I know that my disease likes me tired. 9 times out of 10, it’s when I’m too tired, that A. my character defects make front and center appearances and/or B. I make poor choices that cost my abstinence or cause me to make amends.
If not for my all important “Opening Ceremonies”, I couldn’t see my part in my resentments and frustrations. I am so very grateful for my routines. Love that I can be spontaneous too, with always making sure my recovery is protected first, and then go for it! But my recovery is built on the things that worked yesterday. Yesterday I began my day with 5 gratitude’s, a Food Plan, and a 10th Step Inventory. Yesterday I stayed in conscious contact with a God of my own understanding.
I’ve been in long enough to see my character defenses coming in my day like a heat sinking missile. When I’m not too tired, I am willing and able to ask my wonderful, amazing Higher Power for help. It’s when I’m tired, that I’m just too worn down on my own self will run riot that I can’t seem to reach for that willingness to submit to my HP or even ask HP for the willingness.
Because I have a sponsor, she can see the crazy. She can say WTF? Get to a meeting! Or she can ask, can you write about it? If I write about it, she knows as well as I do now, I can see my part, I can see the insanity, the lies, and more importantly, the truth. I can prepare for the next time because life will continue happening as long as I keep breathing in and out.
I have made huge progress that I own my mistakes and I don’t beat myself up for days or stay stuck there. I took time today to connect with my HP specifically on my character defects rearing their very ugly heads this last weekend. What I heard in my spirit was to keep working on developing this relationship with a God of my own understanding so that I can trust more. It’s a tall order always for me to put my adult kids in my HP’s hands. But I am willing to try, just for today, to learn to trust a little more. I am excited because I know I’ll see miracles, more miracles because of this program and this process. I will do tomorrow, what I did today, because I know it worked!
I know when I’m spinning out in my character defects, that is a great time to reach out to other members and my sponsor, and I did do that. I did have to make amends, but I did not slip or stumble in my disease of compulsive eating. I stayed abstinent and that is why I can write this today, grow and heal from this experience. That is cool! It’s key for me to stay in fit spiritual condition, every day, no matter what. I can do that best when I’m not exhausted. Hey thanks for reading my share you guys! Love you!
Gratefully in Recovery
When I was growing up, I was taught to pray in a very specific way. I was taught there was a format for prayer and that if you want to be blessed by god, you had to ask specifically for what you want. Not just asking “God please bless me to be healthy” but asking “God please help me lose 15 pounds so that I’ll fit into my prom dress on May 1st”. This kind of praying never felt connecting to me. Is it any wonder that after I left home and got out into the world, I lost any sense of god? Is it any wonder that in my mid 20’s I left the church I had been raised in and proceeded to reject all ideas of god? Believing myself to be above such debasing and devaluing concepts as trust in a higher power or faith, I lived the next 15 years without any concept of a higher power.
There’s a line in the Big Book that says if there was a devil, he certainly had me. I had more idea of the temptations of the devil than I had of a loving god. I got the idea growing up that I had to earn god’s love; that god’s love was conditional based on my performance, my perfect performance, of certain actions: specifically, obedience to rules and guidelines set up by the church I was raised in and my family of origin. The word ‘worthy’ was used a lot. And I did not feel worthy. I felt worthless, used, and unlovable. I sought comfort and enjoyment in food, and for brief periods of time, this balm worked to soothe my aching soul which was bereft of the light of god and the touch of a higher power. In the absence of light, the darkness is total.
What I’ve learned in this program is that a higher power must be personal to me. If you’ve got a mean god (like my original one was) then fire him and get a new one. I cannot ask for help from a power that doesn’t love and accept me completely, as I am right in this moment. This means letting go of my prejudices, pre-conceived ideas, and the thought that I know just what god is or what he’s capable of.
I’ve also learned that the point of working the steps is to have a spiritual awakening, a total psychic change that alters the way I think, speak, and behave in all circumstances of our lives. I am trying to align my will with god’s will for me. I am NOT trying to get god to change the problems I have in my lives, I’m changing how I respond to those problems. I am not trying to be able to eat normally and not suffer the consequences, I am gaining food neutrality and sanity. I am NOT trying to change the people around me, I are changing myself (or more correctly, allowing my higher power to change me) to be of maximum service to god and my fellows.
God is not a genie. I don’t ask him for what I want and expect him to grant my wishes. I ask to be a tool of his will, guided by a loving and all-powerful hand that sees everything and everyone. I seek to recover so that I may have usefulness and purpose in my life instead of selfishness and self-centeredness that plagued my former, unrecovered life. As I continue to recover, I continue to grow spiritually, mentally, and physically. What I am capable of today is leaps and bounds from where I was in the height of my disease but it is also miles from where god wants to take me and the joy and power I can have in the future.
Surrendering to my HP’s prompting, without any further ado. I know I’ll be blessed. I know I’ll feel so much better and feel empowered and freer after I do what’s been asked of me.
I’ve been in program long enough, been to enough meetings, to know when prompted by my HP to write, then write I shall. I don’t think I’ve ever dropped everything I was doing to write, but I get to it faster and faster these days. Because as mentioned above, I KNOW I’ll find more freedom, peace, and empowerment when I surrender and remain willing to go to any lengths for my recovery.
