In my younger years, teens and early twenties, I struggled with anorexic tendencies and binge eating. (Obviously, I did not do them at the same time!) After years of therapy, individual and group, and lots of my parent’s money, I conquered my eating issues and went on to seek out other obsessive-compulsive outlets.
It doesn’t matter if your addiction is food, drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, drugs or rock and roll (okay, not rock and roll), all addictions are basically the same. We, the addict, use food or alcohol or drugs to numb ourselves from our pain and to avoid confronting what is not working in our lives.
I began to notice a few years ago that when I was being a “good girl” with food (not starving myself or overeating), I had an urge to shop. (The old retail therapy kicks in.) I have traded one addiction for another. I have seen this same concept play out with other addicts who are “on the wagon.” There is the former substance abuser who has traded cocaine for Diet Coke. Caffeine is now her drug of choice. Or the ex-alcoholic who has swapped a bar stool for a pair of running shoes. He became a marathoner (read: compulsive runner). Is he still running away from something?????
I guess that is why addicts who complete some type of therapy or rehab are always referred to as “recovering.” We never get the -ed ending, as in “recovered,” because we never really are.