I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
I find myself strangely quiet these days. I have been to two funerals in as many days, and I have not made it to a recovery meeting in either of those days. Thoughtful and grieved, I am still hurting from a week of loneliness of my own making, not completely free of the fear of harming others that keeps me from trying to interact with people. Today is my last day off for the week, so I will be busy with preparations for work, but I will be doing this will family around because of Spring Break. All this calls for extreme care.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
OA members, friends outside OA, and God—especially God—accept me as I am. In God, I have a loving and forgiving teacher who also guides me to the better way.
God accepts, God forgives, God purifies, God instructs, God provides, God empowers – these are the basics I had to re-learn. For some reason I had a warped sense of “God demands” in there, and it scared me into a lifestyle of pretending and finger-pointing, the worst kind of hypocrisy. Like children in a sandbox, the only way I could keep myself looking clean was to get you dirtier and point it out. That is no way to build a relationship with the Father! …And it destroys my chances of relationship with anyone in my sandbox.
Accepting that Papa loves me and wants me to love myself and those around me makes me able to enjoy His careful watch rather than fear it, and enables me to love those around me rather than compete with them.
From Proverbs 27 (NIV):
20 Death and Destruction[b] are never satisfied,
and neither are human eyes.
This reminds me of something I read in today’s Food for Thought about the futility of trying to manage eating by appetite. If the appetite is never satisfied then it makes a lousy meter! Elisibeth L., author of Food for Thought, put it this way:
When I accept a food plan and follow it, I am slowly adjusting my body and my appetite to what is best for my health and well-being. I have tried the other way–adjusting my intake of food to the demands of my appetite–and the result is disaster and chaos in my life.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Acts 3 (NIV):
15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord
Here, Peter and John used the liberation and restoration of a healed lame man to inspire those who knew him to believe and turn to relationship with God. I pray that “this man” whom folks around me see and know might witness a healing and strengthening, and so open themselves up by repentance to forgiveness and refreshing from the Lord as well.
How will anyone recognize my healing if I spend my time lying on a mat at the gate to something beautiful (v. 2) whining about my condition? I’ve got to engage myself in life, live my healing, and enjoy my provision. Godliness with contentment is great gain! (1 Timothy 6:6) I need to live in my abundance and not my defeat. Instead of living on the ground at the gate of “Beautiful” I need to enter into it, jumping and leaping and praising God as the healed lame man did (v. 8). A Tigger life is much more enticing than that of Eeyore. It is important to be authentic and not just put a happy façade on a hurting heart, but it is time to surrender the donkey and put a little bounce in my step! I can’t wait to feel myself happy, but need to act my way there.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “The Seven Month Slip”:
Later they went into more detail and put it to me very straight that I’d have to give over my desires and attitudes to a power higher than myself which would give me new desires and attitudes.
Here was religion put to me in a different way and presented by three past-masters in liquor guzzling. On the strength of their stories I decided to give it a try. And it worked, as long as I allowed it to do so.
After a year of learning new ways of living, new attitudes and desires, I became self-confident and then careless. I suppose you would say I got to feeling too sure of myself and Zowie! First it was beer on Saturday nights and then it was a fine drunk. I knew exactly what I had done to bring myself to this old grief. I had tried to handle my life on the strength of my own ideas and plans instead of looking to God for the inspiration and the strength. ‡
*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.
‡ From “Our Invitation to You” out of Overeater’s Anonymous: “The OA recovery program is patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. We use AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, changing only the words ‘alcohol’ and ‘alcoholic’ to ‘food’ and ‘compulsive overeater.’”