
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