Many Addictions, Same Recovery


Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.  Step 12 Alcoholics Anonymous

An incredible blessing in recovery

I have long believed that addiction is addiction whether alcoholism, gambling, sex, an eating disorder, and on and on.  In the same way, I view the basics of recovery and moving forward to be similar, regardless of the specific addictive behavior.  The idea of hitting a bottom, getting sick and tired of being sick and tired, surrender, dealing with reality, seem common requirements for recovery regardless of the behavioral details of the addiction.

My primary addictions are alcohol and an eating disorder.  I have never written that before – that alcohol and eating are both primary – though I have over 25 years of sobriety from alcohol one day at a time.  I have intellectually realized that I use food in the same way that I use alcohol. My practices with food started long before I picked up the first drink.  As a pre-teen I stole money and shoplifted but never for anything other than food.  And that list of behaviors goes on.

For quite a few years now I have recognized that recovery from alcohol or drug addiction has a distinct advantage – you just don’t put the substance in your body and you can call yourself sober.  With eating disorders, the issue seems more complex.  My trigger food for my eating disorder is simply food, and it really matters little whether it is bread, candy, rice, . . .   In recovery, I must continue to consume food, but in specified amount and way.

But I also find that if I am truly living in recovery, and “practicing these principles” in all of my affairs, and not just abstaining, my eating disorder is as readily handled as my addiction to alcohol.

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