Posted by: innerpilgrimage | August 16, 2012

Out the Garden Gate and Onto The Road Which Goes Ever On and On

      “Risin’ up, back on the street
      Did my time, took my chances
      Went the distance now I’m back on my feet
      Just a [woman] and [her] will to survive.”
— Survivor, “Eye of the Tiger”

      Okay, first of all, learning to do wordpress again with a tablet O/S is quite the challenge. WordPress and my tablet aren’t really friendly at this point, so what used to be a quick-and-dirty process on my 5-year-old netbook is now how it felt going from laptop to netbook. But, I need to evolve, or else I’ll end up one of those people locked in a specific decade of thought and attitude. Not sure where I am. I think some place between 1985 and 1995, with a cameo appearance on the early 2000’s. I look my age on this tablet–keyboard, mouse, pisio pen, and fingers all working together semi-harmoniously in a symphony of frustration. Ugh, and the time I spent on the small netbook keyboard makes this normal-sized one feel like a whole pie in comparison to a half-slice. Oh, I used to be able to take down the whole magilla, but it ain’t happening these days. The idea of even an eighth of one is daunting at best.
      Well, I did have that great meeting last night and got a good sense of what I have been doing to slide into relapse–which through HP’s grace I have not. For the record, I think I am officially an atheistic agnostic. I’ve been reading Penn Jillette’s God, No! (As an aside, that just took me several minutes to get that link in fatfingering the select, argh!) and I have come to the conclusion that I can answer these two questions:
      “Is there a God?”
      I have no idea.
      “Do you believe in God?”
      No. I do not believe in an external being which possesses human attributes such as will, desire, passion, or love. I do believe in Higher Powers. Gravity, for example, is a power greater than me. I jump in the air; I fall to the ground. I also believe program is a power greater than me. I have seen individuals who could not stop killing themselves with substances or actions and who were going insane over it clean house through program. I have seen these swept-under-the-rug lost causes become compassionate, capable, ethical, generous people whose actions and attitudes I wish to model in my own life. And the woman who helped me stay in the room on September 23, 2009 because she openly admitted her agnosticism, again did so, naming program her Higher Power. After being out of the rooms for so very, very long? The peace of knowing recovery is for anyone who finds hope in Tradition Three works.
      I had a long criticism about the faith I grew up in. It was a lashing out, a resentment. I don’t need to air it here. As I presented it? Harmful. So, my action to remove my reaction has brought me peace. If I worry people will get offended? I am right. Mostly because people can get offended at anything, but partially because if I’m in addiction and lashing out? I’m doing nobody any service–especially not me. However, I came to terms with a strong self-truth that is opening doors. Growth, evolution, progress. Honesty, openness, willingness. Boo. Yeah.
      So, this jives with that internal-journey aspect of the 12-Step program, despite fraying at the edges with all of the Hes and Hims through the steps that make me react with angry budgie faces. But just as I don’t actively seek out the driver of the garbage truck to actively surrender my bags of trash? I don’t think I need to do more than surrender my addict trash out of my spiritual, physical, and mental house. Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in a “Christian nation”. The language reflects it. That’s all there is to it. Find a Higher Power, appreciate that program even exists, and start walking toward freedom. Recovery, to me, is free thought. The gift of free will. The gift of the individual journey instead of using an external solution to hide from fear, anger, loneliness, grief, doubt. To end the enslavement of pushing those very real human experiences and emotions down in order to “be in control”. All of those emotions have powerful energy attached to them.
      As I’ve written before, fear is the sole path to courage. Move through fear, and courage can be found. Grief and sadness is how we transition through changes. Saying goodbye to what is no longer with depth and respect allows us to embrace the changes which have come. Anger is a sense of something being unacceptable. It’s a great time to assess the person, place, or situation with the Serenity Prayer in action. Step back, observe, and discern with wisdom what I cannot change. Accept that. See where the seeds of change can grow, and plant them with the energy anger provides. Anger is that signal to fight, a burst of energy. To let that anger be channeled into useful action is service; useless reactions and addicted character-defective manipulations is harm. And boy, oh, boy–even wedging that Serenity Prayer in there is work. Simple, but not easy–the core of program reality.
      So, it’s back to the OA Workbook for me. I communicated today with a person in program, got a mini-meeting in. Feel much better. Got some thinking in regarding Higher Powers and what I believe. Surrendered a harmful action by putting it onto the back burner to be dropped into my next Fourth Step Inventory. And when I felt hunger pangs? I dropped everything and ate. Was I resentful? Yes, because I am an anorexic, too, and hunger is a pain in the butt.
      But real hunger is a power greater than myself. Real hunger is something I cannot change, but I can stop and eat–and use the courage to change that hunger to not-hunger instead of choose to ignore it and pretend I can make it go away. And there’s the wisdom: I know I cannot change hunger, but I can use it to create a recovered life as an eating disordered person.
      And I can write about it, using a tool of the program to keep that recovery journey ever in motion through to the end of this body’s and mind’s (and possibly spirit’s) journey.
      My name is Jess, and I am a compulsive overeater and anorexic. Good day in recovery so far. I felt real emotions, and I am still evolving. Not too bad for a lifelong food addict.


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