Posted by: innerpilgrimage | October 29, 2010

We Care: A Little Overeaters Anonymous Service Goes a Long Way

      I am REALLY using the literature and writing tools this week, which, of course, has left me neglecting my ‘blog. I have a busy day ahead–OA meeting, stuff for my kid’s school–and I don’t really have the time to get into a deep self-analysis as usual.

      On Wednesday, I volunteered to take on the daily emailings for that group. My service to that group is pretty involved. I am treasurer, I open the room, and now I’m temporarily the We Care person–at least until next Wednesday. Part of being the We Care person is doing inspirational daily mailings. So, I decided to share them here:

* * * * *
Thursday, October 28, 2010
SEARCHING FOR BALANCE: USEFULNESS OR EGO?

      Today’s For Today reading addresses depression . . . the down feelings that come when we turn inward. Focusing on others is wonderful, but it reminds us that if we focus on others to our own detriment, we can lose ourselves to the addiction yet again. We can make others happy and still be sad, right? How many times have we gone out of our way, done something uncomfortable, submitted to someone else’s desires to make them happy with us, to earn their love and acceptance?
      Voices of Recovery addresses being out of balance . . . the things which we cannot accept as we move through today. When we put things off and feel guilty or queasy; when we overspend, we feel uneasy; when we avoid our Higher Power for any reason, we can get that alone and lost feeling. How do we get out of those doldrums, that relapse zone that puts us on the edge of that first compulsive bite?

      Program.

      First, we live program one day at a time. If we review the day and it was bad, it doesn’t have to bleed over to tomorrow. In fact, program encourages us to not let it bleed into tomorrow. If there are amends that weren’t made? Make them the next day and let it go. Use the chance to build a better relationship today.
      Second, we have a Higher Power to turn to not only for guidance but also to pick us up and dust us off when we are human. We’re not expected to be perfect. We have program to turn to–the Big Book, the OA 12&12, and so much other inspirational 12 Step literature–to turn to.
      Third, we have community. Going to a meeting or phoning another OA member because things are reeling out of control helps us and helps the people. We do service to each other when we reach out; we practice vulnerability and trust . . . the foundations of love. And, as we all have experienced as we learned to play an instrument or learn a language or even took an exercise class, when we practice daily, it becomes a part of us.
     
We walked in willing to do anything to leave the addiction behind. Isn’t it great to learn that the price to give up the addiction is composed of real friends, our renewed health, and a useful life?

Friday, October 29, 2010
TRICK OR TREAT: THE FEAR FACTOR

      In Voices of Recovery today, it discusses how fear can overwhelm us. Fear is a pretty big character trait. It can paralyze us; it can challenge us. Fear keeps us in yesterday (we look backwards at things we cannot change) and tomorrow (we worry about an upcoming event). How do we keep fear from stopping us if it can make our lives so unmanageable?
      For Today discusses the importance of looking within. Just like fear resides within us, an emotion that is very human, so does our Higher Power. Even the Big Book tells us to look within for our own Higher Power, not take on others’ Higher Powers. That close relationship with our HP can turn fear into a motivating character asset by giving us the will to approach it with a new attitude. As we near Halloween, many of us are faced off with trigger foods from our addiction–the worst goblin or ghoul we can face on this holiday of tricks and treats. Fear of food can make it our Higher Power yet again. But in the Third Step, we can turn that fear around.
      Our Higher Power has brought us to a community of people who understand what it’s like to be paralyzed by an eating disorder. That worst of fear-based tricks (our fear we’ll never recover, our fear that food will be our master again, our fear that we’ll never make it) can be turned into a treat if we let it. When we feel fear, we can turn to program. By attending a meeting, we get the treat of listening and sharing with empathetic people. By phoning or emailing another OA member, we get the treat of having one-on-one time with a person ready to listen . . . giving them the treat of service while we get the treat of getting through a craving and maintaining abstinence. By reading literature, we get the treat of having the tools to get through that moment of self-will. By taking time to pray and meditate (talk and listen to our Higher Power), we get the treat of serenity and willpower and strength to understand what really is driving the trigger. When we go out into the world in our costumes with our treat bags, we can choose to fill them with the treats of yesterday in addiction or the promises of today in recovery. And just like Mom or Dad was with us to keep us safe when we trick-or-treated as a small child, our Higher Power is walking with us to keep us from getting hurt–even if we do end up in a situation that would scare the dickens out of us if we were alone. We’re safe, we’re loved, and we’re protected . . . whether or not we look up at our Higher Power to make sure it’s still there. It is, and it’s not leaving our side–even if we’re afraid.

* * * * *
      I gotta get scooting to meeting. This weekend’s got a lot going on, between making Halloween paper decorations and preparing for National Novel Writing Month (I love November!)
      My name is Jess, and I am a recovering, abstinent food addict and a sex and love addict, anorexic. Insert something snappy and thoughtful here about the above stuff. I gotta bail and go live that real life my recovery promised me.

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