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:
“If something has repeatedly worked well for us or for someone else in a similar situation, we may assume it will work in our present situation, ultimately bringing good to us and to others, which is God’s will.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 24
I was thinking about this very thing this morning when I recognized that, due to schedule conflicts, I have not been to a meeting in over a week. I was thinking how important it is for me to hear the successes of others, and for some who may be less hopeful to hear some of mine. In OA we encourage each other simply by sharing a little of ourselves. It is important for me to remember that, just because I am not struggling right now does not excuse me from attending meetings. If only the hurting showed up at meetings, where would the hope of recovery be?
From Proverbs 19, NIV:
27 Stop listening to instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
Here is another reminder to put myself before the words that heal. Though the steps and promises and the address of my Higher Power do not change, I still need to rehearse them again and again. When I grow complacent, I wander off the path of Life into the shadow of death unaccompanied. I need to follow this routine: acknowledge, surrender, obey, receive, restore, serve, repeat.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Titus 3, NIV:
3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Paul was apparently in recovery too! Only we have no indication that his was an obsession with food. Ours isn’t really either; it’s an obsession with having our own way or drowning our disappointments in our self-indulgence of choice (enter: food). Listen to how he describes his bondage to passion and pleasures. He even gets to the very nature of his wrongs: malice, envy and hatred. Then there is the washing and rejuvenation that comes with spiritual healing, springing life to hope, not just of abundant life here but of eternal life abundant with Him. Exciting!
Thank You, dear and precious God who loves me, for giving me a thorn in my flesh to torment me, this disease of compulsive eating. By it, You have tethered me to Yourself, so that I cannot find my way without You, and I have never been happier to be bound. You are a good and gracious Provider who sees all and knows all, and I have no fear when my trust is in You. Carry me on to the next assignment, dear God, and help me be what You expect.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 85:
Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of which is a personal housecleaning, which many of us had never attempted. Though our decision was vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor‡ was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.
*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.’”