Monday, February 03, 2014

Addiction Comes in Many Forms

I woke up yesterday, as many of you did yesterday, to the news of the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. As I dug into the story, I learned he had abstained from heroin for over two decades only to succumb to a fatal overdose after a relapse. In the “you’re eligible too” category, this was a reminder to me that I, too, have managed to stay clean for many years but that each day is a do-over. There is no guarantee for me, or for others in recovery, that we stay clean beyond the moment. There is only today.

My brother was an amazing film buff and movie reviewer, so my first instinct upon hearing about Hoffman’s desk was, “I wonder what my brother would think.” I lost him one year ago from esophageal cancer. Both he and I, and several of his doctors, believed his cancer was from a lifetime of acid reflux from his eating disorder.

As I eat my breakfast burrito with Oz silently waiting his share at my side, I know that addictions come in many shapes and forms. I have friends in the rooms going blind from their addiction to tobacco. I have friends, like me, who struggle with their weight.  For some of us, eating was our first comfort from the pain and isolation of our childhoods. As they say in the rooms, we often, “Put down the spoon and pick up the fork.” I have friends in the rooms who are sex addicts and seek help for those addictions. Addictions come in many forms.

I cried intermittently yesterday. Grief, or as I call sometimes call it, “the five-car pileup,” struck me hard. The loss of my brother, a major change on the job front, my struggle with the character defect of intolerance— these challenges made yesterday my own Super Bowl of emotions.
I know the answer. I hit a meeting last night and today I’ll work on eating better. It’s a daily challenge for us, isn’t it?

No comments: