Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Each Day a New Beginning: October 31st

It's a simple formula; do your best and somebody might like it.
—Dorothy Baker

We're never guaranteed success by others' standards. However, if we do our best according to the standards we think God has in mind, we'll be successful. And from God we'll always receive unconditional love and acceptance.

In the past many of us were haunted by fears that our best wasn't good enough. And not infrequently those fears hindered our performance, thus validating our fears. We can slip back into those immobilizing fears if we don't attend, with vigilance, to the program and its suggestions.

Our higher power will help us do whatever task lies before us. And no task will be ours except those for which we've been readied. Our job is simply to go forth, taking God as our partner, and set about completing the task. We will not falter if we remember where our strength rests, where the guidance lies.

Self-esteem is one of the byproducts of a job done with God's help. An additional byproduct is that we learn more quickly to rely on God's direction and strength the next time, thus reducing the time we give to fear.

I can be successful today, in every endeavor, if I let God manage my moves.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.
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The opposite of Fear is Love.  When I am abstinent & working my program to the best of my ability, then I am able to love myself ........... if I am practicing addictive behaviors, the world is dark & my mind is clouded over & foggy.  I forget all about Love and begin dwelling in Fear and shame.  When I don't love myself first, how can I love God or life or humanity in general?

I keep God in my back pocket, calling on Him whenever I need guidance or help.  I know He is there with me, and I never have to struggle alone anymore.  

For today, I allow myself to feel GOOD and I allow myself to feel JOY, because I am worth it.  I put my abstinence FIRST and God takes care of the rest.

For today, I will not dwell in Fear but instead, I will treat myself & everyone else I meet with Love and Kindness. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Language of Letting Go: October 30th

Self Value

We have a real life of our own. Yes, we do.

That empty feeling, that senses that everyone except us has a life - an important life, a valuable life, a better life - is a remnant from the past. It is also a self-defeating belief that is inaccurate.

We are real. So is our life. Jump into it, and we'll see.

Today, I will live my life and treasure it as mine.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.
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Who amongst us does not relate to this message!!??  I spent years of my life looking at other people, thinking THEY had a better life than  I did! I judged my insides by their outsides! Naturally, I'd come up short every single time!
These days, I don't compare myself to others.  I am unique because I am me; I am incomparable to anyone else.  I will not allow myself to 'fall short' anymore; my life is important, valuable and pretty darn good!
For today, I will live MY life and treasure it.  I am real & so is my life.  I will jump in, and, for today, I will LIVE! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Language of Letting Go: October 29th


A magical potion is available to us today. That potion is called acceptance.

We are asked to accept many things: ourselves, as we are; our feelings, needs, desires, choices, and current status of being. Other people, as they are. The status of our relationships with them. Problems. Blessings. Financial status. Where we live. Our work, our tasks, our level of performance at these tasks.

Resistance will not move us forward, nor will it eliminate the undesirable. But even our resistance may need to be accepted. Even resistance yields to and is changed by acceptance.

Acceptance is the magic that makes change possible. It is not forever; it is for the present moment.

Acceptance is the magic that makes our present circumstances good. It brings peace and contentment and opens the door to growth, change, and moving forward.

It shines the light of positive energy on all that we have and are. Within the framework of acceptance, we figure out what we need to do to take care of ourselves.

Acceptance empowers the positive and tells God we have surrendered to the Plan. We have mastered today's lesson, and are ready to move on.

Today, I will accept. I will relinquish my need to be in resistance to my environment and myself. I will surrender. I will cultivate contentment and gratitude. I will move forward in joy by accepting where I am today.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.
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The key to happiness, I have found, truly IS acceptance.  When I put up a fight, or resist what Is, that's when the resentment, fear & unhappiness set in.  When I accept the fact that ALL events are given to me as blessings to learn from, THAT is when I thrive.  Most often, I learn more from the bad/sad events that I'm given than I do the good/happy events.  
The purpose of my life is to learn and to grow; I wouldn't be able to DO that without accepting ALL of the situations I find myself in.  Sometimes I resist, and it's important to accept that resistance as well. Recognition of my resistance is another form of Consciousness, and I welcome the opportunity to observe my thought patterns instead of being a slave TO them. 
For today, I will move forward in joy by accepting where I am today; my job, my weight, my marriage, my children, my friends & my folks.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Food for Thought: October 28th

Food Is Not Home

Breaking abstinence may be an attempt to go home emotionally. Since we associate food, and especially certain foods, with early experience, we may turn to food when we crave the emotional support of home.

