Posted by: innerpilgrimage | March 25, 2010

The Unbearable Weight of Being

Abstinence from Compulsive Eating: 5 months, 11 days (162 days)

      I have been asked by my sponsor to take 5 days off to BE. I am to sit back and enjoy my achievements. This runs counter to two things I am actively working toward: humility and my current unrelenting drive to work the steps.

      I did not do this alone. I do not consider them my achievements. My Higher Power gave me the strength to do the footwork, right? So how can I slow down and appreciate what I did knowing that it was not me who did it?
      I also feel my HP has given me the drive to keep going. Yet . . . I am struggling with Steps Six and Seven. I have the drive to take what I have been gifted with from my HP and use it to push forward. I want to do Steps Six and Seven with a mind toward recovery. But I also see where my sponsor is right. The Steps are not coming fluidly, like life does when my self-serving will is given over to my Higher Power.
      A thought occurred this morning as I sat in a pool of resentment (and a desire to fire my sponsor): Could chasing the steps like I am right now be self-serving? Is this my ego pushing me to misuse my competitiveness (a character trait of mine which is regularly misapplied)?
      Yes to both.
      I got so involved in doing the steps (despite having faith and trust in my HP, which I thought was driving me), that I wasn’t letting the steps work me, too. Step Four and Five came easily when I gave them over to my Higher Power. It sounds weird, but it’s true.
      Step Six and Seven became tasks to complete so I could be the best sponsor I could for my two sponsees–one who communicates daily with me and the other who has not contacted me yet. I wanted to be done with the steps because then I could be able to bring these people to the finish line just after me.
      That admission, right there, in its complete truthfulness, is the core of the problem. I wanted to be done. I wanted to bring these people across the finish line. The only thing I was not doing was trusting my (and their!) Higher Power to bring the complete willingness for me (and for them from theirs). I am not their Higher Power. I am not their Higher Power.
      After a couple more emails clarifying BEing versus DOing, I clearly understood it. So, I am taking a break from the Steps to wait on my Higher Power to give me more than the drive to DO. And what’s funny is I feel peaceful again as the drive to do is being replaced by the willingness to be.
      I think that willingness to try one more time with my sponsor came from my HP (through Steve‘s message to me here). So, if my sponsees pass me, then they do. This isn’t a race, it’s a journey.
      So, I am going to journey through the world for the next week. I am going to be a traveler, my eyes open to the possibilities, a “child of God” (as one of the people in my home group succinctly described it). And with that childlike wonder, I think I really can find that the way will be cleared to complete Steps Six and Seven in their own time.
      My name is Jess, and I am a food addict. No idea what to say here, except that I appreciate the opportunity to release my ego (yet again) and walk with my Higher Power.

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Responses

  1. Hi Jess,

    This is my first time visiting your blog. Congratulation on 162 days on not compulisively eating. I’m on day 7 and sites like yours give me hope.

  2. Thank you for coming by, Lisa! If you’re interested to see what that first week looked like for me, go back to the week of October 19-25, 2009 in this blog. It was a challenge to maintain abstinence that first week (and has been one on-and-off since then).

    I held onto hope like a life preserver for a long time, and I still use it when I’m struggling with abstinence and recovery. That hope burns bright in the darkness and lights our way as we leave the darkness into a place of clarity–where we wonder how we lived like we did.

    And Lisa, recovering food addicts like you give me hope, too. It doesn’t matter how many 24-hours you have chained behind the one you’re working today. You and I are both working today’s abstinence same as we were on Day One. We’re the same people, fighting the same disease, just for the same today. Your abstinence inspires me to keep abstinent, because you’re working the program right next to me, from wherever in the world you happen to be at the moment.

  3. with all the hard work you have been doing, what seems like every day, i think just BEing is a wonderful idea. try to bask in all of your amazing achievements and how far you’ve come, you’ve earned it!

    • Thank you! I appreciate that you’re giving me so much to read and think about while I take a break.


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