No You Can’t Touch My Breasts.


Recovery has so many components to it — mental, emotional, spiritual, physical — and we are constantly jammin’ with one, more or all of them at any given time.

Beyond the initial detox experience, recovery doesn’t focus much on the physical aspect of life as an addict. It’s a ton of spiritual work, cozying up with our Higher Power, and a lot of active mental and emotional work that can make “making amends” exhausting.

I think it’s a bit ironic that all this focus is placed on the non-physical components, and yet actually enjoying the benefits of recovery requires physical energy and health to experience it fully. The four components of recovery (mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical) are like the wheels on a car; they all need to be balanced and aligned so you can get where you want to go.

From a personal perspective, I find the physiological healing to be my greatest challenge. I spent so much time healing spiritually, mentally, and emotionally that I put my physical healing on the back burner.

Today the blessing of holding my grandchildren is unbeatable, but would be even better if the babies didn’t think it was feeding time when they get close to Grampa’s man-boobs. Can we just have some bonding time without…bonding?

(I’m hoping there’s a “Fight Club 2” so I can audition for the role of Bitch Tits formerly played by Meatloaf because that’s the only good thing I can think of about having man-boobs.)
But all things for a reason, and usually a lesson of some sort. If nothing else, this awkward moment is brought to you by the reality check that enjoying the benefits of recovery requires the physical energy and health to enjoy them fully.

Addiction hot potato makes it easy to substitute one addiction for another, and one of the easiest ones to grab onto (and most difficult to let go of) is food. Think about it: we have no choice but to have a relationship with food. We also build just about every social experience around it. It’s the one addiction that can’t be “recovered from” by complete abstinence.

For me, this has been the tough one. But it’s not just food in general. Now that I have addressed the things that were killing me the fastest, it’s time to look at the drug I’ve been doing the longest…sugar. It’s a completely seductive food. It’s everywhere…and in everything. And it’s easy.

What I do know, without question, is that success in recovery is about balance.

Addiction is a one-sided rendezvous with something that can’t, and never will, love you back. And getting over that unhealthy relationship means committing to a healthy, balanced relationship with all facets of your being, including the physical.

Of all the insight I can give on this topic, the most important is this: Part of “loving yourself” is loving your body by giving it what it needs so that it can do for you what you need.

Make nutrition a gift, not a chore, and treat exercise as an expression of your playful, creative, curious self, not as an obsession that reminds you of your old addictive patterns. It all starts with a shift in perception.

I’m still working on this. But my commitment to recovery is a commitment to my “why.” And right now, with another grandbaby on the way, I’m thinking that holding her without having to wear a nursing bra is a pretty good “why.”

Rock on!