Another long break between blog posts. I haven’t wanted to examine anything too closely here lately. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been waiting for some big epiphany or a bright shining light to come blind me into submission, to wake me up and get me moving again. It still hasn’t come. All the while I could sense the still, small voice along with the foundation of recovery I had laid in my first year of abstinence in Overeaters Anonymous.
The voice kept whispering: Surrender. Let go. Trust Me.
The foundation of recovery reverberated: You don’t have to do all the things. Just choose to do one thing. Make a decision and do it. Just for today.
Yesterday morning as I stood looking at a closet full of clothes that are steadily getting too tight, I felt the trap of self-pity closing in. Immediately I asked myself, “What is one thing you can do today?”
My first thought was: 3 meals, no snacks but as I continued getting ready for work, I pretty quickly started moving that thought towards the back burner of my mind. And then the daily discussion question from the For Today reading came through in my OA group text:
With God’s help, what actions can I take today to ensure a day of abstinence and recovery?
I hadn’t made time to read the For Today reading that morning but I felt that holy nudge towards making a commitment. Instead of ignoring it like I’ve been doing lately, I chose to act on it. I texted my group and shared my commitment to only eat 3 meals with no snacking.
As I was writing about this in my journal this morning, I went back and read yesterday’s For Today reading and I’m glad I did. So timely.
Reading Quote: “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao-tzu
Reading: “An OA member who has maintained a weight loss of more than 200 pounds for nearly 10 years is the same person who was barely able to walk in the door of her first meeting. There are a few people around who remember her as she was then – grotesquely obese, wearing a size 52 dress that was bursting at the seams, and unable to sit on any of the chairs in the meeting room. But she took that first step. She came to the meeting, got help in dragging a bench to the table where she sat with the others. She kept right on coming back, parlaying that single step into a size 3 dress, a 110-pound body and a brand new life.”
For Today: Now is the time to begin; tomorrow is too late.
I stuck to my commitment yesterday. I almost gave in twice last night but as I was reaching my hand out to grab a bag of popcorn for myself, I thought, “You don’t want to do that.” And again, instead of ignoring the nudge, I heeded it. I pulled my hand back and felt another brick fall into place on the foundation of my recovery.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to wrap my head around this journey I’ve been on. In May 2019, I celebrated one year of complete abstinence from sugar and all of my compulsive overeating behaviors. Unfortunately, after my first year of abstinence, things started to unravel. I can say today that I am still abstinent from all of my sugary substances that I used to binge on. It’s been 2.5 years since I’ve had a dessert, a piece of candy, a cookie or ice cream. However, the last year and a half I’ve bounced in and out of relapse with anything else I could get my hands on. I’ve re-started my abstinence three times now. I’ve been discouraged and frustrated. I’ve found hope and lost it too many times to count.
My journey to recovery feels messy and disjointed but when I look at it from a bigger perspective it seems pretty simple:
I am a compulsive overeater on the road to recovery.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is yet to be. Today is all I have.
Today I choose to surrender, to let go and to trust. Today I choose to commit to abstinence. Today I have decided to get back in the Life Boat.
This is what I can today. This is how I return to recovery.
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