For years when I was drinking and overeating, my biggest fear about quitting was “What will I do with the time? What will I have left to make me happy?” I always came up short, unable to come up with something. I was so scared my life would be empty and boring without my addictions.
Would I go insane without my comforts?
When I quit drinking, food became my substitute. Instead of alcohol, I just doubled up on food. And there was some comfort in knowing that I had a back up vice to turn to. At least I had one comfort left.
But the food was killing me.
Ironic how the substance that is supposed to give us life was actually taking mine. And all because I was scared I wouldn’t be able to find happiness without it. I had to let my overeating go but how could I possibly find any joy in life without it? With food being my final vice, what would I substitute this addiction with?
Then came OA. And I discovered a permanent substitute for all my addictions. One that really worked and brought joy into my life. Real joy. Joy that would last longer than a drinking binge or a 2 hour meal. One that didn’t include hangovers, guilt or shame. It was the answer I had been seeking for all these years.
The substitute was the fellowship of brothers and sisters I found in OA.
I finally found my people in the rooms of OA. We are the same in so many ways. Finally I am not alone. We are all in this together. I am surrounded by an army of people who get it. And I can’t overstate how much comfort I find it that. For years, I tried to overcome my addictions alone. It felt overwhelming and impossible.
But there is strength in numbers. I have meetings I can go to so I can stay connected to people who care. I have people to call when I am having a hard time. I get to serve my fellows by picking up the phone and encouraging them when they need it. There is also a lot of hope in hearing another’s story of struggle. And also hearing the stories of those who have overcome their addictions.
If they can do it, so can I.
I am choosing community and connection over isolation and addiction. There is so much more joy on this side. The fellowship brings true joy and peace that I never was able to find in alcohol or food.
I finally found the substitute I have been searching for my whole life. This is what true happiness feels like.
If you can relate to this, I would highly encourage you to check out AA or OA, depending on your drug of choice. The fellowship is waiting with open arms. You don’t have to do this alone anymore.