The “Gravity Chamber”

I’m recovering from addiction. I never thought I’d say that, but then again, I never thought I’d cheat either. I always thought, that’s for those other people.

Very early into the best relationship I ever had, I thought I deserved what I wasn’t getting, so I decided to take it from other people. I started cheating on my partner, and often. That’s when I first realized I had a problem.

As I kept crossing lines I never thought I’d cross again and again, and justifying it, the addiction became very much real. My relationship suffered and I wanted to give it an honest chance.

That led me to 12-step groups. There, I realized (1) so many people there deal with emotional and behavioral problems just like mine, and (2) asking for help is really, really hard. Especially when I was in danger of relapsing.

Why? Because of what I call the “gravity chamber.”

I’d hit a snag going about my day, then the addictive thoughts and feelings hit. I’d know there’s that bottom-line behavior that’s wrong, and there’s the right thing to do — to ask for help. But it suddenly was like I was in a “gravity chamber” where Earth’s gravity was dialed up 100x. It was 100x harder to inch towards help, and the phone felt like it weighed 500 pounds.

I was calling people, fighting objections, I’m burdening her, he’ll judge me, or it’s not that important. Or, maybe I’m just being lazy and I need to get back to work. People wouldn’t answer and minutes turned into hours. Eventually I’d connect with someone, which turned “off” the gravity. The whole time, I wished I just had an “off” button, to cut those hours of hanging off of the cliff into seconds.

None of the addicts I talk to have heard of a “gravity chamber”, but when I explain it, there’s always an “Aha!” moment. They get it. The solution is connection. So many recovering addicts only have a small window to get connected, or they get flattened back into the addiction.

With enough phone calls and hard work, I achieved escape velocity from my worst behaviors, but I saw so many people hadn’t and were still suffering.

Hadn’t someone made the “off” button I was looking for? There were so many great, big tech companies with all the resources, I just assumed one of them must have done it. But they hadn’t. So I decided, I would.

InCommon is the “off” button addicts need to escape the gravity chamber.