Posted by: innerpilgrimage | February 11, 2017

Sliding Doors: Must Suppress this Emotional Liberation Before Valentine’s Day!

People don’t appear to be in a reading mood for my new entries. It’s all right. I’m not much in a writing mood, so I’m not bothered.

Still abstinent one day at a time. It’s good. Despite the allergies to whoever-knows-what floating on the wind, I am feeling better than I have in a long time. I do have cravings, especially for what sweet things I make for my family (who are not eating disordered).

I am starting to feel, however. I don’t like feeling; I like thinking. Feelings involve crying and the sense that I am absolutely out of control. Feelings . . . they are little flags of vulnerability which allow people too close (the SLAA folks and CoDA folks understand this). I don’t want to be a target any more, but being socially anorexic makes my writing very dull.

I don’t want to be vulnerable. I don’t want to be weak. I don’t want to need anyone but me to make this happen. But . . . then I read “I Put My Hand in Yours”, and I am moved.

Yes, I want to be vulnerable to people who know what it’s like. Yes, I want to have hands to hold me up when I want to collapse for the strain of it all. Yes, I want my hands to help hold others up when they want to collapse for the strain of it all. Yes, I want kindred spirits to make it happen together, to rejoice with, and to have them rejoice with me.

So . . . here’s a door slid aside just before Valentine’s Day. Smiling and fighting tears is nothing new. Loneliness is nothing new. Disappointment and self-blame are nothing new.  Burying heartbreak under cheery Valentine’s Day confectionery (to numb out in a sugary haze) is nothing new.

What also is not new? Having this O.A. valentine available to me every day of the year, not just when I have those “I Hate V-Day!” feelings:



I put my hand in yours and

together we can do what we could never do alone!

No longer is there a sense of hopelessness,

no longer must we each depend upon our own unsteady willpower.

We are all together now,

reaching out our hands for power and strength greater than ours, and

as we join hands,

we find love and understanding beyond our wildest dreams.


  1. I’m glad you’ve started writing again. I’m very isolated in program, basically out of OA, I lost my sponsor around Christmas time and I haven’t been to a f2f meeting since before my first year abstinence, I just can’t cope with the religiosity. Skype meetings and email groups also were infuriating for me. So it was just me and my sponsor for a year or 18 months, now it’s just me.
    I’m still 3 meals a day and a snack. Not as fat as I was, not a healthy weight (which I was for a while before I lost hope that OA could fix something deep inside me).
    It’s nice to see you’re still trying. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for this share, Jen. Your experiences seem more common than I wish they were. I feel how you do, that I wanted OA to fix something deep within me, too. All I found were layers of broken places, and I never had a sponsor long enough to help me make any of it make sense.

      I wish I had the courage (and time) to start an OA Agnostics group meeting online. I suppose if there is one out there, I’m ready to hear the ESH of people who want that good orderly direction without the He or Him or His attached.

  2. Yep. I’m here. Abstinent today for better or worse. You are not alone and thanks for the post. I feel like so many aspects of my life need changing but early days yet again ! And so will just try to allow things to evolve. We shall see

    • Congratulations on working the 24-hour days, Clare. 🙂 So much changed that first year, too. I really did like doing the 12-Step work, especially Steps 4 and 5. It was scary to admit it first to myself then to someone else. But I picked a wonderful person, and I got the extra gift of trusting that other OA members could be trusted with my secrets and (more important) that they empathized.

      My regret is that I’ve dealt with good and bad fellowship meetings, and I despaired when I ended up walking out the door despondent instead of hopeful. I hope yours is one of the good ones, Clare. I really do, for there is nothing like carrying the strength and courage of a strong fellowship out the door.

      • Hi I guess what I meant was early days ‘back’ yet again. I have had many years in and many years out of OA. I am back to a degree but I love your posts and really identify with those who struggle with the religiosity …especially when it comes down to nourishment! However, to be utterly alone with disordered eating is terrifying. I have a sponsor of sorts….and I am here…and the food is down today. Meetings can be a minefield, but I still believe we can help each other. I want strong fellows, but mostly I want my good strong self. Do keep posting

      • Oh, I am with you there in those early days back in program.

        You expressed accurately and wonderfully what I’m going through currently–though I don’t have a sponsor or even a program buddy.

        And I’ll keep posting. Do you have a program blog I can put along the side with the others (. . . . if I can remember how)? If not, then please keep adding your ESH (experience, strength, hope) in the comments– as short or long as you want.

        Thank you, Clare, and I wish for you a sane and sober day today. 🙂

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