This is question one in Narcotics Anonymous Step working guide. I find myself back at step one admitting my life is unmanageable again.... but in a whole new layer of my never ending onion peel. I think further study and research into what addiction really is, is called for today.....
Merriam-Webster defines Addiction as 'a strong and harmful need to regularly have something or do something'. They go on to add also, 'an unusually strong interest in something'. Dictionary.com says it's 'the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or something that is psychologically or physically habit forming, to an extent it causes severe trauma'. I love the Free Dictionary by Farlex the best....1. 'Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit forming substance', or 2. 'The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something'.
I think to define addiction for me it would be the third example. Any compulsive or repetitive action that takes my focus off myself and my own feelings is an addiction for me. Focus is the key word of my addiction here. Because I am learning addictions can sometimes be seen as healthy, like going to the gym and eating well. However I remember a phase of my life a few years back that I was spending crazy amounts of time at the gym and eating so ridiculously well that I isolated myself from my family. That was an addiction that truly cost me my family and a few friends. I was revered for my weight loss accomplishment. Those people didn't see how far I took it, and I think thats how you know it's becoming a destructive addiction.
I think there is truth right there in that last sentence, addiction can only be seen by the people closest to the person because it happens behind closed doors, behind closed minds. I guess this is where denial comes in... Don't Even No I Am Lying. Well I can assure you I am not in denial about my current manifestation of my addiction. I am hooked on Sugar/Starch. It's my new kryptonite. If I can't smoke up, can't get laid well then fuck it.... I am gonna get fat is my current thought process.
I know.... I know...... I have cycled through these three things so many fucking times in this past year, I am utterly making myself sick dealing with it.....
But that is why I am writing out a step one on it finally. To let it go and be done with it fully. I have learned that I don't need to work an entire set of steps for an issue, just the first one and then my higher power takes the reins and works out the rest of the steps in due time for me. Having worked an entire set I can identify clearly when a step is being presented to me and how to walk through it... sometimes I don't always walk through it though... but this is a discussion for another time. ........I have talked alot about the fact food is and has always been the main addiction in my life(dope only taking its place during my health kick) but I have never really talked about how and why it effects my life so much. Let me run to the Mac's store and get some hazelnut creamer for my coffee and then I can begin the process of unloading my ill's caused by sugar.
... do do da da...... do do........ )skipping to the store, enjoying the fresh dusting of snow(........la la do do....
Okay so I am back. Decided on chocolate truffle creamer to go with my German chocolate coffee instead. I have to laugh at my own pattern. Whenever I know I am close to the end of an addictive practice I have to go full out with it, like I will never experience the goodness of it again. When I entered Detox for drug addiction they gave me twenty four hours before I could come in... I think an angel watched over me those hours because the volume and variety of drugs I ingested blows my mind today. Yesterday I bought two bags of Hershey chocolates... you know because they were on sale... and I poured almost an entire bag in my mouth before I got back to my work truck. Disgusting. and I am not talking those little bags folks, I am talking the ones for five bucks hanging close to the till for the addict impulse buyers. Yup yesterday is when I realized that this is getting out of control again.
What is it like when I'm obsessed with something? Does my thinking follow a pattern? Describe.
Three questions in to step one. I remember when I began to eat healthy how disgusted I was with how much time I spent on thinking about food. How much freer I was when I didn't have to constantly be stressing about food. I was lucking because I was on a program that did all the planning and even all the cooking for me, but the realization that afforded me was well worth the cost of the service. I can see now I was obsessed with food then. I am back there again and desperately want that freedom that followed.
My first thought in the morning is how disgusting I feel. My second thought is to beat myself up about what I ate the day before and the third though follows instantly of what I am gonna have for breakfast seeing as I feel like shit anyways. After breakfast I am thinking of my lunch and as soon as lunch is done my mind is on supper, which is usually take out because I am too exhausted at the end of my day from eating empty energy to cook. My mind then spins into the extravagant thoughts of an addict and goes for the gold, with trips to the Keg and other restaurants out of my budget. This is where compulsion throws logic out the window and I am nose deep back in my shit again.... and my life becomes unmanageable.
