Tuesday, October 04, 2005

the anatomy of an addiction

Not long ago my friend Renae asked me if I would like to go on a sugar fast with her. I didn't particularly want to, yet I knew it would be good for me. And in my past experience, having accountability in forming a new habit can be the key difference in succeeding. So I told her sure, I would.

Well each day since then has fallen into one of two categories:
  1. totally forgetting about the conversation I had with her and eating sugar (like chocolate chips or something similar) first thing in the morning and then all day.
  2. 2. totally wanting to honour what I said to her yet totally failing 2 hours into the day (again, usually on chocolate chips or something sweet lying around the house).
It seems like the harder I try and resolve not to do something, the less likely I have been to succeed.
I think I am addicted to sugar (and food, period), among many other things. How do I know? Because I can't control it. It has more control over me than I have over it. Crazy that an inanimate substance can have such power over me. But there are many other things that I am addicted to, things unseen -- like getting approval on a job well done, and the rush of getting my way in a conflict.
I think addictions make empty promises, offering to satisfy some kind of real need, but once the rush wears off, leaves you empty.
Good thing I am starting a 12 step course tonight (same 12 steps as AA), as part of a Spiritual Transformation course my church is offering. I tried taking it last year, and the addiction I was working on then (and likely will continue to work on this second time around) was being overly independent and commitment-phobic. In the end my Commitment-phobia won out and I dropped out of the course half way.
The hardest work is going deep and addressing the real roots of our addictions.
Let's hope I make it past step 5 this time.

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