Monday, January 30, 2012

Confession: I Have An Addiction Too

Confession: I have an addiction too.

I've been wanting for a while to introduce my own struggle with addiction to this blog, publicly taking note of the many ways my and my husband's symptoms overlap and how this helps us to understand and support each other, but I have much bigger priorities, like laundry and a toddler...

(I seriously just had to break in the middle of that sentence to start a load of pee-pee sheets and do a puzzle.)

Anyway... now that I'm here, writing it down for the world to see, I'm having a hard time deciding how to label my addiction. I am addicted to _______? In fact, I'm not sure that telling you I'm addicted to a particular one thing is going to paint an accurate picture of what I struggle with.

More accurately, I medicate.

Mostly, I medicate with food. Sometimes with spending money. When it's money, it usually overlaps with food; I'm not racking up credit card debt on closets-full of clothes. We have an extremely tight cash-only budget, and if I can weasel out a dollar here and there from the gas or groceries, I don't save it for something that we need and can't afford, like new tires. I'll use it to "treat" myself with eating out or getting a coffee. And I won't tell. I don't want my kids to be jealous and think we eat out now and start begging me for stuff I have say no to. I don't want my husband to be disappointed that I'm using our precious dollars for something other than what it was allocated for, especially when it's me who's making such a big deal about sticking to the budget. And once I eat or drink it, the evidence is gone!

The primary mindset of an addict is, "if you really knew me, you wouldn't love me," and I can't help but feel that now. I've only described a fraction of the sneakiness in my heart, and now I'm sure you think I'm a creep and a loser.

Actually, that's just what I'm thinking. You are most likely excusing me, or thinking I'm ridiculous for making such a big deal over a cup of coffee. Sure, there are a bunch of reasons why I deserve a latte once in a while, or why it should be okay to let someone else whip me up some Pad Thai when doing all that work at home will go largely unappreciated. But it's when I'm stealing from our budget to medicate stress at the expense of my family's overall well-being, and the fact that I'm intentionally keeping it a secret that my motives turn the event into something destructive. And I do this more often than I'm aware of because I largely tune-out my motives so I can get away with it. At least, I think that's what I do...

But I'm working on it. Slowly, over this past year or so, I've been trying to cut through the haze of my own medicated state to see and understand what the heck is going on with me. There are so many layers! Physically, emotionally, spiritually... and I'd love to hash some of those things out here.

I am really loving being married a recovering addict these days....I'm in good company :)

1 comment:

Mormon Women: Who We Are said...

You are a courageous woman. I think most of us have our ways of self-medicating. We all need Christ so desperately!

I'm working on my own layers. It's hard, hard work, but in the end, I think that is why we are here. How else can we come to really understand our need for God if we don't see how weak we really are?

Your blog has been a bright spot in my day. Keep writing (as you feel so inspired, that is!)