Posted by: innerpilgrimage | December 5, 2009

Happy St. Nicholas’s Day Eve: Remember to Put Your Wish List in Your Shoe Tonight!

Days until my 40th Birthday: 10
Abstinence from Compulsive Eating: 1 Month, 20 days (51 days)

Holiday Eating Season Countdown: 28 days

      If my family knows you and plans on getting you a holiday gift, it’s either going to be (a) geese, (b) ducks, or (c) homemade cookies.
      My husband and I tend to go gift-hunting once or twice during the holiday season. We probably spend more time on “Stocking Stuffers” than anything else.
      Oh! And tonight is Saint Nicholas’s Day Eve!

      When I was a child, my sisters and I put out wooden clogs by the front door on December fifth. In the clogs, we put our Christmas wish lists. The next morning, the shoe would have some small gift, like candy or bubble bath or both. I’m not sure if that’s when we got our first marzipan of the season. I do recall, however, the plastic cat- or dog-shaped bubble bath bottles. Once my two sisters were teens, we didn’t do it any more.
      However, the Christmas that I lived next door to my mother after returning home when I separated from my first husband, she had my son, W— (who was three, almost four), put out his little shoe by her door. I think he got a few toy cars for his troubles. It’s strange–as much as I complain about my mother and her failings, there were times her compassion and gentleness were immeasurable. It’s one of the reasons that I know I need to make amends to her, without any expectation of her accepting it. She usually does, and then life goes on in its mad, abusive cycle. But I am going to make real amends to her–from the horrible things I said when I was in college to the way I treated her several times. Even pointing out publicly that I was hurt by the joke that they like my sister more because she lives farther away than me. I said many things that were in the heat of anger, really painful things that affected my security and my relationships.
      The hardest thing about the holidays, this year, is not missing family. I’m used to having a nuclear family Christmas. This year, food is not my focus. My husband, sweetheart that he is, showed me a can of candy-coated sweet nuts that he wanted to get me for Christmas as a treat. I told him no, that they were off-plan. Officially, nothing is off plan on my diet; unofficially, most holiday treats are off-plan because they are trigger foods. I don’t want to trigger binges and lose abstinence. I consider turning down the nuts (which I would have wanted last year and the twelve-plus years before it) to be the challenge that I was faced by my Higher Power. Had I brought them home and tried to avoid compulsively eating them, I would have failed. As my husband and I say often, they looked great in the store.
      And that’s where they stayed.
      I’ve got to finish my Step Four inventory, for myself and for the people around me. Oh, shoot, I forgot about the 9 a.m. Step Study meeting this morning, too! Darn it! Obviously, I need to find one at a more reasonable time and day for myself to go to a Step Study meeting.
      My name is Jess, and I am a compulsive overeater.

     And acceptance is the answer to *all* my problems. today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation—some fact of my life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.” A.A. Big Book, 4th ed., page 417 (From “Acceptance Was the Answer”)



  1. until reading your blogs, i had never heard of the blog tradition, it is really cute! it’s nice that you are keeping it going and nice that you recognize that your mom is responsible for doing some pretty nice things.
    i liked your saying about the nuts looking better in the store!

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