Day 324 Leavers Anonymous

At an AA meeting this week, the chairperson talked about her tendency to leave when the going got rough. That had been her pattern in relationships both when she was drinking and in sobriety. She had just had her 16th sobriety anniversary and was addressing this pattern.

It made me think about how all of my addictions have been about leaving, about running away from myself. I began using sugar at age 9 to deal with trauma, nightmares, sleeplessness, and boredom in the classroom. In my early teens, I developed an elaborate fantasy life that kept me safely out of reality. In college, I went on eating sugar to numb my anxiety rather than be with it, and I added alcohol to the mix. After college, I added sex to the mix, and then codependent relationships. It was all about distraction and being somewhere else rather than here with my feelings. Now I use work and food to do that.

Perhaps heartful is the way I need to be going, not mindful. So I can learn to stay with my feelings.


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