Abstinent Today:

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

I went to two meetings today and spent the day with my wife, a rare privilege.  It meant I was late getting to some of my readings and my writings, but the day was just what God needed to give me, and I got some chores done too.

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“We had to admit that we had not acted sanely when we responded to our children’s needs for attention by yelling at them…” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, pp. 11–12

Prior to recovery, my interpersonal relationships were always marked with verbal cutting, the deeper cuts delivered to those with whom I shared the closer relationships.  More casual acquaintances knew me to be quick-witted, sarcastic, and even condescending.  Family knew me to be outrageous, unpredictably hurtful, and even scary.  I took pride in winning arguments, getting people to do what I wanted them to do, or just conceding to my will, wish and way.  I was a conniver, an arguer who resorted to making up details just to sound factual, and when my lying or logic failed or I felt control slip away, as it always seemed to do, yelling was a natural response.  It worked!  I got instant compliance.  …Except I didn’t.

What I wanted was for people to go my way because I feared that they would reject my way, and any such mutiny would be a direct rejection of me.  Remember, I was a self-will addict!  By letting loose the loud roar of my fear of rejection and abandonment, I actually caused my own rejection and abandonment.  My family retreated to safety, and still, to some extent, keep themselves reserved from me having learned this coping mechanism too well.  What few friends I have from those days know they can count on me if they ever need a fire-breathing dragon to defend them, but do not call upon me when they need a companion.  My reputation is far too prickly for that!   I have a lot of new friends, recovery folks and members of my local church congregation we began to attend about the same time I came into the rooms, who may read this and wonder if the person I am describing ever existed, but I assure you, he is as real as the fat man in my “before” pictures!   My Step Eight list is mostly about the damage done in the wake of this emotional tyrant.   This is one of the reasons food sobriety is so important while working and living the Steps.  I could never have recognized any of this if I were still toxic on food!  …or nicotine …or alcohol.  Numb is dumb!  I had to get sober to dig deep enough to find this objectionable.

 

 

From Proverbs 6 (NLT):

19b a person who sows discord in a family.”

The seven deadly sins, according to this translation, ends by calling me out.  In the NIV, I could hide from the description of “a man who stirs up dissension among brothers,” but sowing discord is definitely what I have been doing my whole life.  You know what you get when you plant bitter herbs?  Bitter herbs!  You know what kind of crop you can expect when you sow discord?  A lot of screeching, railing, disharmony, and noise!

The amends I live today help cultivate harmony and complimentary cadence with those around me.  I am reaping the rewards of this effort, and it feels almost selfish to enjoy such a bounty.  I know it is by God’s grace alone that anything I do takes any effect, like a farmer can’t take credit for a head of grain, but I celebrate His good work in my life, my house, and my relationships.  …at least today, one day at a time!

 

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Ezekiel 1:

Ezekiel was one of the exiles to Babylon, and his writings are canonized among the “Major Prophets” of the Old Testament.  The book is titled for his name, which literally means “God strengthens.”

I haven’t even gotten to the “good stuff” of the prophecies yet, and I am already struck.  Check out how Ezekiel describes the setting for the first of his prophecies!

the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians.  There the hand of the Lord was upon him.”

Ever felt like you were worlds away from God, in a desolate situation, so far alienated from Him that He couldn’t possibly hear you, care about you, or lift a finger to help you?  Here is where we find Ezekiel, and “the hand of the Lord was upon him”!  There is no alienation so far, no sin so great, no country so remote that God cannot reach you and lay His loving hand on you.  …just like He promised!

Ezekiel was given a vision of four creatures, their spirits contained in intersecting wheels which followed them wherever they went.  He saw a great and awesome expanse, and then he was given a vision of the Lord Himself, with a body of fire, on a throne of sapphire, and haloed by a rainbow.

28b This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.”

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 100:

“If you persist, remarkable things will happen. When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could have planned.”

 

Thank You, God, for seeking me, finding me, accepting me as I was, but loving me enough not to leave me that way.  Hallelujah!   Yours is the glory and honor!  Amen!

 

Footnotes:

*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.

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

In order to get a fresh perspective, I switched from using the New International Version (NIV or “NIV1984”) to a version I have not used before, the New Living Translation (NLT), just for this month’s reading of Proverbs.  I normally avoid switching, because it confuses my attempts at memorization, but I thought it might shed light on the old truths from a different angle and exercise my willingness with a little change.

Advertisements