Posted by: innerpilgrimage | May 21, 2010

Back On The Road to Recovery

      I started my morning by reading out of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12&12, and I picked up my next steps, plus realized that I can achieve the maintenance steps of 10 through 12 sooner than later if I allow my Higher Power to guide me.

      I wrote down a list of people from my past who I knew I hurt with actions and thoughts. Some I stole from, some I spoke badly against behind their backs, and some I spoke badly against to their faces. Some I resented, some I was jealous of, some I gave power over me and lashed out at them for it.
      I thought about Step Ten as explained by Bill W., where he mentioned that there is a paradox in giving our wills over to a Higher Power. I mean, aren’t I responsible for my actions? Well, yes, I am. I am responsible to make amends where I can (and I have in some cases, long before I stepped foot in my first OA meeting). My Higher Power was communicating with me long before I walked through the door, and the 12 Steps which touched me when I was 17 or 18 and fighting with my own fear of becoming an alcoholic. I knew back then that the 12 Steps were where I wanted to go, though I did not acknowledge the addiction that was sapping my life. It was their faults, and I walked into ACOA and Al-Anon meetings trying to find my answers. After all, it was not my fault, right?
      Well, at 39, I took responsibility for my own part in this and walked into an OA meeting. I knew I was powerless over the food that gripped me, and I wanted a solution that would bring me back to the supposedly halcyon days of being overweight instead of morbidly obese.
      The hardest of these are my parents’ Step Nines. I was vicious against them. I railed hard against them, blaming them for every character defect I had glommed onto to cope with my disappointment that they were not perfect. That they were human.
      I have been given an opportunity to make amends at the beginning of July. It’s a strange feeling, to be carefully positioned to move forward with renewed vigor, being given a whole month to review how I harmed them. The wounds I carry are often still raw and opened regularly. But I have a choice: divorce myself from them entirely or make amends and let my Higher Power (and theirs) guide the relationship after that. I have vacillated between not wanting to make amends and knowing I need to. And somehow, I believe if I am given the very real opportunity to stand before them both and read my amends lists and apologize, I can move toward the task of making Steps 10 through 12 a part of my daily existence.
      I also need to make amends to those within OA–my sponsor and sponsees especially. I never built a relationship with my sponsor because I honestly chose someone for the wrong reasons and created personal resentments when she did not become the saint I felt I needed her to be. I felt I failed her when I was sure she would get a job at the place I volunteered, and she didn’t get an interview. I walked away from that relationship with excuses and explanations. With my own sponsees, I find that I am failing them by not keeping communication lines open. Though yesterday, I contacted one of my sponsees to let her know I would be rooting for her as she approaches a life-changing event tomorrow that she is mostly out of control of. She has inspired me in so many ways, and I find that she is a very strong woman working a stronger program than I am, despite some setbacks. That strong recovery, however, will bring her what she needs, even if it is not what she wants. I have hope that her Higher Power wants her to have what she has longed for since I’ve known her. I am praying that the direction of her life is this one, so that the avenues to a stronger recovery and abstinence are opened to her. However, if this is not the path her Higher Power wants her to walk, I also believe that she will become stronger in that, too. I just want her to feel the success, partly because I have faced so much recent failure.
      Part of the reason I have been MIA in my own blog is because I have been in my own head, traveling to a dystopian future of my own making. But I hit a wall, and when I started fighting to have what I “want”, I heard my Higher Power tell me to put it down because it was time to let it settle. So I have, and I am working on recovery again.
      It can be a slow road sometimes, but it is the narrow path I want to walk. I may stumble and leave the path for what I think are greener pastures, but coming back has always made me feel more secure and sane. The Twelve Steps help me. If others find their own paths, I am so happy for them, for there is not just one path on this journey through life. And the journey is more important than the destination, something I never got out of any diet plan or any therapy I have had before.
      My name is Jess, and I am a food addict whose addiction manifests as compulsive bingeing. The light, bright skipping along the path is done, but I am not discouraged right now. Only when I leave the path do I lose hope.

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