Other addictions: What is or is not healthy?

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.

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12 thoughts on “Other addictions: What is or is not healthy?

  1. I totally relate to this! I think generally anything I get any pleasure out of I have to be aware of my tendency to over do it. Anything that feels good I am literally all over it. Food, drinking, drugs, sex, exercise, binge watching box sets. I find it hard to moderate ANYTHING I like. I do feel that it’s unhealthy. I think that finding a more spiritual path is supposed to remove these obsessive urges…isn’t it? I’m not sure. I do sometimes wonder that if I was to free my attachments to everything what would be left. I have so many questions when it comes to all things spiritual… xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I left out exercise…granted, I haven’t been fanatic about that for years, but I miss it like you wouldn’t believe.

      I used to get irritated with the questioning, but I have come to accept that it is necessary part of getting where we want to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know I struggled with over eating, and still do some days, and over shopping.
    I’ve been happily able to control my shopping, even saving money while retired.
    I also used to try to over exercise, although could’t do that for long.
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The only thing interfering with your spirituality is you constantly worrying about and questioning it. You see, most people say, “This is what I believe in and no matter what other things I do, I will always believe in this…” – and life goes on. There are times when we question what we believe in until we realize and come to terms with the fact that even though our faith is supposed to be unshakable, yeah, sometimes it gets shaky but we remember what we believe in, nod in silent acceptance, keep moving forward.

    What is unhealthy? Depends on who you’re asking but I’d say – and you know by now that if no one else will, I’ll say it – all this obsessing over stuff and the inconsistent way you’re going about a lot of it is quite unhealthy. A lot of the things are things you can’t do anything about, like the question of God or some supreme being – can’t prove it, can’t disprove it, but that’s why we are to take it on faith that He (or She, if you go in that direction) is real and has our backs. Your sexuality… okay, you’re bi… and like you’re the only one who his. Ya can’t do anything about how you feel but you can do something about your actions and while you may be tempted to do something, you don’t – you just obsess over it like it’s some major reason for why things are wrong in your life. We know that religion and sexuality don’t play nice with each other but while faith can keep you from sinning, whatever is rolling around in your head about sexuality is, according to the professionals, healthy – we are sexual creatures, like it or not.

    Overeating… yeah, I get it but this is something you can do something about; if you don’t like how you’ve just let yourself go, damn it, do something about it. You’re a former police officer and black belt martial artist and your lack of self-discipline just amazes me but, yeah, I get it; that’s gone by the wayside because you’re too caught up in obsessing over the things taking place inside your own head.

    The drinking. I’ve never been an alcoholic and I can thank having an alcoholic father for showing me how not to handle my problems and I’ve seen too many people – and many of them friends of mine – dive head first into the bottle and it doesn’t take much for them to go there and over things that most people can easily deal with. You admit that you have a problem; you do what many with this problem won’t do – you got help via AA and while in the early days of being in AA it’s kinda expected that you’ll fall off the wagon, one of the premises is that you being to believe in yourself enough that the next time something comes up and you feel like bailing off the wagon, you’ll stop, think about what you’re gonna do, and then don’t do it because while whatever is making you fall off the wagon, just knowing that falling off is really a worse thing that’s pretty damned unhealthy.

    But it’s not like you don’t know that already. You keep hanging in there and fighting the hair of the dog and this is a good thing… but as long as you keep letting all this other stuff fuck with your head, you will always be able to find a reason to jump off the wagon again. There’s that piece in the Bible that asks God to grant you the serenity to accept the things you cannot change but to give you the strength to do something about the things you can change and maybe, in terms of helping your spirituality, it would do well for you to remember this, believe this, and make it work for you because, really dude, that’s what everyone else does.

    While it can be considered unhealthy to wallow in the muck like this, eh, shit happens and it can happen to anyone at any time; the most unhealthy thing is to stay in the muck and not do everything you can manage to do to get out of the muck. All the other things you mention don’t mean a whole when compared to the depth of the muck you find yourself in.

    Drag yourself out of the muck – we have a hot shower and clean clothes waiting for you. If it makes no sense for you to obsess about things, well, find a way to stop obsessing about them and especially the things you have no control over whatsoever… but change the things you can change.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So, funny I was talking about the same thing with my friend on the phone the other night. We both have smoked marijuana for some time and have decided to quit. We have found ourselves replacing our addiction with other thing. Now I am back to running everyday and she is back to reading everyday. Some replacements are good.

    Liked by 2 people

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