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The core of the addictions ...

Saturday, July 07, 2012

I bet I'm not the only Sparker with multiple addictions, eh? Food and spending, my primary "issues", have been twin challenges my entire adult life. I suspect they have the same root - something like "nothing is ever enough" - but they operate differently in my life.

Food you cannot do without. "Stuff," on the other hand, is obviously not necessary.

In years past, when I was "successfully" "dieting" (note the creative and so expressive use of quotation marks) I would always go on spending sprees. I did not realize at the time that the spending was a way to indulge the "appetite" as much as the eating.

Long story short, spending has an end where one's income runs out, even though one can "budget" pretty much the same as one can "diet". I did a bankruptcy over a decade ago and that sorta "solved" the problem of credit-addiction. But since then I have been acutely aware of the "urges" to acquire stuff just as I have been more aware of "urges" and cravings for food.

It's what's at the heart of the addictions I am after with my Spark program, I think. Lately, when I am trying to wait out the food cravings, I have been working on mindfully exploring what the urges ARE, what they are "made of" cognitively, emotionally, spiritually.

I have a background in the 12 Step programs from being an Overeaters Anonymous member and also a Substance Abuse counselor from 'way back. Today I had one of those epiphanies I get when I am Sparking a lot that the urge to eat food/acquire stuff is the same as impatience with any slower process, as frustration when something doesn't go my way and with unwillingness to spill out coffee from a too-full cup so the stuff doesn't squirt all over when I put the lid on ...

Don't know if that last bit makes any sense to anyone, but it recalls a little friendly lecture I got from an old AA guy when I was just 24 ... that unwillingness to spill out the too-full cup is "an addiction to self", he said. "Little-s-self" he specified, rather than the "Capital-S-Self" that is the spiritual core of an individual (he was a really, really deep thinker!).

I did not grasp it then, at least not on that deeper level. It is making itself clearer as I get older ('way older!). I don't like the appetites of what has gotta be "little-me" running my life! I have goals and longer-term hopes and plans that are de-railed when I let that hungry "little me" gobble up whatever it wants! "IT" is not mySELF. I don't want to be hooked on "its" appetites!

If that wise, old AA brother was right (and I know in my heart that he was) the "I" that I am coming more and more to identify as mySELF is where the drive for health and wellness of my body is coming from. Clearly the goals of that deeper and wiser drive apply equally well to the acquisition of stuff as it does to food.

"Little-me" doesn't like mindfulness - it's like a little kid in the grocery store pestering mommy to buy candy and ice cream and toys, whining, "but I really, really WANT that!"

Stand firm, Mommy! "Little-me" has NO IDEA WHAT IS GOOD OR BAD! All it knows is WANT-WANT-WANT!

Hmmmmmm ........
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I really like the coffee cup analoogy. Your blog is so in line with my recent one. As long my blood sugar and blood pressure were fine, I couldn't bring myself to face the sugar issue. Even though I've had tough orthopedic problems, it wasn't enough for me to confront sugar addiction.

    2144 days ago
    I feel like I'm sharing a giggle with you - I know that "want-want-want" but the need isn't always the stuff. I do work with addictions as well and taming my own urges has been part of the integrative process. You are good enough! You always have been! The thing here is to match up your real preferences with your real life! I'm saying this after getting nervous about the new work adventure (people won't like the location, the parking issues, etc) and then I settle down as I'm already supporting an office without the perks of really moving in or having full control of the space (I'm in two locations and share space. Some stuff has gone missing . . . )

    Get selfish about your inner peace! Use those urges as cues that you need something, but it's more intangible than the stuff. Design your own program such as walking, until you figure it out. When you do, go for the solution. You have everything you need within you to create the balance which fits you best.

    My inner peace this Sunday had better include muscle work and house cleaning! I'm feeling that unsettled stuff. I'm choosing not to avoid it with food, or the internet, or (fill in the blank). I hope you find delicious moments of inner peace today!
    2144 days ago
    Those are some profound insights, dear heart. For me it goes to where is my focus~ is it one of gratitude? Or ingratitude, which I believe drives the urges and senseless wants to fill an emptiness within. Once I embrace that I am blessed with plenty, that I have enough, that I am enough~ then those crazy impulses of wanting more disappear. Keep up the good work, dear heart~ you are on the right path. *hugs* BB~ emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2144 days ago
  • AUNTB63
    Glad to hear you are identifying yourself with the drive for health and wellness.....it is not easy to confront some not so healthy habits (addictions), but if we don't identify with them we can't eliminate them. So Kudos go out to you for becoming more aware.
    I am loving this cooler weather today....actually got out for a walk...which I haven't done in a while. Been keeping up with indoor exercising. Plus yesterday I signed up for the YMCA (got it through my supplemental insurance for free) and plan on getting there this coming week. I had been a member a couple of years ago, but it got a little pricey with our budget. I'm planning on taking a Yoga Stretch class and maybe a cardio.
    Have a wonderful Sunday. emoticon
    2144 days ago
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