When I wanted to spend all of my bonus check on empty things, I was really searching for security and stability. I was trying to retreat into primitive ways of coping rather than dealing with the problem at hand. Part of the solution to this is to stick with the feeling. However, I’ve spent so long trying to run away from my feelings that I’m not sure how to have them sometimes. You might understand what I mean.
If you use crutches all the time, then you never develop the strength in your legs to stand on your own. Getting rid of the crutches doesn’t mean that you suddenly have the ability to run, much less stand up straight. And it hurts, these first few unassisted steps. You want to grab the crutches back, or find something else to hold on to.
This is why a lot of people at AA meetings are chain smokers. They simply traded one addiction for another. The problem hasn’t been addressed. It has just been transformed into something a little more socially acceptable, and a lot less likely to result in legal problems.
I’m stripping away my crutches and my props, one by one, and it is hard. But it is essential. Sometimes I’m tired of all this growth I’ve done and I want to sit back and take a break. I don’t take a break, well, not often, and not for long. I’ve learned that if I take a break, the break morphs into a full stop, and then I have to get started all over again.