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.

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3 thoughts on “Let’s Start Stopping

  1. I could so relate! I had a year & three months of abstinence too & am going through a six months of indulging which put me in a dark tunnel of desperation but hope that with a bit of luck & oa work I’ll end this nightmarish situation…
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Hi there-Thank you so much for commenting. I am resurfacing my blog so it was so wonderful to see your lovely comment. How are you doing? How is your recovery and abstinence going? I’d love to stay in touch if you’d like. 🙂 That dark tunnel of desperation is so difficult, but there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. There is! And we will find it together.

  2. It would be nice to keep in touch, it gives you the incentive to strive for better & more in a consistent way.
    Meanwhile I went through that dark period thinking I’d need to try & make the effort to go to a O.A world conference but finance don’t allow me to splurge.
    I ended up catching the flue from my daughter, bringing out my asthma in the worst way possible since I was diagnosed 25 yrs ago. After that I kept joking to all those around me that the best therapy is battling for air… it puts food in its right context!
    My asthma is controlled throughout the years solely by a more or less Macrobiotic way of eating so, I know that this was brought on by my own doing.
    The next step was easy.
    Once you accept that this is it, you just have to apply the basic rule of 3 meals a day & life in between.
    Thanks for your support, it’s really valuable 🙂

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