Monday, December 10, 2012

Covering up the pain monster

I'm addicted to everything. It can be so frustrating to me. I get addicted to everything that helps me not feel bad or helps me ignore those things about myself that I need to change to stop feeling bad.

I have a gambling problem, I'm codependent, I am addicted to food, people, shopping (well, that welfare stint cured me of that) cigarettes, my iPhone, television (specifically bad-for-women, Bravo TV) coffee, you name it. If I can use it and overuse it, I will.  If it can distract me from life, I will do everything in my power to be distracted.  So when I say "I'm in recovery," I mean "from drugs and alcohol," because I am not in recovery when it comes to many of the above mentioned. I still struggle.

Smoking was easy to stop. They never taste good without booze or drugs. I still sometimes have one with other students during class, on break. But I always borrow one. I never buy them, my kids have never seen me smoke, and I can take it or leave it. I'm super lucky like that.

I rarely go gambling. If I do hit the casino (and by the way, never go with recovering alcoholics. You'll never get out) I immediately feel out of control, and spend more than I intend. Every single time. I rarely admit how much I lose. If I HAD money to gamble, I'd have more of a problem. If I can't spend at least $500, I just don't go. Again, thanks welfare. Problem solved.

Fun fact- Did you know that gambling stimulates the same part of the brain as cocaine? See, we are not that different.

I'm not ready to talk about my iPhone. Lets just say that when my kids do an impression of me, I'm always staring at my phone.

I battle with food. I often feel absolutely out of control. I have been losing some weight, but VERY slowly. Like maybe a pound a week. It is a battle. The more I try to change my eating habits, the more I want to eat the wrong thing. Let's face it, its the holidays! Yesterday I got chocolate covered pretzels and fudge from some friends for Christmas. While these treats were for my kids, I was alone in the car with them. I didn't win. I am really going to start looking at this in a different way.

I am in the end-stage of my marriage. Between that and the stress of the holidays, it is hard not want to make the pain go away by covering it up with other stuff. I am ready for this part of my life. But it is also important that I take care of myself. Not to use drugs, food, booze, gambling, or misuse people to help me through this. And not to try and cover it up. Pain is growth. I'm growing.

I will talk more about that later.

I will rely on my friends in AA and the people who love me to be there for me. And they will. Yesterday I called a lot of people. I picked up the phone, and called. Just to chat through the rough spots. Not even so much to solve the world's problems, but to just pass some time if I felt anxious. That is using people who love me, the right way. And that's what the program gives me.

I will take this holiday one day at a time. And I will be gentle on myself. As usual, I have a lot on my plate. But I plan on handling it. I'll make mistakes, forgive myself, and move on.

And as for my iPhone, you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands. Or wait until I'm ready.


  1. I'm sorry to hear things are going a bit rough for you at they moment.

    Take care....

  2. I think many of us have our own addictions. I also am addicted to my phone/facebook. I can get lost on Pinterest for hours-no joke!
    I stress eat and i'm constantly stressed so in my mouth it goes.
    The good news is that you have a support group and a number to call to help you through those moments. Thats terrific!!
    Betsey, i am so sorry you're going thru hard times and especially during the holidays. BUT,you have to take care of yourself your children. I am proud of you for handling the stress the smart way and calling AA. And frickin eat the chocolate covered pretzels!!