The Shoe Analogy

An analogy written many years ago, and finally shared today.

To walk a mile in an addict’s shoes one would find their heels chafing, their toes cramping inwards; they would find the holes in the soles with no plans of replacement. They would be uncomfortable, and it wouldn’t be rocket science to recognize this. The optimal solution for them would be to merely take of the shoes. They are in poor condition and it can be seen that they do not fit well.

Options begin to appear; one could go back to the old shoes they used to live in, the ones that may be a little uncool to wear but are still wearable with the addition of feeling much better. Another idea would be to purchase a new pair of shoes that will fit one’s new lifestyle and personality change.

The point is, there are options. Always so many options every passing day.

Yet while trying to take off these unsupportive, worn down shoes after years of being casted to their feet, they realize that the lining is a little tight now, or that the laces have tangled themselves and the effort it would take to untangle this combobulation of strings is far more elbow grease than it is worth. Therefore, they just leave the shoes on and move forward with their discomfort rather than struggle through the metamorphosis of their footwear. The struggle of change has been validated.

This is when the addiction becomes real, and it is right in front of their eyes, but the letters are too small to read and the lights are blinding and even though there is an idea of what’s going on, things still are not being understood. How can one know that they are supposed to change if the instructions are not clear? How can one even do so?

To quit a drug- or to move out and on from any addiction, be it depression, obsession, alcoholism, introversion, eating, exercising, sex, whatever the mind attaches itself to- the best path is to seek help, get clean and sober from the addiction, and follow a healthy routine to continuously deter one from stepping back into those old shoes. Who would want to go back to those rugged cleats anyhow? Put them in the back of the closet; repress their existence. Forget about them.

Forget about them when you’re going out for the night with a gal pal or a bromate.

Forget about them when you feel lonely in a crowd of strange faces, or worse; in a herd of familiar ones.

Forget about them when you speak and are unheard; when you are screaming out into the universe, yet nothing responds back.

Forget about them when you are anxious about your future, your decisions and actions that needs to be made. Meanwhile you find yourself worrying that every action and decision you have made up until that point has been wrong. Has it all been wrong? Have you always been wrong? Is it the world that is broken, or is it you who does not fit into it?

Do not envision their style or their memorable feel when you are feeling low and in need of a familiar discomfort.

Forget. About. Them. Try to remember the comfort of the new.

Especially when the new ones are, well different. They are unmarked of damage, they offer great support, and make you feel like you could run a mile in any which direction. They allow one to fantasize about being youthful and full of natural energy. To be innocent like a child again, free of fear and anxiety and the scars that have scratched the fabric and tore the soles; that have hurt your soul. You can do it. We all can.

But under that superficial layer…one cannot forget that these feet are still the same old feet. Bruised, scarred, and permanently damaged. Even though it may not be seen by others, it is still felt inside. It is always felt on the inside too much, and never shown on the outside enough.

So, who are we kidding? Who were you kidding? Sure, one can have on a new pair of shoes that make things appear to be better and brighter, but don’t forget the little details here- the shoes are new, but you are not.