I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more day at a time.  For details, check out my food journal.



From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“All who have experienced the pain of compulsive eating and want to stop are equally welcome here.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 129

Even though the only requirement for membership in OA is a desire to stop eating compulsively (Tradition Three), I have discovered that many in OA do not technically qualify according to that standard.  Those who wish to merely slow down their compulsive eating, or only compulsively overeat once in a while, or who just want a fellowship in which other people have the same history are fooling themselves and my heart aches for them.  I have never heard a recovering heroin addict say, “I used to shoot mainline, but in recovery I only lace my joints with it.”  No truly recovering alcoholic would comfortably suggest having a few beers at a special occasion barbeque.  Those of us recovering from our compulsive overeating make far too many exceptions for ourselves in the name of defining our own abstinence.  When I came into program, I was not willing to give up cake for my birthday.  I couldn’t imagine a birthday without it.  My sponsor said simply, “Is today your birthday?”  It wasn’t.  “Then don’t worry about it.  This is a one-day-at-a-time program.”  Four months later, when my birthday did come, I was relieved of the obsession freely enough that I did not even miss the cake.  What it took was a desire to stop; not slow, not excuse, not commiserate, but stop.

If I coast through a common stop sign because I am so self-assured, certain that I can make it, I might get away with it a few times.  But if I try that at a railroad crossing my doom is almost certain.  We need to give proper credit to the momentum of our corrupted nature, and accept the help that is being offered.  We live at the crossing, and our addiction is barreling down on us like a runaway train.  To simply slow down won’t do; we have to come to a complete stop – abstinence, total self-sacrifice.



From Proverbs 4:

13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.”

It is amazing to me how willing we are to make provision for our disease, but reluctant to go to the same trouble for our recovery.  We hid food.  We got up early and stayed up late.  We ate before the family dinner and volunteered to clean up so we could polish off the leftovers.  Now, when our sponsor makes a suggestion, we often resist, hoping s/he will buy our excuse.  Instruction is our lifeline!  Our willingness to hang onto it is the only thing that will save us from the “want-to” and “feel-like-it” that have been keeping us overwhelmed.



From my reading through the Bible, currently in Psalm 65 and 66:

Psalm 65 nicely follows up my comments about lifelines and overwhelm:

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,
O God our Savior…
who stilled the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of the nations.”

Reservations for sin are even mentioned in Psalm 66, when David prays rejoicing in God’s deliverance:

18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened
and heard my voice in prayer.
20 Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!”

A program slogan tells us, “You’re only as sick as the secrets you keep.”  The sin we hold onto is the one that will take us under and keep us from the celebration on the decks of recovery on the ship of Salvation.

Dear Savior, what do I need to surrender to You today?  What “cherished sin” have I failed to let go?  I empty my hands so I can completely, unreservedly receive Your outstretched hand!



From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 111:

“We know these suggestions are sometimes difficult to follow, but you will save many a heartbreak if you can succeed in observing them.”