Abstinent Today:

I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time.  †

Excited, nervous, grieved, proud, amazed, concerned – these are a few of the emotions swirling since my son announced he had three days to get to college a thousand miles away.  Normally folks get a chance to plan and prepare for things like this.  We’ve had to put carts before the horse with airline tickets purchased before his application is even accepted.  Therein lies the “nervous and concerned.”  If the call comes today, he leaves tomorrow at 9am.  If it doesn’t, we cancel the one-way plane ticket, hope for a refund, and prepare to nurse him through a new level of hopeless disappointment I don’t even want to consider.  It’s in God’s hands!

I am ill-prepared to let this one go.  He is much less independent than his sister.  Maybe that’s why I should be more willing to let go.  He needs it more.  He, much like this situation, is in God’s hands!

My problem is that a storm of emotions such as these comes from a volcano in the form of heat, lava, rock and ash.  From me they come looking like frustration, anger, rage and fury.  This does not bode well for family harmony.  I am working to keep my spirit connected, my emotions muted, and by body out of the way.

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“We ask and we receive, first the willingness, and then the ability. We can count on this without fail.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 23

The contributor to today’s entry described the pivot point as the realization that one is not willing.  The problem with willingness is that we think of it as a yes or no question: am I willing or am I not?  Then we substitute the wrong object in the imaginary blank.  We exclaim, “Yes, I am willing!  …to be healthy,” but we mutter under our breath, “…I’m just not willing to give up circus treats and ball-park meats.”  Willingness is more like faith, measured in degrees along a spectral plane if it can be measured at all, not in black and white, affirmative or nill, pass or fail.  The one of the Twelve who had faith enough to climb out of the boat was asked why he doubted when, after a few steps on the surface, he began to sink.  Faith and doubt exist along the same plane, and so do will and submission.

Still, “To what degree am I willing to be healthy?” is a nebulous, academic question that leaves the asker with no motivation.  A better, more quantifiable question would be, “What am I willing to give up to help support a healthier me?”  Starting there, we can measure the response and move toward positive action.  So we pray for the willingness, build a declaration of abstinence, and pray for the ability to keep to it.  Around that we build a plan of eating and an action plan to support it, both set in place to sturdy the structure of our abstinence, and each set firmly in prayer for the willingness and ability to maintain them.  Belief, willingness, submission and action – these are the building blocks of recovery, and they are the very definition of faith.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2:26)

“And without faith it is impossible to please God,” (Hebrews 11:6)

 

 

From Proverbs 24:

10 If you falter in times of trouble,
how small is your strength!”

I just read this a different way than I ever remember reading it.  In the past, I read it with self-criticism, as if it were an elementary school taunt, “Your strength’s not big enough! Nyah-na-nanyah-na!”  It just occurred to me that it is a criticism, not of my strength, but of what I have chosen to be my strength.  Just like I am powerless over food, I am powerless over all the other variables in my life, but there is One who is not!  When I “falter in times of trouble,” it is an indication that I have slipped back into the control seat, and need to put God back on His throne, and me back at His feet.  Since pride comes before a fall, a fall is a good indicator that I need to clear the stumbling block of pride from my pathway.

When my Higher Power isn’t high enough, I’ve employed the wrong power!

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Jeremiah 20:

After prophesying the total destruction of Israel, Jeremiah was seized by the Temple priest and beaten.  In the middle of bad news upon bad news, he was able to pray this prayer, which inspires me:

11 But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior;
so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;
their dishonor will never be forgotten.
12 O Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous
and probe the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance upon them,
for to you I have committed my cause.

13 Sing to the Lord!
Give praise to the Lord!
He rescues the life of the needy
from the hands of the wicked.”

In my case, “my persecutors,” as I have written before, are my own character defects and the spiritual forces at work around me, according to Ephesians 6:12.  It is those from whom I will most certainly be rescued, as long as I remain committed to the cause of the Lord.

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 13-14:

“Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements.”

 

(For accountability’s sake, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.)

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