Posted by: innerpilgrimage | November 1, 2010

Welcome to November!

Holiday Eating Season Countdown: 62 Days

      Ah, November. For me, it’s the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, a time when I pick up a computer and write a novel. I’ve been participating (and have won) since 2003, which makes this year number eight.

      With that in mind, I’m going to post what I put in the We Care letter today.

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE

      In For Today, we are asked “How do I show love?” In the story, cruel words are mitigated by a hug and loving words. While it did not stop the addiction for the woman whose memory of being five years old and humiliated then given acceptance, it had an effect which carried over. But if love of people we love is not enough to stop the addiction, what is?
      In Voices of Recovery, it talks about Step Eleven and the power of prayer and meditation. The release of the person’s self will to a Higher Power was agonizing at first. Then, over time, the OA member learned through dedication and trial-and-error of learning to have quiet conversations with God. Intuitive guidance–the voice of God–came from the stilled listening time, and the impossible became possible.
      Trust and honesty are two vital components of love. They are built as we develop relationships with people. But we’re not just developing relationships with others in the program–we’re developing a relationship with ourselves and with God. The power of the addiction is beyond mortal will, beyond mortal cures. We are asked only to offer up our fallible trust and honesty to our Higher Power. We cannot give more than our mortal love, worrying it’s not enough. But when we do . . . something happens. We learn what omnipotent, unconditional love feels like. The gifts of love we are given by human beings both pale and are accentuated as a new sense of value and purpose allow us to be relieved of the symptoms of a disease we are truly powerless against. The addiction, we felt, had no limits as the people we loved hoped and begged and sometimes even prayed for us to find relief. With our Higher Powers, we do find a daily “cure” from our addiction–something I know I often sit in miraculous awe of. In one year, the program did what I nor any human being could not do for me for over three decades. I not only found physical recovery, the trigger foods which overwhelmed me completely sometimes send me the other direction . . . toward plan food, even! In those moments, I stop to thank my Higher Power for bringing me the relief I begged for. While it was in God’s time–not mine–the relief I never believed would come has arrived because I learned to trust something greater than myself with my fallible human heart and fallible human mind.
      What a wonderful gift we are offered in program–we love the best WE can, and in return our Higher Power loves the best IT can! And when we accept that love . . . we learn that the impossible can be possible in our own lives, too.

      On an interesting note, after having a weekend where I had Halloween candy abstinently (on Halloween, I had four pieces total, within my discretionary calories), I woke today facing off with a full bowl of Halloween candy. My husband bought enough candy for 50 trick or treaters. We had . . . zero.
      I worried I would want to binge as I did years before, starting at breakfast (I ate them by the dozen) and spending the day eating nothing but Halloween candy, after I spent Halloween evening snacking out of the same super-sized bowl. I. Felt. So. Sick.
      Today, I looked at the big bowl and just could not fathom even eating one piece today. Not one. I bagged our leftover candy and put it aside to be taken away. And my son’s candy, always in danger for the last decade, is precisely where it was last night . . . untouched by my hands.
      The idea of eating it makes me queasy. I’m sure it made me queasy before, but the addiction always muscled through the discomfort. I had to get the high, I had to find a spiritual solution through snack-size portions.
      While I’m not working my program as well as I could be, it’s holding fast. I accept that progress is the answer for me today. I don’t need perfect abstinence, where I measure to the hundredth of an ounce and do the math to count the calories to four decimal places. The abstinence I have is pretty good.
      In SLAA news, I didn’t go to meeting on Halloween. I probably should have, I was a little triggered there. However, I decided against because I had dressed up. While what I was wearing was not bare-to-there skimpy, the dress I wore was a fun retro-ish dress, and I had heels and hose and make-up on. (I was a S.P.E.C.T.R.E. scientist, Dr. Evelyn Henchmann). I poufed my hair and tried to get a sixties look going. And my husband was wowed by it. And I wondered if perhaps going like that would trigger someone else. The worry of it made me decide that next week would be fine to go. I didn’t want to undo the day’s costume to have to get back into it. Plus, the make-up and hair were a pain to get right. I could not have undone that part without looking like a crazy cat woman–all wild-haired and red-faced from the scrubbing wearing a pair of skeevy sweats.
      Hehe, that would have been a great second costume.
      My name is Jess, and I am a food addict. I’m really pooped after starting my novel just after midnight last night. But I’m alive and I have real recovery right now, being able to pass up a trigger food from just two Halloweens ago. I’m not taking this for granted, either. This lack of desire isn’t me; it’s my Higher Power and I am being quietly and humbly thankful of that today.

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