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Like so many, my recovery story began with food obsession and unwanted food behaviors and ultimately became more about my character defects. What started with a desire to stop eating compulsively, quickly became what I really needed was how to act upon life rather than reacting to it. As much of a pack of graham crackers got me here, it’s a much bigger, greater challenge that keeps me coming back, that keeps my heart and head in the recovery journey.
I am very thankful to have come to believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. Having a God of my own understanding has been very key for my recovery. I can’t handle ANY of these life’s ups and downs, without the help and guidance of my Higher Power. At times, like my dog coming down with cancer recently, life feels completely unbearable. It is such a miracle of our program to actually accept this situation as an opportunity to learn and develop more trust with my HP.
Initially, I resorted to old behavior when I learned my girl was sick after coming home from a wonderful birthday retreat. I was pissed. I just had this amazing time in Chico and now I must deal with this horrible unpleasant thing? I resisted accepting, feeling my truth or the sadness of it and my reactions then to this life event was quite ugly. Just like before, when I was in the food, I was reacting to my loved ones very harshly and unreasonably. Thank goodness my HP pointed this out to me rather quickly. I do not want to be that old self; I like and appreciate my recovering self so much better. As what much of my HP shows me, I thought it was so awesome to discover my shortcomings, and how I could do much better.
I was confused and afraid, I didn’t know what to do quite yet. Talking things over with another fellow, and spending time with my Higher Power, gave me the serenity to accept this painful situation, the courage to change what I was going to be called to do, and a calmness to trust HP that more will be revealed and eventually I would know what to do. It was also then that I realized, thankfully, that I wasn’t the only person going to lose Harlow, my dog. Harlow had some where along the line became more my sweethearts’ dog than mine, and he was losing her too. It was actually he who I was lashing out at the most and I am grateful to have promptly made amends to him and with HP’s help adjusted my behavior towards all of my friends and loved ones.
We have this amazing fellowship and a partnership with a God of our own understanding for exactly these reasons. To help us live life. I am so very grateful that I could go through this experience, being present, being kind to others, loving my dog to her last breath, feeling the weight of the beautiful love for this creature and to accept the pain of the loss of her, and to stay abstinent.
It’s a tall order to ask an addict to feel such things. Thankfully, we don’t walk the road alone and afraid. I can with confidence more and more, know that I’ll be okay. I don’t have to fear life, or food, or feelings. I can rely on a power greater than me and I can pick up the phone or any other of those 9 tools and get through a situation that used to baffle me.
I heard some great things at a meeting yesterday. To look for God in everything, every day. Isn’t that the truth? Little mundane and great big impossible things. I’ve been back in OA just two days shy of one year now and I’ve had many opportunities to work on developing my relationship with my Higher Power. I can’t stress this enough to newcomers or members struggling; take the time and make the effort to create a God of your OWN understanding. So many of us have this God like mine from our childhood that added to our shame and thoughts of not deserving the good things in life. More and more as I walk in this recovery journey, my Higher Power is ALL about love. And that is what keeps me coming back.
I want to learn how to love better and more. I’m a loving creature. I love helping people. Recently I’ve been to some meetings where I see fellows doing an amazing job carrying the message, and I want to partner with them and my HP on how I can do that too. This recovery journey is way bigger than me and my needs; it’s about carrying the message. I can’t just keep all of these wonderful changes to myself, I hope that sharing my experiences, strength and hope, can help another fellow. It also matters very much that I can better love my friends and family out of the program, even more so. Living life differently in recovery has given me better, stronger, more real relationships with my children, friends, and family.
I had an epiphany one of these past couple of days, that my disease is fighting to stay the same, always. It does not like losing ground. My recovery is accepting, finding courage to change the things I can, while life is evolving. Life will always be evolving. My disease will likely always be fighting to stay the same. Without this program, our fellowship, my HP, and the tools, I just don’t stand a chance.
Grateful Recovering COE
Montana Overeaters Anonymous