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 Wordsworth. Long after we gave up drink or pills or food we are still, often secretly, struggling with how we handle money, how much we shop, 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 obsessed, ashamed or afraid because of our money or shopping issues.
In the new book, “Out of the Woods” 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 talking honestly to other women in recovery. (Yes, I have spent time in a meeting checking out another woman’s clothing instead of the speaker’s message.)
In Chapter Nine of “Out of the Woods” I write about all the inventories I have taken: moral, emotional and sartorial. Yes, shopping and clothing and taking care of our appearance are women’s issues and they are recovery issues. The growth never stops –that can be bad news or good news. But the really good news is that we can laugh and heal at the same time.