Just for Today-Simple But Easy.

Today I wanted to shop so badly. I was online last night and wanted to buy crap because it was half off at my favorite store. I filled up my online shopping cart, a few hundred dollars worth, and I kept thinking you don’t want to do this. This is not the next right step. Wait 24 hours. So I did. And this morning when I woke up and the sale was gone I was pissed. Ridiculous! I was in such a bad mood. So I did the next right thing. I called my sponsor. Both of them actually and let them into my life so that I did not have to be alone. I committed to not going shopping at anytime today and instead I would workout. I knew I was headed for trouble today when I had a thought of canceling social plans that involved exercise to go to the mall to look at a thing.

That is not the life I want to have . This line from the big book which arrived in my daily big book email on Saturday really spoke to me. This is what it said. It blew my mind.

‚ÄúSimple, but not easy; a price had to be paid. It meant destruction of self-centeredness. I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all. ” P.14. My addictive actions are me destroying my life through self-centeredness. I can’t think of anything worse. I don’t want to pay that price. I want to destroy my self-centeredness instead of have it destroy me. I am giving my will AND my life over to my higher power to care for me and show me the best path out of self-centeredness. I don’t know about tomorrow, but I know I am doing it just for today.

I am powerless over money and shopping and my life had become unmanageable. Help me God to be the best person I can be. I give my life to you today. Thank you for showing me the next right step, and I thank myself for being able to listen and hear the guidance I received.

Peace.

Let’s Start Stopping

It’s time to make a change. A real change. I am sick of being dragged down by my stuff and spending my time in pursuit of something that I already have. An awesome life.

As the words of the Big Book says addiction is where you can’t stop from starting and can’t stop once you start, so I thought, maybe I’ll try to start stopping and to do this I need an accountability tool. I need to write. I need to be open. The solution is spiritual, but I need to document my journey in a way that it feels more real. I need a tangible place to deal with the mess. So here I am.

I want to stop shopping so much. I shop way too much. I’m a compulsive shopper and hate that about myself. I LOVE TO SHOP. I want to stop. I want to appreciate What I have. Who is in my life. Where I live. How my life is amazing. Live in the Now and be present in my life. I have an addictive personality and I struggle with believing and feeling like I have enough. I heard a mantra a year ago- “I have Enough, I am Enough, I do Enough.” I want to live as if I truly believe it. As a member of several 12-step programs (DA and OA and a fringe member of Al-Anon) I know that the path to recovery in my life is a spiritual one, at least I’m coming to believe that. If you would have told me that would be my answer a couple years ago I would have run cackling from you in the other direction. My vises are food and shopping. I love to eat and cook. I love to spend money and shop. That’s just the way it is. These can be ok vices…but with the food obsession being lifted the shopping drive is bearing it’s ugly head.

Two weeks ago my spouse and I paid off all of our consumer debt, thousands and thousands of it (we could have bought a brand new car)-we had been working on paying it off for over a year and I want to keep it that way. I also recently relapsed in my recovery with food a couple months ago, am abstinent again, and want it to stay that way. I need to share my story in a way that is more personal and documented to ensure I have accountability and a trail for me to reflect on. Hence this blog.

Overeaters Anonymous and Debtors Anonymous have changed my life and I hope to reach others who deal with dual addictions. The main goal of this blog will be to focus on living in recovery and being relieved of these obsessions.

I have so much in my life. I have a lot of love, friends, and wonderful experiences. But I get dragged down by this feeling that it isn’t enough and I go searching for something else, in the food or in the mall. I had 1.5 years of abstinence from compulsive overeating and I had hoped that my shopping problem would go away. I thought when I lost weight I wouldn’t need to or want to buy new clothing as much, that I would be happy just to be slimmer, but that’s not been the case. I still like to shop way too much. When I relapsed in the food a couple months ago I realized I had to really take a close look at how these two addictions went hand in hand. I looked online for blogs about this topic and there were none. So I decided to write one in the hopes that I can stay recovered and that I might reach just one person who knows they are not alone in dealing with this.

My goals are a bit scary to write down, but here they are. I have this crazy idea that I will wear everything I own at least once before bringing in a single new thing. If I want to bring something new in, three old things have to go. I want a more manageable closet and a more manageable life. I want to appreciate the abundance in my life and share that with others. I’m not sure if that’s crazy or the way I need to break ties with this addiction. I’m still pondering it. For now, here is my commitment. I will not buy anything new just for today. All we have is today.

If you are curious at all about twelve step programs I encourage you to check them out. Get a sponsor-I have two kick ass sponsors-and they kick my ass, and it’s sooooo good. I love these wonderful strong people that have given me so much of themselves. I also sponsor and in doing that I am able to keep the recovery I have been given. We only get to keep what we give away.

A few first steps. I’m going to inventory my closet. The numbers will be horrendous, but it’s a start. I did this last summer, when I did the Skirt Project (where I wore ever skirt I had before I wore anything else…I had over 40 skirts. You know what happened? I got f’in SICK of skirts!). But it was a good exercise in the realizing the excess in my life.

I might to something like that again…I’m still mulling it over. If I wore all of my jewelry before shopping again I wouldn’t shop for years. But I worry I’d relapse big time if I did something like that, so I’ll do some more thinking and ask my higher power what the next right step is to do. I know the first right step is to stop buying. Just stop. And start looking at what’s underneath. I’ve said I’m going to, but this time I really am going to start working through April Benson’s book, To Buy or Not to Buy. I’m not going to post photos of outfits as this is not a fashion blog, although I do love fashion. But I may talk about what I’m wearing and if it should stay in my life. My goal is to keep this blog going for a year and see what happens, because what I’m doing isn’t working. It’s time to stop that and start this.

Join me.