Today is a big day, yet, other than this post, it will receive no fanfare. Today I'm going to break an addiction.
I'm not going to say what the addiction "is to", because what I want to put down here should be equally useful for dealing with all of them, and I really want people to think about how many there are and how profoundly they impact us all, regardless of their object.
I have about one left. Two, after I scrape the storage containers for bits. Then I'll put all the associated things away, all my ritual gear, tucked away on the back of some shelf, like the tarot card decks wrapped in cloth that I haven't touched in years.
I'm already having cravings, but it isn't because I've been cutting back: Conversely, when I decide to quit a thing, I tend to binge until my supply of it is gone. In the presence of scarcity, my psychological cravings spike, a response to the sudden real fear that I'm going to run out. I've learned to let this happen, and to go ahead and binge at the end. It makes me run out faster, and if it also makes me feel sick, then that's a good thing to hang onto, to remember over the next week or more while I'm UGHing my way through the withdrawal symptoms.
Do I sound familiar with this process? I am, and if you're like the vast majority of grown-up people, so are you. It's part of adulthood, to realize you've become addicted to something and that it's time now; you need to let it go. I'm willing to guess that it may be one of the key defining aspects of an adult human life, even. And for the people who like to diminish the value of the word "addiction" by snorting that "we're all addicted to oxygen! and water!", I would gently remind them that one day those things, too, will need to be let go; as will love, success, money, work, our children — eveything. We are on a path of constant loss, and that's not a bad thing, just a sobering real thing that real, fully-formed people all need to face. YES I know how hard it is to give up an addictive substance, and yes, one day I'll know that about oxygen too. By then, I hope I'm truly an old hat at this, and the weapons of acceptance, awareness, and humility that I've been using all this time are sharp and imbued with all kinds of badass spells.
But I've done this before with this substance, too. The last time was pretty recently, but then a common pattern of behaviors knocked me off the wagon, and I thought I'd be able to just quit again right away, but then things were so stressful here and I couldn't, and I found myself right back where I was six months ago. It's only been about 2 months since that happened, so I'm hoping that some of the recent behavior changes are still ingrained a little, and will be easier to switch back to than if they hadn't existed at all. But we'll see; either way, this is an important health issue and it needs my attention before it becomes a serious problem. It will suck, but I owe my body this sacrifice.
Off to work. When I get home there'll be one more waiting, and maybe one more after that (which I'll probably have immediately because it'll be the last one, and I'll want to rip off the bandaid and start the process already so badly it'll be making me nuts). Then, for the rest of tonight and tomorrow and the next day and the next day, none. I'll need to find other ways to relax, plain and simple. Because it's time.