Look at my recent trip to the Keg for example. It was my beautiful daughters 13 birthday. All our family was working that evening and it was just her and I. Her birthday party was scheduled for the next night where her friends came over and going to the movies was planned. My mind taking the path it did, convinced me that the Keg was a wonderful way to celebrate her birthday, and it was. But it had a sacrifice. I couldn't afford her movie night the next night. Writing that makes me feel sick. Getting honest always moves emotions within me.... ugh. I have already apologized to my daughter. My selfish addiction seen an opportunity to experience the 'good stuff' without explanation, never once taking into full consideration that the next night was my daughters choice of birthday celebration. She didn't care about the Keg, I did, she wanted a movie night. I sacrificed her birthday wish for my addiction want. That my friends is what addiction is..... fucks with your logic.
So how has this disease affected me, physically? Mentally? Spiritually? Emotionally? This is the question I have been trying to get to, because it is these answers that bring home just how unmanageable my life has become on all levels and playing feilds. Its reading what I write here that blows the shark out of the water with the harpoon.
Physically.... ah let me count that ways. When I went from 230lbs to 150bls I felt the difference so
Mentally.... This ties into the obsessive thoughts. Addiction I believe is a large part mental, it's the things we tell ourselves that spin us deeper into addiction. It's the mental process that keeps us hooked in the unhealthy cycle of low self worth and low self acceptance. I have been trying to allow my body the rest and keep my thoughts positive but as the disease of addiction continues to progress even my positive daily affirmations have lost their power. My morning mediation is but a formality these days, not holding the positive mind power that they do on a normal basis. My mental state is skating on thin ice and this is where an uninformed person seeks out the doctor for the meds to make it all better. This is where I know the most work needs to be put in, in order to recover completely from this disease... and trust me I believe in FULL recovery. You have to do the work though, and that is not an easy task.
Spiritually..... When I overeat... even by a bite I begin to close the connection to my spirit. Overeating harms my body and my higher power doesn't stick around for any harm inflicted upon her. She has zero tolerance for this. I can still pray to the God of my understanding and connect spiritually to the universe to a certain degree, but more access is granted to me when I am in good with my own intuition and higher self. This self harm through food has made it exceedingly difficult for me to tap that inner light and that inner love I feel when I am clear of all self harm and inner toxins. I have tapped that place several times now and can truly feel the void or disconnect from my inner light, which ironically makes me wanna eat more and seek outside myself that filler which my disease says is sure to make it better. Addiction takes me away from myself, my higher self... addiction is self punishment and again my higher power cannot be present for that.
Emotionally..... And this my friends is the bottom line. Food takes me out of my feelings. Dope takes me out of my feelings. Sex takes me out of my feelings. Getting into a romantic relationship takes the focus off my life and there for out of my emotions and replaces them with the instant filler of lust emotions. Work takes me out of my feelings because I am too busy to feel. I am forever getting out of my feelings My circulation has been terrible these past few weeks. My hands fall asleep when I deep breath for twenty minutes in the morning and my hands are asleep when I wake up everyday. Louise Hay's book, Heal your life' says that circulation represents the ability to feel and express the emotions in a positive way. I believe that every.... and I mean Every single physical ailment we have is based in an emotional issue. When things get physical for me I perk my ears up and listen to my emotions...... or in a perfect world thats what i strive to do. Every addiction issue I have always comes full circle back to my stupid unexpressed feelings.
As the onion peels, I am learning that feelings are more then the momentary waves of obvious identifiable emotions. I am learning they run much deeper like the feeling of stress. Learning how to identify stress in my world and then learning how to deal with it is a huge feat of recovery... it's doing the work. Learning how to express sorrow of the break up of my marriage is the second step to accepting that I even feel sorrow over something that I choose to create, thus moving past the guilt and shame of it. Wrapping my brain around that fact that I can actually feel an out of context feeling and not have to pin that feeling on a person or situation to be able to express it... learning to express it myself in a healthy way are gigantic lessons for me.
This is where I am at in my recovery. Still trying desperately to cover up my emerging emotions with all the coping tools of my past... and with little success. I am being forced... truly forced to move on in my growth process and well as normal I am doing it with the grace of a strong willed 3 year old.... throwing a tantrum in the grocery store.
So now that I have written out the first part of step one for you I should take pen to paper and really dig a bit deeper in the privacy of my beautiful living room before the chaos of my girls getting up hits. I thank you for being a part of my journey and recovery, learning to share myself with others has not been an easy task, this form of sharing has eased me into face to face sharing that has proven to be way more effective then my mind could have ever imagined. I am so grateful to you for opening that door for me. Thank You.