I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
As many times as I have begun to write, “I apologize for bleeding all over the page yesterday,” and then delete those words, you might think that I would learn not to write them anymore. Today, I think I’ll let it stand with this one caveat: this is my online journal and I’m a real person, so real feelings and experiences are bound to show up here. If you want wall to wall inspiration, allow me to recommend Charles Spurgeon or Max Lucado.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“Any action, no matter how small, will help us to overcome deadly procrastination.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 31
I love this! A frustrated perfectionist, I have often been halted by my need to do something perfectly or not at all, to get the finish perfectly aligned in my sights before I put my foot in the starting block. I know it probably seems like I’m infatuated with Step Three, but since I began to make Step Three a regular part of my life, I am learning to accept that I do not need to see the next step before I take this one. My job is to lace up my shoes and start picking them up off the ground in succession.
From Proverbs 3, NIV:
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
Those who hold her fast will be blessed.
My hands are sore and pimpled with the stings of a diseased Sago Palm tree that I doctored this week without the proper gloves. Taking hold of that tree was no blessing! And I did it over and over again, completely unaware of the damage I was doing to myself in the process. Wisdom is described as a tree of life, and she brings with her: profit, life, riches, honor, peace and all manner of blessing (vs. 14-18). This is a tree to which I would like to cling! Like the cursed tree of my subtropical yard left its mark, so the tree of life promises to leave its residuals. Later in the chapter, Wisdom is described as a charm of safety and security (vs.22-25), an emblem of relationship with the Lord (v.26), who will guide and protect those who hold tightly to Wisdom.
Father, guide me to Your Tree of Life, and keep me forever in its shade!
From my reading through the Bible, currently in 2 Corinthians 10, NIV:
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Years ago, I took part in a church-wide campaign that centered around this verse. It was sort of an entertainment fast, where the whole congregation (okay, the ones of us who chose to) spent a month dedicating ourselves to prayer and to inspirational thought. Those of us who took it seriously would listen to no music but Christian, we would watch no television or movies except for Christian inspirational ones (if any at all), and most of us even tried to turn off the news for that month. This was all done in an attempt to “Take Every Thought Captive” and make it obedient to Christ. It was tough! I found out something during that month, though. After doing it for a month, relying on the alternative I had omitted for that month became less important even after the thirty days was up. I still don’t need to know what is in the news and I hardly ever listen to country/western music anymore. I got comfortable with the proper programming of my mind and now I tend to prefer it. I like being free of the brain clutter with which the commercial markets and pop culture want to infect me. My mind feels lighter and more agile! I can only say that this verse has been instrumental in bringing about some of the mental sobriety I celebrate as part of my recovery. I had begun to get away from the “Take Every Thought Captive” habit, but renewed it when I came into program, and it has been liberating. I recommend it.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 43:
Once more: The alcoholic‡ at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.
*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.’”