Posted by: innerpilgrimage | May 19, 2015

Back in the Saddle Again

Please bear with me . . . it’s been a very long time since I’ve added an entry here. A whole lot of life has passed between March 24 of last year and today.

Right now, I’m just starting my first 24 hours since my relapse at the end of December. I just let go completely, though I had been sliding into it for a very long time. I went to a Lifeline meeting last night. The current May/June 2015 issue of Lifeline is about the lessons of relapse. I love those Higher-Power moments, those signposts on the journey which make it clear that I’m on the right road. Now really is the exact-right time for me to return home to OA. That meeting room (the safe place where I belong when it comes to compulsive eating behavior) and the principle-focused fellowship within were what I needed. With a newcomer chip–since we don’t have relapse-and-return chips–I am finally ready to return to program.

Does this mean my other problems are magically gone? Nope. One of the great lessons of relapse is accepting the reality of this complex spiritual disease: Compulsive eating is for life. Recovery is achieved only one day at a time, and each of those days is equally special and precious. No graduations. Just life lived to its fullest.

So, as I settle in to my first 24 hours in my second go-round, I’m not sure what will be at the end of the day. Will I be abstinent for today’s 24 hours? Will I chain enough 24 hour periods to return to that clarity state which OA provided the first time around–complete with feeling the real emotions again after numbing myself with food for so long? Will I be able to let go to whatever atheist Higher Power I believe in (perhaps the cosmos, the inherent order within a universe which contemplates itself) and really appreciate the gifts of recovery this time around?

I cannot say, but I did walk back into an OA room last night. I didn’t do it proudly. I did it with experience, knowing that OA worked for me in the past. I did it with strength, knowing that OA works for me when no diet does . . . not even the food plan I built which helped me lose 100 lbs. in OA the first time in program. I did it with hope, trusting that the reasons I left the rooms in the first place will be workable as I learn more about the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical journey through compulsive eating.

Today, I weigh 200 lbs., about 50 lbs. higher than my lowest weight in OA and about 75 lbs. lower than when I started OA (though I did cap out at about 320, once). Today, I have spent every second so far abstinent, splitting them when I have had to. Today, I am using the lessons of relapse and the principles of recovery. Today, I am dusting off the tools. Today, I am returning to that one-day-at-a-time life of freedom from compulsive overeating.

Today, I am remembering what it’s like to truly come home. It’s a good feeling.



  1. Hey! Welcome back!
    I just started as co-ordinator for an OA Freethinkers email loop on Yahoo (search for ’12 Step Freethinkers Anonymous’ in Yahoo groups if you’d like to join). If you feel you need support, ESH or just generally want to know that there’s an atheist, agnostic and freethinker community in OA that you can be part of, please do join us.
    I’m thinking of trying to start a freethinkers skype meeting some time, as I think that’d maybe help some people.
    Welcome home!

  2. So glad to hear that you are coming back from relapse! That is my story, too, and it’s been a long year of ups and downs. For me, my path is through alternative routes because theistic nature of the 12 steps leaves me very reactive. Until I get neutrality over it, I need to forge my own path. Through yoga (there are yoga 12 step/recovery groups) and through secular buddhist teaching (Kevin Griffin and Refuge Recovery by Noah Levine), I am not fighting the spiritual part of recovery. Jen — I’m going to look you up on yahoo… I’d be interested in some skype freethinkers meetings 🙂 Peace to you all.

    • Thanks, Karen! I am in the same boat about the patriarchal theism still being a sticking point because of what I dealt with as a child. Definitely important stuff to work this time around.

      There’s another commenter on this blog, Jen, who added yesterday that she’s got a Freethinker 12-Step Recovery Group together. I’m really excited about it, definitely want to spread the great news. Anyone interested can check it out here:

  3. Congrats on getting back. I hope you find all you need.

    • Thanks, Michael. It’s been a rough road, but I think relapse may have been what I (personally) needed to really appreciate the gifts of program. I’m also happy that my relapse rock-bottom wasn’t as rough as what brought me into the rooms. The whole time, I knew I needed program. Even though I was terrified to enter a room, I needed to be there.

      It turned out to be a wonderful meeting with wonderful people coming together in a wonderful fellowship. I felt like I had truly come home.

  4. Just in case people here would be interested: I’m hosting an OA Freethinkers meeting on Skype tomorrow and hope to make it a regular thing. it’ll be at 9AM Japan Standard Time on 26th May 2015. Please note that if you are in the USA this meeting will take place in the evening of Monday 25th.

    If you’d like to join this or any other meeting please add the Skype contact ‘OAfreethinkers’ and get in touch. This is the first meeting I’ve done, but if there’s enough interest I’ll try to get a regular thing going and in the summer, when I’m on vacation, plan to try to do some that’ll suit those in the UK and Europe time-wise).

    Sorry for cross-posting this. I just really want to get the word out there that this is happening and your blog is one of the top results for the google ‘search Atheist overeaters anonymous’! Congrats on that by the way 🙂

    • Jen — Do you still have the OA Freethinkers group? Thanks for your service!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: