Posted by: innerpilgrimage | October 27, 2009

Taking a Break and Having a VERY Hard Time Abstaining from Compulsive Eating Today!

Days until my 40th Birthday: 49
Days of Abstinence from Compulsive Eating: 13

      Rough morning this morning. For about two hours, I have been having some wretched cravings for sandwich cookies. Seriously. I mean, I am harshing so badly for them. I did have breakfast, however.
      I have to take a little time off because I have been pushing myself too hard. Don’t get me wrong–I am getting those mental and spiritual results I am working hard to obtain (simply because the physical falls into line so often).
      I need to add a second or third weekly meeting. Waiting a week between meetings is a freaking nightmare, especially since I feel bad even thinking about telephoning. I’ll have to talk to people about it; I have a feeling I’d be slid off to voicemail, and I really need a person I can talk to about it instead fantasizing about driving to a store and picking up a blue foil wrapper six pack of chocolate sandwich cookies from the impulse section on one of the aisles.

      I didn’t get salsa at the big megacorp grocery store I get salsa from because of that stupid craving.
      Okay, HP, I need a sponsor. I am going to open myself up to you because I am struggling today. I know I can get to noon, and then I’ll look at working the calories to see if a couple of chocolate cookies isn’t so bad. But I am really going crazy, like binge on a pound of the damned things crazy!
      Yeah, okay. Time to do Step 3 again, because I’m relying on my willpower to get me through this, and it is not working:

      I entrust my will and my life to my Higher Power in this matter and all other matters having to do with my food addiction. I believe my Higher Power will provide the guidance I need to get me through today. I know my Higher Power will bring my sponsor together with me, even if it’s not today. But even without a sponsor, my Higher Power, if I listen more than talk, provides what I need to make it through today.

      My name is Jess, and I am a compulsive overeater (who, today, is having compulsive fantasies of compulsive overeating). The program works because it has worked for me so well after the last two weeks; I feel healthier, I look healthier, and I have the mental clarity to work the program to the best of my ability. I will work it for today and let working tomorrow be tomorrow’s challenge (and blessing). And yes, I am worth it. I am worth the work to avoid a heart attack or diabetes. I am worth being thin enough to be active and fit in an airplane seat and shop for clothes I like instead of ones that “just fit”. I am worth ending my weight-related sleep apnea, stopping my other physical weight-related problems, and making my joints feel good again when I walk. And I am worth becoming one of those people who says, “I didn’t feel THIS great when I was 30!”

      And the craving has passed. I can even imagine the packages of cookies without fantasizing tearing it open and gobbling it up madly. Whew. Yes, this is a wake-up call that I need to start working telephone and seeking my sponsor. That compulsive craving sucked. A lot.


      Well, I was about to come back and play havoc with my journal by putting another workbook entry up (despite being mentally exhausted), and I was surprised and delighted to see love2eatinpa had left me a wonderfully supportive comment.
      She’s a wonderful person who has real challenges which let me know what’s coming in the next two years. At 22 months abstinent, she inspires me to remember that a person can chain those days together until years of food sobriety are in one’s wake. In a recent post (recent to this post), she wrote:

“Every day is a struggle when the “demons” come calling and tempting me. Fortunately, I have been stronger than the demons and have not broken my abstinence. One day at a time, one meal at a time, one hour at a time. I have made it through so far and hope to continue.”

      I’m having a struggling day. The cravings came back, and I was able to make a low fat latte to put them at bay (I have one milk exchange left, but the craving to punish myself with a fridge raid because I didn’t buy and eat a pound of cookies was put down). I was going to have a full on binge, down to making myself want to throw up after having eaten so much. And when I felt so awful about even wanting to binge, it actually fed the craving! That is so messed up that the guilt of wanting to binge increases the intensity of the compulsion!
      Those are some fierce demons when they come calling, and I don’t doubt as I get stronger the demons get fiercer. Yesterday was a craving-free cakewalk. Today is a craving-filled nightmare. I knew it would come on real strong when the honeymoon ended, and today is being lived one meal at a time, one hour at a time. And there will come a point today when I lay my head down and appreciate that decades of people have trodden down this path to recovery from compulsive eating before I even set foot on this road; it’s a clear path with a lot of signposts. The experiences of so many people brings comfort when I am facing off with the compulsion.
      Thank you, love2eatinpa, for being in the right place at the right time . . . just when I needed someone who understood what it’s like to have to endure through the unwanted cravings from one’s food addiction.



  1. hey jess, congrats on making it through the inner voices! you should be proud of yourself.

  2. Hi Jess,

    I’m new to program (on Step 1) and stumbled across your blog the other day when I was looking to see if people were blogging about their OA experiences. And I’m so glad that you’re writing about the good and the bad and everything in between.

    I’m glad to read that you got through your challenging day and are reflecting on it. It’s great to see that you have perspective on things. Go you! Thanks again for writing this blog.

    — Maria

    • Thank you, Maria!

      I totally understand what it’s like being new to program; I only started going in September, myself. And I’m stalled on Step 4, mostly because I really fear getting in there and admitting that I have done harm. I understand getting hung up on Step 1 through 3. It really took years after I knew OA existed to go to a meeting, finally. What’s weird is that I knew I had to have an eating problem but I chose not to notice it. It took about a week to start catching myself doing the compulsive behaviors, and now I will be thinking of the things I did before program and wonder how I could have thought it was okay.

      Like being ill and eating half a bag of frozen Reese’s peanut butter cups to make me feel better. I would sit and eat chocolate instead of healthy food, opting for it instead of what I knew in the back of my mind I needed to eat. Whether or not it’s normal, it’s certainly not sane. Bingeing on candy by the half-pound is a thoroughly destructive behavior, and yet I felt I needed it and deserved it for, well, insert excuse here.

      I’d love to hear what you have to say, so when you get your blog up (one of the eight tools of recovery is writing, and a blog does help . . . and is pretty anonymous), let me know. Also, take a look at love2eatinpa’s blog and the weblog of Steve. She has been abstinent for almost 2 years, and Steve’s been abstinent for years, too (not sure how many, though).

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