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When a change is only a geographic

One of my food addict friends decided to rent out her home and move into an apartment in a newly upscale neighborhood. Her city has been in a big real estate boom and she figured her plan would net her money and give her a fresh start. Things didn’t turn out quite as she had expected. She leased the apartment, moved her stuff, and then her house didn’t rent and it didn’t rent and it didn’t rent. She finally lowered the rent considerably and found someone.

Her new apartment is lovely but she’s no less unhappy than when she was living in her house. She ‘s still grieving the break-up of a romantic relationship, still at loose ends in retirement, still struggling with food, and now has added money stress to the picture. The magic cure of a new place to live turned out to be what we in recovery call a geographic: we change places but our inner issues move with us.

In active addiction, this was my habit too. I’d change some external circumstance instead of addressing the real issues of unhappiness, loneliness, anger, grief. Cleaning up the wreckage of the past doesn’t just mean making amends to others; it means dealing with what triggers us to eat.

What geographics have you attempted? How did they turn out?

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