Posted by: innerpilgrimage | November 19, 2009

Step Three Questions, Continued, and Fretting Over a New 12-Step Meeting

Days until my 40th Birthday: 26
Abstinence from Compulsive Eating: 1 Month, 4 days (35 days)

      Well, I’m going to work on my Step Three Workbook Questions while I deliberate how I’m going to convince my family that my going to a meeting tonight for a new 12-Step group would be a good idea. I really really wish there were daytime meetings, because I am having a really hard time taking time from my family, you know? I understand meetings need to be at night, since that’s when people have free time. But I am still fretful.

      I hate feeling like this about something I thought I got past. Ironic that the questions I’m addressing today are about letting go to a Higher Power, because I need to. But I also really need the fellowship on the new addiction because it might affect my current OA abstinence. I need to find abstinence on this other one, fast.
      Okay. Okay. I am going to take a deep breath right now and exhale, and ask my Higher Power for the strength and willingness and ability to release this until I can get to my first meeting. I mean, I’ve gotten the hard part done with OA, right? And I know it works because I’m seeing it work. And the best part is that I can do Step Four for both at the same time–since the compulsive eating and the new one appear to be so deeply interrelated.
      I eat to hide from this other addiction, to cover it up. Well, I can’t any more because I don’t want to die of compulsive overeating. And I am scared, honestly and totally afraid, of the one waiting for me behind it. (*I just read the online newcomer packet and feel a little better . . . I can 12-Step this, too. I can recover from this, too.*)

STEP THREE
Question Seven
      How? Interesting question. For me, I’m actually having trouble with that right now. I mean, I’ve done it for OA. It’s a relief to release it, to let it go, to make it not about the emotions.
      I know I felt this way when I first started OA: How can I recover, and I mean ACTUALLY recover?
      Well, I first defined my goals: (1) To change how I saw food, (2) To seek physical health over physical skinniness (the ability to “look good in anything”, ie. “be pretty”), (3) To accept that only over time and with real effort will my addiction be overcome. Then, I had to stop being offended by the use of Him in the literature. Then, I accepted my own version of my HP.
      I’m still willful, which is what’s challenging me right now, I think. I hope it stops with these two. I really do.

Question Eight
      Yes, I am. Though releasing myself to something else’s “will” is frustrating because I don’t believe the Universe has a “will”. Anything that has a “will” means that it will fight you. The Universe won’t fight me; it will just let the consequences come.
      So while I’m not succumbing to the “will” of the Universe, I am succumbing to the rationality. There is order and reason and sanity out there for me, if only because the Universe is willing to let me go either way. When I release my will, I can see beyond my own damned nose. I can hear beyond my ears. I can find the answers that are inside all of us (just like they say God is, too) because the answers are both within and without, and I can see them if I don’t fight so hard to hold on to my compulsions to try to make myself feel unique and special and alive.
      Pain is not living. Pain is pain. I hate being at war with myself (aka “out of control”), where I long to just do whatever I want without bad consequences from that yet I want to live a calm and sane life where I enjoy the good consequences from that! I like feeling calm. This little ready-to-cry, twisting heart crap is maddening. And I hate it so much . . . but as sick as this is about to say, it makes me feel alive.
      Just like eating so much that I wanted to throw up made me feel “full”. This isn’t healthy, this “alive” feeling. I know what “alive” feels like. It’s that cool clarity of mind, the lack of racing thoughts and emotions. It’s knowing and feeling serenity and that beautiful peace which comes from it.

Question Nine
      Use. The. Tools. Go to a meeting, telephone someone (though I’m not having trouble with compulsive eating right now), write, read literature (I’m going for my Big Book when I’m done here, I think). The others involve getting deeper into the 12 Steps. I’m at a loss with Step Four because I need a sponsor.
      I thought I could make it without one. Maybe I need to go to 90-Day or Greysheet and get one. I don’t know. Right now, I have to stop grabbing at answers hoping one will be the right answer. Right now, I have to stop panicking and relax and be thankful that my HP put me in a place where I can get to a meeting at all. I am going to relax and be thankful that it was easy and fast to find it.
      My HP helped me when I needed it. That’s what I can do when I’m unstable: Remember in my darkest times, my HP will expose to me tools to use.

