Shipping Costs are a Thorn in My Side

I have to admit to having a resentment about shipping costs when I order online. Despite the fact that my sponsor has worked hard to help me understand that this is simply the cost of doing business when you have a health issue, it still bugs me royally.

It is challenging for me to shop in stores because of how it affects me physically, so I buy online as often as possible as part of my self-care. And sometimes, I cannot find what I need in retail stores (such as some of the art supplies I use).

When Shipping Costs Work

Amazon is my store of choice for everything from food items to electronics to dish washing liquid to supplements, and more. I love Amazon. Because I purchase so often from them for my daily needs, it was worth it to me to spend the $79/year for their Prime plan, which gives me two day shipping on their items. That translates to accumulating $6.58/month to do so.

As shipping is usually $3.99/item for the longer standard shipping, I am saving quite a bit of money and time by using the Prime plan. So that is not the issue.

When Shipping Costs Seem Onorous

Here is an example of when I get perturbed about shipping costs:

I need more brush pens for my art. At the local store, they are under $2 each. But the store hasn’t been able to get them for months. I can get these pens on Amazon, but each pen is about $6 plus shipping as they aren’t available on Prime, so that idea is out.

I can easily get these pens for the under $2 price at an online art store, but the least expensive shipping cost is $8.99 … unless I spend $99 on products so shipping is free, which I cannot do.

If I have $50 in discretionary funds, the makes the shipping nearly 10% of my spending money! It’s true that I don’t have to pay 6.5% sales tax, but sales tax here on three pens is only about 39 cents.

And for $8.99, I can get four pens at the store! So it’s the principle that makes me rise up in self-righteous indignation!

Acceptance is the Key to All My Difficulties

As usual, there is nowhere for me to go on this issue but the Big Book and its instructions for how to keep from picking up my money drug when I feel this way.

I can choose to rail and moan and get indignant about the injustice of it all, but that won’t get me the pens. And I will be just a bit closer to losing my abstinence because the Big Book tells us on page 66:

It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.

If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.

This month, I chose not to get the pens. I used the money for other purposes. When I want those items enough, I will be willing to pay the price for them.

It’s the same with abstinence, isn’t it? When I want recovery more than I want to binge with money and debt, I am willing to pay the price for that too. For me, the price is not getting myself worked up over what I cannot change. I have choices. I can buy the item or not. But my attitude is what can drive me to drink with money.

And for today, I don’t want to get drunk. So instead, I made the choice that worked for me this month to keep me sober and peaceful. And for today, I’m not seething with anger about the pens. Maybe next month, when I have more discretionary money, I will find more value in buying the pens than to continue waiting. If so, I will pray for acceptance again if resentment begins to well up. And I will know that all things pass if I continue to do my best at working my program. If so, in the end, I will have the pens I need and the wisdom to know the difference between what I can and cannot change.

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