Friday, August 23, 2013

Day 166 The 4 F's of addiction behaviors

We're all familiar with the two big F's of response: fight or flight. When we are threatened from outside or inside, we can defend ourselves in some overt way or we can flee, find an escape route. But there are two other options, two other F's that pertain to addiction. I've had a lot of experience with the first of these: F..k it!

While I was in treatment, I heard a counselor say that alcoholics can go from zero to f..k it in less than a second. And I think for a lot of people that's true. It may be why only about 10% of alcoholics who seek treatment stay sober. It's so easy to just say f..k it and go back to the old life. Since I got sober, I've been fortunate enough not to do that with drinking (although I had plenty of experience with that all those years when I was trying to stop drinking on my own). But I've moved rapidly into f..k it with food over and over and over. It's especially easy when f..k it is preceded and/or followed by rationalization. I'm trying hard to stay out of this now, with a commitment to my plan that I haven't had before.

And I'm willing now to begin to step into the fourth F: feel. Feel the restlessness, the anxiety, the happiness, the contentment, the fear, the discomfort, the whatever. I went through some really hard stuff when I got sober: job search, ongoing jealousy, resentments. 9th step work, break up with a long-term boyfriend whom I thought I would be with for the rest of my life, moving, new job, moving again, new career. I didn't drink but I had the numbing comfort of food. Now I'm becoming willing to forego that and feel even more. Some days it's easy. Some days it's damn hard and I find my hand in the drawer of snack bars or my spoon in the jar of peanut butter. But I can also feel more willingness, more courage coming my way too.

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