I started listening to a new podcast based on the recommendation of a friend, Hey, Cool Life is a mini-pod from author Mary H.K. Choi that focuses on mental health and creativity. Those two things are front and center in my life right now and Mary (look at me using her first name like I know her) is incredibly thoughtful and measured in her self examination. I’ve been amazed at how she sits down after her struggles and peels off the mask to really look at herself.
Although there are many differences in our addiction recovery stories, the circles of our ven diagram overlap more than they don’t. Episode 80 touches on how, while in recovery, the addictive behaviors can creep in. We deal with them like hitting cockroaches with a hammer-you smash a lot, but the fast little ones escape sometimes. As she discusses in the episode, these little ones feel so unworthy. They’re somehow more shameful to recognize and deal with than the big ones we’re recovering from. Mary talks about how she’s been drinking too much diet Coke and how undeserving it feels to talk about her continuing struggles with addiction in relation to cola.
My unhealthy relationship with sugar is the same. It’s no less mentally taxing to deal with than alcohol but feels lessor and somehow, by its meagerness, more shameful.
“Oh. Sure, man. Your problem with eating chocolate chips is right up there on par with my opioid addiction.”
Mary helped me remember that these little compulsions are no less important for me to recognize and manage.
If you’re in the creative field and working through mental health issues, you really should give Mary’s podcast a listen.