Obviously, it’s no secret I consider myself an alcoholic and I am engaged in the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program of recovery, but sometimes I have wondered if my obsessive nature has carried over into different areas of my life. When going to AA meetings, it becomes apparent that there is the idea of total abstinence from alcohol. But it doesn’t stop there with AA – they also advocate total abstinence from any mind altering substances. This might include a wide variety of things, such as marijuana. But, there have been times when I have wondered if there are other addictions that border on obsessing and our understanding of the chemical natures of our brains is much more extensive than it was at the time AA had began in the 1930s.
I’ve never really been interested in any other chemical substances, or drugs. I live in Colorado, where marijuana has been legalized for recreational use. But, I’ve, literally, tried it only two or three times. Once time was with my wife and the other two times was with a brother-in-law. Honestly, it really didn’t do much for me (except a raging erection when I did it with my wife), so I never thought much of it. I never did it again, because I work for a company that does random drug testing. But, my point is that it has never swayed me to try again or look into other substances.
There are a couple of other things that I have obsessed about before. One of those things is food. I went on a food binge about 15 years ago and have not stopped, since. Needless to say, I have gained a massive amount of weight that I have not bothered to do anything about. Luckily, although it’s obvious I am overweight, I have the kind of body structure that hides a lot of it fairly well (but my gut says something else entirely). I had always felt that I began turning to eating as a means to curb some of the stress I felt about life. I used to joke that I had to learn to keep from saying things when I was irritated, because I had the kind of mouth that bites others. I’m sarcastic, witty and very pointed in making things known to others what I feel. But hurting someone was never my intention, although, that was the effect. So, I used to joke that I had to keep my mouth busy in other ways – i.e. eating – and apparently I had plenty to say. 🙂
Another thing I felt I would hide or deal with my stress was through sex. I’m not going to go into a lot of details here, because a lot of my sexual activities will be addressed in my S.A.R.D., but the point I am making is that I don’t know that I have always engaged in sexual activities in a way that is emotionally healthy for me, let alone others I care about or with whom I have engaged in sexual activities. Sometimes, I admit, I have felt empty or selfish when it has come to sex. And there are some things I find sexually appealing that lay outside the norm (No worries about legality, nothing that would demonstrate a desire to hurt anyone or any animal…ha!) and I have often wondered why it is I fantasize the way I do. Some of these my wife and I have role-played, but they are things that are not necessarily conducive to a relationship. Of course, there is also the fact that I consider myself bisexual and I have worried (Unfortunately, way too often) about myself in that respect. I have wondered all kinds of things, that again, I’m not going to go into lots of detail.
I guess, what I’m getting at, is that I wonder how many things have interfered with me, spiritually. And I’m contemplating spirituality again as I begin to look at Step 2 and Step 3 of the AA program. I have written about them before, but I am interested in being a more spiritual person, something that I can grasp onto that gives me some principles and ways of living that I think I need to live in a healthy way – spiritually, mentally, physically. I want to recover from this idea that I depend on things that yield temporary relief or temporary happiness when I encounter challenges in life. And there is a place in the Big Book of AA (p. 47) that begs the question of spiritual matters that specifically asks, “What do they mean to me?”
And so, I contemplate these matters and I contemplate ways I can live with a healthier mindset.
8th day of new sobriety.