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When it’s good to make decisions based on what we don’t know

This idea sounds counter-intuitive, I know. Typically, we use our experience and learnings to decide what to do next. That’s what our learnings are for, to guide us into a safe future. But when we’re trying to step out of addiction into abstinence, we can’t trust a lot of what we already know. Those old knowings—like continuing to overeat or binge or medicate with demon foods in order to deal with our stress or boredom or unhappiness—aren’t useful.

Instead we have to lean into what we might discover if we do things differently. If we put down the sugar and flour, cleaned the processed foods (hidden and not-so-hidden sugars) out of our kitchen, and began to create a sweeter life between meals, one that supports our recovery from guilt, worry, and self-loathing.

Of course, it takes a leap of faith to make decisions based on curiosity, on a desire to see if there’s another way. But we don’t really have much to lose. We know we’ll get the same old misery if we don’t try something new. And most of us are so miserable that the unknown can begin to look pretty interesting.

How might you decide on abstinence based on what you don’t know yet?

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