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REPLACEMENT ADDICTION

THE SOBER EMCEE

REPLACEMENT ADDICTION

Kofi Carmichael

I am an extremist with addictive tendencies. This means I go from one extreme to another. When I started smoking cigarettes, I kept going until I got to a sometimes 2 pack a day habit. When I started hustling I became known as the one who stayed out the longest and hustled the hardest. For women, variety and plethora was a must. When it came to that seductive bottle of alcohol, I was no different. When I drank I feel like I used it to replace anxiety. The anxiety of not being accepted. Whether it was replacing the nervousness I felt when approaching a woman, or for the nervousness before hitting the stage to perform my music in front of an audience. I used alcohol to replace a lot of feelings and thoughts inside me. Now that the alcohol has been gone for 6 years, what have I used to replace that massive demon?

When I first came home from my prison bid I started by replacing the destructive cycle of alcohol and the illegal life with a 9 to 5 occupation. I worked as many hours as possible to keep me focussed on my goals, as well as trying to make money to come at least a quarter of the way that I was on the income ladder. Like many alcoholics my cigarette habit stayed intact and even increased at times. Part of that was replacing the insatiable weed habit that I was cut off from because of my Parole conditions at the time.

When I was able to start smoking weed again, I smoked like the resurrection of Bob Marley. I realized over time that my weed habit was and also another replacement to my alcohol addiction. My lovely girlfriend and I have recently been to an all inclusive resort in Mexico where alcohol was everywhere and encouraged from Breakfast to Dinner and a bag of weed was very essential to go with my sun, fun and memories.

When it came to women, I’ve had my share of ups and downs as well as my share of extremes. I went from engaged to a woman a few years younger than me to leaving and starting a relationship with a girl almost 14 years younger than me. After that mistake, I went through a soul searching period. Broke a few more hearts and found some time for one last man hoe phase. Was this a replacement to the alcoholic times when the vodka was there to fuel my charm. At first I tried to rationalize it as checking to see if I still had my “Mojo” that used to be mixed with Mojitos. However I feel that a large part was just one of the shortcomings that exist whether alcohol was present or absent.

Over the past 6 years I went through a few physical changes, moving up and down the weight scale. My addiction to working out re-started while I was away in prison and I came home in tip top shape equipped with the super hero six pack. I continued to work out and maintain my pen physique but after an injury and a lack of a eating regimen, I regained my weight and lost the six pack. I continuously tried to get back to form until I went into a short depression built up from the rollercoaster of my new sober life. I eventually found the right trainer and he got me into a good eating routine and helped me get back into tip top shape. Again the addiction sensors kicked in. I began going to the gym 6 day a week, sometimes 7 days. At times when I had a day off I’d go the gym 2 times. I became the typical overboard workout guy. Just like that, replacing addiction. Maybe it was a replacement to junk food? Or possibly another anxiety replacement.

These are the things that are within me and I feel that a lot of people feel the same way. I know that I have replacement addictions and I’m sure that I will think of a bunch more about myself after I post this. I challenge any reader to think of something that you’ve really felt you’ve been addicted to whether drugs, alcohol, women and/or money. Whatever it is if it’s now gone, what have you replaced it with?

Bless