Abstinent Today:

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

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“If we are to experience permanent recovery from compulsive eating, we will have to repeat, day after day, the actions that have already brought us so much healing.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 83

Relapse is optional. We don’t have to experience it to enjoy real recovery. Permanent recovery is possible, and this statement seems to say the recipe for it is simple: no turning back. The things we did when we first came to know of recovery, the things we suggest to our sponsorees, these are the things I have to keep doing: living the steps, honestly emptying myself to God, following His will for me, cleaning house and trusting Him for everything, using the tools of recovery to remain connected to the fellowship and the solution.

From Proverbs 11 (NKJV‡):

“17 The merciful man does good for his own soul, But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”

Troubled flesh is the reward of a cruel heart. I don’t remember that being taught in Sunday School! I do, however, remember having troubled flesh, and I have uncovered, through the twelve steps, a cruel and selfish motivator deep inside of me. This is the part of me I daily extinguish in preference for the mercy and providence of God.

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Daniel 4:

King Nebuchadnezzar wrote this chapter, as a letter testifying to what happened to him. It started with a troubling dream, another one that stumped all his advisors except Daniel. Daniel explained that the king would be driven away and would live like an animal, feeding on grass like cattle for seven “times” (possibly years) until he acknowledged the Most High as sovereign. A year later, just as the king was congratulating himself on his mighty power and the glory of his own majesty, Heaven spoke and the king became like his dream had prophesied.

“34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.”

36 “At the same time my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisors and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”

It appears God has been demonstrating His ability to restore mankind to sanity for a long time. One thing apparently hasn’t changed: He waits for us to admit our powerlessness without Him. Another similarity is that life on the recovery side of submission beats anything we ever had before it! God, I thank You for finding me an arrogant ass, loving me anyway, and rescuing me from the bondage of self. Thank You for rebirth and Your divine reconstruction!

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 14:

“Simple, but not easy; a price had to be paid. It meant destruction of self-centeredness. I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all.” 

*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 shed light on the old truths from a different angle and exercise my willingness with a little change, I switched from using the New International Version (NIV or “NIV1984”) to the New King James Version (NKJV) just for this month’s reading of Proverbs.