I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
I am working a later shift again today, and will be up till 3am, but I’m having a good time at this special assignment. I had an extra work-training session added onto my shift today too, so I will have spent 15 hours working by the time it’s over. At the training events, I always see people I don’t run into regularly, and it gives me an opportunity to talk wellness and vitality, and Twelfth Step the ones who seriously inquire.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
All right, but what about those terrifying food nightmares I’d have, when I’d wake up convinced I’d binged? A very helpful sponsor turned those dreams from negatives to plusses for me by calling them “freebies”—opportunities to experience all the horrible feelings accompanying a binge—regret, self-hatred, terror—without having to actually go through it.
I was so glad to know I wasn’t the only one to have these dreams! I have often awaken horrified after eating a big ‘ol cake or a bucket of ice cream and, even after I convinced myself it was only a dream, the shame and disappointment didn’t wash away immediately. I am convinced these unconscious experiences help me to keep clear of relapse while I’m conscious. I’m not afraid of those dreams, but I know that when I have them some part of me is likely feeling deprived or disconnected. That is the bigger concern, and it calls for me to run to my Higher Power and cling more tightly to Him.
From Proverbs 7, NIV:
21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her
like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer stepping into a noose
The temptress is conniving and she has lots of help these days. It seems everywhere we look, the marketing machine is declaring that we simply must have such-and-such food in order to be happy. The industry is always inventing some new concoction to lure our self-gratifying nature to try a bite of poison. It is as though the slithering serpent who deceived Eve and Adam now has the megaphones of TV, radio, billboards, and the internet to bring down his prey. John 10:10 helps me to remember that the One who gives good gifts has my best interest in mind:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they many have life, and have it to the full.”
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Hebrews 13, NIV:
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Paul has a lot of closing instruction for his fellow Jewish Christians in this, the last chapter of Hebrews, but these verses encapsulate the heart of his message. What better ways are there to honor God than with the word of our testimony and with self-sacrificing service of others? That second verse reminds me of many of the prophecies of Isaiah, Amos, Micah and others through whom, God announced His displeasure with the routine sacrifices and declared it was much better to do right than to sacrifice. (references: Isaiah 1:11, Amos 5:2, Micah 6:8)
Paul gave a benediction I will pray tonight for everyone reading this:
20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “Bill’s Story”:
For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that.
*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.