I asked Brenda TeVogt at one point during our chat last week why she couldn’t just pray or will her addiction away.
“I was a human being before I became a nun,” replied TeVogt, a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, an international pontifical order. “I did not lose my faith. But I wasn’t sure who God was. My addiction became my God. It became more important to participate in my addiction than going to church.”
I try to learn something new every day, and TeVogt, who took her vows in 1990, provided a humbling lesson. I’ve bent elbows with male members of the clergy, some of whom I suspected had a drinking problem or could easily drink me under the table. I know they are imperfect human beings, just like me. But not nuns. In my eyes, they are perfect, infallible, right up there on the hallowed pedestal with Mom, Mother Theresa and the Virgin Mary.
I understand better now the broader world of addiction from TeVogt, a career educator who is in her fourth year of recovery and taking classes at Hazelden’s Graduate School of Addiction Studies in Center City, Minn.
You see, the 51-year-old sister’s “drug of choice” was not a drug or a choice. It was food — particularly refined sugar and chocolate. TeVogt’s eating disorder was, like gambling, shopping, sex or other process addictions, a disease of the brain and not a behavioral problem. Click Here to read the rest of the article by Ruben Rosario