I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“Many of us find that the unconditional acceptance and trust that springs from the practice of anonymity opens us to one another in ways we have never experienced before.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 202
I often joke that I do not reveal what I do for a living until the third date. It’s not that big a mystery, but I like to communicate that my profession is not a part of me that matters in recovery circles, church settings, or interpersonal relationships. Whether I am a surgeon, garbage collector, tax assessor or jewelry retailer should not matter to those seeking a personal knowledge of who I am and to whom I belong. It doesn’t matter in an anonymous organization, and that makes me feel more at ease admitting that I have problems with self-loathing, medicating disappointments with food, and habits of aggressive blame. Fear is what makes us withhold information about ourselves. When we first come into recovery, many of us need the safety blanket of anonymity to open up the parts of ourselves that need deeper examination. In order for that safety to exist, it has to be maintained even by those of us who no longer require it.
Dear Father, today, help me to rest easy in the knowledge that there are no secrets from You, and that You still love me and found me worth dying for. May I be an example of that acceptance and spill over with that love on all those with whom I have contact.
From Proverbs 22:
2 Rich and poor have this in common:
The Lord is the Maker of them all.
Regardless of social background, economic status, or professional description, each of us was created by God, knit together in the womb of our mothers where no one but God could see and know us as He formed His miracle of life. It is on this common ground that we all approach Him, and it is from this level of equality that we in recovery fellowships share our fraternity.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Romans 3:
9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one…”
Here is the point of equality made with regard to sin. We are all powerless over sin, whether the sin that rules us is addiction, obsession, or just the nature of flesh. Not one of us who is human can stand without the Higher Power of God to right us. Our heritage won’t save us; our reputations won’t free us; our accomplishments don’t make the slightest bit of difference when we are staring our humanity in the face in the pit of despair. The only thing that matters is that there is a God who loves us, and wants to make us whole, vibrant, and in union with Him. God is not racist, sexist, partisan, snobbish, or in any other way biased. He wants all to seek Him (Matthew 18:14), and lovingly blesses all who do (Lamentations 3:25).
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “Tradition 12”‡:
12.–And finally, we of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us; that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him 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.
‡ 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.’”