Here's how I broke my shopping abstinence - with a lipstick.
I needed a lipstick, a perfectly legitimate purchase. I went to the store, found out my color was discontinued (I've never actually gone to the store and not had my color discontinued - what's with that?) so I was about to pick a new color when the insane thought hit. It said, "Wait! Since we have to buy 2 lipsticks now (one for the purse and one for at home) maybe we should go to Macy's where they have an Estee Lauder free gift!" Did it sound logical? Sure, as logical as the guy in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous who puts booze in his milk when he breaks his sobriety.
Once I brought that bag home with another stupid gift that I will never use and will only give away to one of my six sisters and which contains products and colors that are all wrong for me, I was off and running. On Thursday I had another "legitimate" purchase to make: I need a new desk. Now that I'm putting the living room back together, apparently I need a new configuration, something that won't jinx my book this time when it's submitted to agents or publishers, something that will make it all good, like it was the desk's fault last time.
So I go to the store - or stores in this case. I come back home with a gigantic ottoman and four new bar stools. No desk. If this was booze I'd be laying in a gutter somewhere waking up from a hangover, but it's not. Instead I'm filled with remorse and have to go deposit the $400 I spent in our checking account tomorrow to pay for this stuff. The least I can do is pay for it.
At the weight-related 12-step meeting I was at today someone said that on every page of the Big Book there's something she can use as a prayer, each word in it can be used for a prayer, and I realized that's it: the Big Book is a prayer. And another person said that she didn't need her HP's help with the things she can do, she needs his help with the things she can't, so she's waking up each day and asking for help with those things, the things she can't do and she doesn't even specify what they are, she just lets him work on it. I was sitting there, normal sized for such a long time and sitting next to someone who was quite large. But suffering? Both of us were suffering.