I still get a little hung up on having to remind myself that I really must accept people, places, and things, that I cannot control. Does anybody else have a problem when you must apply this to our family? Family situations are dynamic and difficult. BUT, my HP gratefully reminds me, difficult yes, but not impossible.
I’d like to think that I need to write about my family now and how they don’t appreciate me or follow my lead with love and kindness towards all – but I’m getting a clear message from my HP (as I just deleted the first paragraph I just wrote about my oldest son) that this writing assignment is about me, and about my character defects.
If I am to stay abstinent, I must accept that I cannot change people, even my own son. And, funny thing, if you look a couple paragraphs above, I didn’t use the word change, but, control. I think that is the message my HP is hammering home today.
Even my own son, gets to have his own path. I want more for him, of course. I want to lavish my love, help and support on him, of course. But he doesn’t want it. Not right now anyway. I miss him. My heart hurts. I picture myself now as I write this, wringing and twisting him into somebody he is not and does not want to be. If not for this writing, I don’t think that image would have come to me. I am powerless over who my son is or wants to be. For clarification I should mention that he is 41 years old.
All I can do, is to live well, and be well, one day at a time. Nobody is saying I can’t hope that some of my family members will want to come back into a having a relationship with me again. I can hope for that of course, that is who I am. This program has given me so much hope and so many examples of how people change and overcome. I am one of those examples. Most days, I can find gratitude that I yearn for unhealthy relationships less and less. That I intentionally take toxic family members in smaller doses.
I’m grateful I can have an honest conversation with my HP about how much my heart hurts, and how much I hope things will change. I’m grateful to hear that what my HP wants for me, is to have healthy, two sided, loving and caring relationships with all the people in my life, even my family. And, I’m very grateful that I can share this with all of you, my logical family.
Procrastination is fear in its "long form". When I put off some task or responsibility, instead of trying harder, I may need to examine my trust in God. Lack of Power and lack of faith in that Power is the root of my procrastination. When I turn to God and use the Spot Check Inventory as suggested in Step 10, I can uncover the real motive behind my resistance. I recently had a phone call that I needed to make but I continued to put it off. After getting quiet with God, the thought came that I "wasn't good enough." When I held this admission up to the light, I saw the bigger truth. I am enough with God. We can do what I cannot. Perspective entered my decision making and I was free to make the call and try my best, one step at a time.
Living each day as it comes with poise and peace of mind is a true desirable result of abstaining and seeking deeper connection with God. If I honestly face what is troubling me and do not sweep my disturbances under the rug, I will experience a new freedom and release from the burden of worry. When my anxiety is great, the Prayer of Relinquishment offers much relief and a renewed faith in my loving God. Here is how it works; If I follow the feeling of fear and dread to its final calamity, if I will picture the worst-case scenario and sit with my imaginings, I will see that God meets me there in my despair. He walks with me the entire way, step by step. Then, I am better able to release my crippling fear and pull my energies into the day ahead where God matches my willingness with purpose. The Power of God Goes Deep.
In the past, I have confused desire with power. One day I had a desire to stop eating compulsively. In the middle of a 4-month binge while still attending OA meetings, I put the food down. It’s a miracle, one day eating and bingeing-the next, abstaining from my alcoholic foods. I know that God placed the desire to stop in my heart and lead me to a sponsor who has guided me to the solution as presented in the Big Book. I went through weeks of with-drawl and erratic emotions; emerging ready to do the work of the 12 steps. My desire alone could never have carried me this far; 17 weeks of solid abstinence, amends and restitution. God’s Power combined with action makes this possible. God is inviting me in. I don’t ever have to eat compulsively again. OA meetings are a great place to feel loved and supported and to listen to recovering members tell their story. We don’t sell this program with ads from celebrities. Instead, we demonstrate the solution while our disease sells the program! OA is a program of attraction, not promotion. Its power lies in our admission that food has defeated us. We are all offered a way out and a design for living that works in rough going.
"We are like men who have lost their legs, we never grow new ones." I have a disease that tells me I don't have a disease. As I watch others leave the program to do more "research", I'm reminded that I too have tried that and was defeated every time by my obsessions and cravings. Today, one day at a time, I accept a disciplined eating plan that makes communication with my Higher Power possible. May I always remember that further research is unnecessary and may prove deadly.
While trying to write out my 9th step amends to my mom, I was hit with a wall of negativity in my mind. I realized in that moment, my stories around being abandoned by her and all the ways I’ve tried to dispute that fact, were stopping me from seeing any truth about what really happened. And in that moment a choice presented itself; (1) I can consciously believe that my mom is cruel and intentionally left me because I’m unlovable. OR (2) I can turn to God and accept His love, light and clarity while accepting my mom’s humanness as a sick person.
I have been doing some in depth amends work with a new sponsor. Going to a new level has brought me a closer connection with God. I haven’t felt sure of myself or even relief but instead, a steadfast determination to do the work required to bring about a Spiritual Experience, has entered my heart.
The phrase, “Keep going, I’ll help you.” Came to me in meditation. I will continue to climb to my new life. Thank God for OA!
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
I went and weighed at the doctor yesterday. Why is weighing an issue for me?
Probably because every time I have reached a healthy body weight in my life I have gained it back.
But, at this point in my life I have said goodbye to fear!!!!!! I will not let fear of relapse rule my life. I live in recovery because I live in a belief, trust and faith in a God Who always loves me and always gives GOOD gifts!