Question Ten
      I laughed out loud at this one, because I am going through a bit of a crisis, and that’s answered the question. Because when I hit crises and am trying to grab at everything around me for an answer, if I don’t have my HP to support and anchor me, I will begin to flail and drown in my addiction.
      I ask for answers, and they come. I seek answers, and I find them. Maybe this was the point where I needed to be challenged by this more severe addiction. Maybe this was when it needed to be exposed, when I had the OA foundation.
      What hurts most is that someone I really like is part of it, now . . . someone I really feel comfortable talking to in OA. I guess I will just have to put out into the Universe that my HP can bring me together with someone I can talk to about this non-OA addiction. Someone is out there waiting for me to talk to them about it. To let them grow as a sponsor or as a member of this other addiction group.
      That’s the other need: hope. Giving up this chaotic mess of self-control and self-will and self, self, self, to the chaos it comes from so that the order can settle in gently makes me feel hope. The Universe is fractal, in my mind–the chaos has order, and the order seems chaotic. There are reasons for it all, even if I never understand it. Maybe not motives, per se, but each thing in the Universe is there for a reason–they have their causes and their effects. And when I am meant to see a cause or effect or both, then I have hope that my small petty compulsions are really small in the grand scheme of things.
      Yes, I find peace in being infinitessimal in the grand scheme of things. If my existence does not affect the Universe that much, I can go out there and affect the things I can without worry that the sky will fall if I lower my arms. It’s an illusion that we’re each so important we are needed to hold the sky up.
      So I’m letting the Universe hold it up and I’m going to let go and start walking toward the 12th Step again.

Question Eleven
      Heh, I think I just answered that above… Hooray for cut and paste:
      “I ask for answers, and they come. I seek answers, and I find them.” I know that’s the sane way to do it. If I’m trying to control it, I grasp in the dark for answers, for anything to touch, for something to rescue me from the fear.
      Fear drives this whole self-control thing for me. I get so damned scared sometimes. And then I lash out, trying to grab what I can because I think I’m falling. But I have a stable footing if I just stop trying to keep from falling. That fear of losing myself, of falling, is probably the reason I face off with all of my addictions in the first place. I grab on to cigarettes or booze or food or drama or people . . . anything to avoid falling into nothingness and nobodiness.
      But the floor is there. The foundation was poured under my feet. I just have to exhale and appreciate that the foundation (for me, the 12 Steps. For others, whatever gives them sanity.) is there for me to stand on.

Question Twelve
      Practice. Remembering how good it is to feel sane. Remembering how awful it is to be panicked. I’ve made the honeymoon. I may even make compulsive overeating abstention for the rest of my life, since I’d rather have a cigarette right now than binge to nausea on anything.
      Interesting what my mind is flailing for. I’ve been both calm and panicked in the whole time I’ve written this. I’ve felt being apart from my HP and safe within it during the hour I’ve written.

      Well, Step Three’s questions are done. Ugh, now comes that searching and fearless inventory.
      Hunh. In retrospect I knew this was coming. This was the part I didn’t want to admit in my inventory. Yuck.
      Sadly, I’ll be skipping Step Four’s questions here because I am happy to share with someone, but not really anyone . . . there’s some stuff I really am ashamed of, and admitting it to one person is enough. Admitting it, potentially, to the whole internet just isn’t where I want to go with it.
      So I will see everyone on Step Five, once I get through Step Four on my own. Or maybe I’ll start the inventory on my own (or with a Sponsor? she begs her HP) then skip to Step Five’s questions here.
      Yes, I think I will do that. Okay, next comes Step Five in the workbook while I concurrently work on Step Four in the privacy of my own, well, life.

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