Of Baking and Addiction

Finding a replacement for alcohol and becoming more productive

Andy Spears

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Photo by Nadya Spetnitskaya on Unsplash

I’ve written some about my struggles with alcohol use.

I’ve found that writing about this truth from my past helps me process — and reminds me why alcohol is no longer a part of my life.

One lesson many in early recovery learn is that after you stop using your preferred substance, you have tons of free time.

It’s amazing how much time was spent acquiring alcohol, drinking, being tired or checked out from drinking, feeling sick, planning the next opportunity to drink, etc.

Now, you have time.

Now, you need to fill that time.

Reading has always been something I enjoyed. Watching Netflix and remembering the shows is nice.

But.

There’s still more time.

I’ve always loved to cook and bake, so after giving up alcohol, I got more into that hobby.

Recently, I made a pretty nice pumpkin bread — with chocolate chips.

I find recipes in a lot of places, but one I use a lot is Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Her recipes typically turn out pretty delicious AND she has addiction right in her site name.

Now, I can replace hours spent numbed out on the couch with hours spent making magical foods for family and friends.

Mostly, I make them for me!

I’m only somewhat kidding — I LOVE to eat. But, since giving up alcohol, I’ve also become more giving — happy to give away or share what I have or what I’ve made.

Oh, and as a bonus, when I’m not drinking, the food turns out great and doesn’t end up burned (as happened more often than I want to admit).

So far, the side effects of this addiction have only added to my life — rather than all the taking away alcohol was doing.

I’d love to read about other great recipe sites — and learn more about ways people are spending time after battling addiction.

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .