By Diane Cameron
More than two hundred years ago the poet, William Wordsworth, wrote, “The world is too much with us; getting and spending we lay waste our powers.”
Many women in long-term recovery would agree with him. Long after we gave up drink or pills or food we are still –maybe secretly—struggling with managing money, too many trips to the mall and painfully joking that, “My name is Diane and I am a shoe addict.”
Yes, it may be true that no one dies from a shoe overdose but it’s also true that we are not “happy, joyous and free” when we are ashamed or afraid because of our money or shopping issues.
In Out of the Woods, my book for women in long-term recovery, I write about clothes, and shoes and even ways that woman use cosmetics in recovery. It’s light-hearted but also deadly serious. Our growth simply continues and it can be easy to switch from a chemical addiction to a behavioral one. It’s all about our motives, honesty, self-care and how we need to keep on talking honestly to other women in recovery. (Yes, I too have spent time in a meeting checking out another woman’s clothing instead of the speaker’s message.)
I love clothes and had to try many strategies in my recovery. In Chapter Nine of Out of the Woods I write about all about my inventories: and it includes emotional and sartorial assessments.
Shopping and clothing are women’s issues and that makes them issues for woman in recovery as well. The good news is that we can laugh and heal at the same time.