Addicted to Avoidance…

Erin Schaden
2 min readJun 7, 2024


It occurred to me the other day, this is my primary addiction, and actually has spurred all the other ones forward. And it is so simple, yet I so missed this, for years.

I have been avoiding for decades. And I would love to say that when I got sober, I stopped avoiding…and that would be somewhat true…and also in many ways I just began avoiding other things.

And so I have begun this analysis, this inquisition into what exactly am I avoiding?

Alcohol? Yes.

Drugs? Yes.

Pain? Yes but if you look at the way I live my life, I am the creator of more pain…frequently.

Discomfort? Yes, see above.

Disconnection? Yes, but in some bizzaro world in an attempt to connect.

People? More and more every single year.

Myself? Um, yes this feels true.

God? Absolutely. Although I am not sure why I even think this is possible.

I just know I have been avoiding, all my life. I think that might be why the Untethered Soul was so popular. Saying yes to everything means that you really do have to give up your addiction to avoidance. I mean, if you decide to say yes to everything, then you kind of stop yourself from having to avoid. I mean the decision is already made…

But I can see now that all of my addictions (booze, men, food, clothes, shopping, working out, not working out, spending, eating, sugar, working, smoking) have all been in an attempt to help me avoid…and the largest, greatest question is what? What am I so desperately attempting to avoid?

I think I know, I do. When I think of this thing, it lands hard in my chest and then settles to my gut. It is painful and resonates in a way that feels true. I am not going to share it just yet because I would like some time for it to percolate. To settle in, to allow it to just be, so that all my desperateness and feverish need for resolution can seep away and I can just sit still with this vital and hopefully life altering truth…

For now, I am resting with the peace that is coming forward from seeing that all of my addictions can be boiled down into one thing…my need to avoid. And when I am acting any of them out, it is because I need or want to avoid this same thing every single time.

Again, still.

And I am not sure I can do it differently, or perhaps differently enough…but I know I must try…again, still.



Erin Schaden

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