Goodbye Booze, Hello Shoes!

Transferring Addictions

Transferring Addictions

In early recovery, we learn to let go of both our obsession of the mind, and allergy of the body. We assess our previous lifestyles and gratefully resign to a new mode of behavior. Often, in giving up our affliction, we rediscover that emptiness inside ourselves that we used to fill up with the bottle and the bong. There is a pit inside our stomachs, uneasiness with getting to know ourselves all over again. There is an anxiety about becoming an active participant about the here and now, and a reluctance to face the onslaught of new emotions.

In response to this wave of new thoughts and feelings, we seek to suppress this ambush of being present and accountable with something we are all too familiar with…addiction. We take one thing that makes us feel good like food and exercise and smoking and facebook, and we focus solely on it. We make it our “end all” and “be all”. We replace our urges to shoot and snort and smoke and stab with a new found drive to shop. We rationalize our obsession with “its not drugs, I’m not getting high, and hooray for being sober!”

But what happens when we find ourselves losing control? We are in the gym more than we are with friends and family, and we spend more time on farmville, or world of warcraft, than outside taking walks or reading books or going to meetings. What happens when personal recovery becomes powerless to our passion for purses and shoes?

When the founders of the institution of AA suggested we take life “one day at a time”, they didn’t strictly refer to the visualization of the battle against our demons. “One day at a time” urges us to also look at our behavior, to slow down the re-building we do. We don’t need to work out to look skinny for tomorrow, and we don’t need to buy a new outfit for next week. Today is the only day that counts and we should make the most of it. Make a routine, eat healthy, spend time on yourself, and spend some time with others. Shop, and play, and exercise and eat, but do it for today. Sobriety isn’t about avoiding bottle and the blunt, but also being the best we can be each day.

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