Since I am not familiar with what a 12 step program for addiction is really about, I thought what could it be? I thought probably one must detox first to give the system a big reboot and a big push towards full rehabilitation. So how do you detox from consumerism? What do I do? I am overwhelmed. Declutter, but how? Where to start? My head is spinning. I have a daughter who is bombarded with consumerism and all she wants is to buy, buy, buy. What do I do about her? Ugghhhh! maybe this is impossible! Will we give up this easily and continue to just exist in the same ground hog day scenario day in and day out for the rest of our lives? Wow, that is depressing, but it is familiar and oddly safe. Is that the crux of the problem? Our existing life is familiar and even in its struggles with this addiction to consumerism is safe? Is that the issue? Am I afraid of change? Am I afraid of the unknown? When did this happen? When did I become afraid?
I spent the first 10 years of my life on 4 different continents and when we finally settled in the US, we moved houses and states. The longest I spent in a school was the University where I got my 4 year degree in one place and didn’t move. After I finished college I followed in my parent’s footsteps of travel and went and explored two other countries by living abroad for a period of four years. So in totality I lived a very transient life for the first 28 years of my life. The twenty years that followed were completely the opposite. I just realized that I lived my life at the two extremes. Both are familiar, but the one where I feel safe is the one that I created with my husband and my daughter which is the complete opposite of how I grew up. Is that why I am afraid of rocking that boat? But I thought we are now woke and understand the trap that is the “American Dream”. Why am I hesitant or is it just the sheer depth of how far I have dug into that consumerism driven notion of the American Dream that it is very hard to dig myself out?
As the days passed and I continued to ponder these questions, I was drawn to some documentaries about food and health. Nothing really new, but it dawned on me that American consumerism goes beyond just accumulating things. We are consuming in excess with everything! Too much sugar, too much processed food, too many clothes, too many shoes, too much of everything. Our society was addicted to stuff period. The side effect of this addiction to consuming has become debt, depression, fatigue, unhappiness, stress, diabetes, obesity, bad skin, learning disabilities, gout, depression, extreme mood swings, etc… The list is too long! So it is not just I want my life back where it comes to finances and things I buy, I want my life back where it affects what I buy and put in my body. This is by far much bigger than I thought. This is a complete mind shift in how our family “consumes”. So are we in too deep to dig out? Am I afraid of change? Is this the rationalization of an addict? Is it all of the above? As I sit and think about this, I thought to myself, WTF! I am sitting here talking about addiction and a 12 step program and I have no clue what I am talking about. Why don’t I go and research what are the actual 12 steps in a 12 step program to beating addiction? Duh!!!
Step one – Admit that we are powerless over our addiction and that our lives has become unmanageable. Wow!!!! OMG!!! I just realized that we suffer from an addiction to excess! Abundance in everything surrounds us and we are addicted! I fully acknowledge that we have become powerless over our addiction to excess and that our life has become unmanageable. I am fully ware and concur that the above statement is absolutely and undeniably is true. I need to let that soak in for a while!