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:
“At one time or another since we joined OA, most of us have experienced a period of complete freedom from the obsession with food and the compulsion to overeat.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 20
Notice this quote doesn’t say, “Most of us have experienced total and complete uninterrupted liberation from the compulsion to eat and the obsession with food.” The reason it doesn’t say that it because it’s not true. I confess: when I ate Father’s Day lunch at my Dad’s house with the family yesterday, even though I helped plan the menu and was able to pre-plan most of my meal, when I came to the end of my ration I still wanted more. I didn’t eat more, but I wanted more, and that want is the compulsion whether I yielded to it or not. Maybe it was because the holiday was named for my title and the notion of deserve sneaked back into my brain, or because I was in the home of my parents (called by my siblings and me “the gingerbread house”). Maybe it was because I was fueling myself on foods that are not routine for me and hoarding seemed natural under those circumstances. Whatever the reason, my brain said, “More!” even though my abstinence was saying, “No!” This is a good reminder for me that I am not immune to relapse and I need to keep doing what I do to keep abstinent. It was awkward balancing out each serving on a scale while everyone else dug in, but I know what I ate and I knew when I had reached my limit.
From Proverbs 17, NIV:
27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.
Man! Here’s more proof that I haven’t arrived at perfect yet!
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Ephesians 4, NIV:
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
I couldn’t choose just one verse! These all have a lot of importance to me, as do the several in between. Verse 31 is a great one to recite while exhaling during a deep-breathing meditation. Verses 22-24 speak of the renewal that accompanies self-denial and pursuit of God’s will and way. Verses 2 and 32 are the positive marching orders that remind me of a Christian comedian I heard in the 80’s, who said that the Bible is not really a book of don’ts but a book of dos, and that if we got busy doing the dos we wouldn’t have time to do the don’ts. I have not perfected being completely humble or gentle. I’m working on patient, but my bearing with one another doesn’t look much like love. It’s more like annoyed tolerance. Then there’s the clincher, the one that will convict all of us: forgive just as God forgave. That’s something none of us get to quit striving for. None of us will ever match the forgiveness afforded to us in Jesus Christ! I’ll do a better job of trying though. I need to.
*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.