One of my dear friends is so prolific and insightful and funny.
She's also clean.
Do you have a friend who accomplishes great things and gives amazing advice? Sue does this for me, so I asked her share her secrets of success with all of us.
Cafe Kristen: So tell me again what addictions you had?
Sue Shapiro: I quit cigarettes, alcohol, dope, and gum and have been clean, smoke-toke-gum free and sober for 7 years now. They've been the best years of my life. Who would think at age 41 I'd be reborn? In that time, I sold seven books, tripled my income and fell madly in love with my husband again. I definitely know there's a connection between my new found success and quitting my bad habits.
CK: So how did you quit cigarettes, alcohol and everything else?
SS: Addicts tend to be control freaks who are in denial about the scope of their problems. You don't realize it, but addictions are often what's holding you back in relationships, work and financial matters. So I suggest people who want to give up an addiction seek help from an expert or a mentor. I used one-on-one therapy with a great shrink. I also recommend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Overeaters Anonymous (OA) meetings which are free and happen daily. Read my book and other smart self-help books so you learn about new coping strategies.
CK: What's so great about being clean?
SS: When you get rid of something toxic in your life, you're making room for something beautiful to take it's place. You have do something different, hang out with people you want to be, emulate those you admire. Find the things in life that you love that feed you emotionally.
CK: Tell me about your therapist.
SS: My secret weapon has been my addiction therapist, who taught me all kinds of tools and rules to reign in my addictive personality. By the end of Lighting Up, the only addiction I had left to quit was him. Then he quit me by moving out of the state.
CK: Have you stayed clean?
SS: I didn't relapse on any of my previous compulsions, but I did go sugar-crazy. I write about it in my new comic novel called Speed Shrinking, Lighting Up's fictional sequel, which is coming out in August.
Sue Shapiro teaches tons of writing classes in New York City, and she invites CafeMoms to email her--see her address at the bottom of her website--if you have specific questions.
I think I have my own mild, but totally annoying addiction: This may sound silly, but I'm addicted to saying yes and pleasing people. I need to work on that because I have so little time for myself and my family. Do you have any addictions you'd like to quit?