Perhaps our early home life did not provide the emotional support and security we needed, causing us to attach a false significance to the food, which we were given. The habit of turning to food and eating as a substitute for love, acceptance, and security may be deeply ingrained in our psyche. We may have come to depend on food instead of people to satisfy our emotional needs.

The problem is, of course, that food is not a satisfactory substitute for love and acceptance. However much we eat, the emotional satisfaction will be only temporary and soon disintegrate into despair and self-hatred. The home we crave can best be built here and now by working the OA program and loving the people our Higher Power gives us to love today.

May I realize that food is not home.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation
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I'm sure I have attached a false significance to food.......considering IT to be love, friendship & acceptance.  When I feel emotional, I always turn to food for comfort.  I have to remind myself over & over again that no matter HOW much I eat, I will never feel satisfied when I use food in this manner.
Food is not a satisfactory substitute for love & acceptance, yet I still DO turn to it from time to time for this very reason.
Other times, it's simply habit that drives me to want to overeat.  Boredom is a big factor, as well as HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.  All trigger situations that are a breeding ground to stuff myself senseless.
As an adult, I have an emotionally supportive home life, with plenty of security & acceptance. I no longer have to go back to my childhood, reliving all of the pain & isolation that I once felt.  I no longer have to stuff myself with food to feel love & acceptance. 
For today, I have a program to follow which insures my sanity.  A program that allows me to love myself, no matter what, and to stop living with the lies of the past.  
For today, I realize that food is not home. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Recovery Meditations: October 27th

Living in the Present

“As long as you are seeking to find happiness somewhere,
you are overlooking where true happiness is.”

Happiness is always somewhere else, isn’t it? It is all too human to put off our happiness until a more appropriate or perfect time. Ideally, we know that happiness is not a matter of timing; it is a state of mind caused by even the smallest actions that we take (or fail to take) each day. However, I often used to remark to others that, “One day I will be happy when I get thin.” I got much thinner, but never thin enough, it seems. “One day I will take a night course.” I was so busy working, “on-call”, and doing things for others that I never managed to find the time.

“One day I will start this new food Plan,” I’d promised myself. It had worked for others. I truly wanted to give myself a chance to see if it could work for me too, yet I approached it haphazardly, at first. On paper, any food plan is just a diet, unless, you have a Sponsor, use the Tools, and work the Steps! I’d been told this over and over, and later--lived the actual experience of doing it my way. As long as I told myself, “One day I will find the time for me,” it didn’t come about!

One day at a time...
I now realize that as long as I keep looking to the future in order to allot myself wonderful challenges and small joys, I am choosing to postpone my happiness until my life is perfect, which is never in the realm of reality. I believe that this is why those who have gone before us in recovery suggest that we live life on life’s terms to the best of our ability just “One day at a time.”

~ January K.
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Ah, living for the moment when I will be thin & life will be perfect..........what compulsive overeater/professional dieter cannot relate to this mentality??
Over the course of my lifetime, I've lost a lot of weight but when I got to the 'magic number', life was still pretty much the same.  Nope, there was not pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; I still had myself and my issues to deal with, even when my body was at a 'normal' weight.
Nowadays, I realize the importance of allowing myself to feel happy right NOW, no matter what the number on the scale says.  If I wait for the perfect time to allow such happiness, it will NEVER come.  I've stopped using the words 'one day', 'forever' and 'never', and instead, I live in the present moment.  Today is the best day I can possibly have, and I choose to accept the gifts that are laid at my feet.
For today, I will not dwell on what lies ahead, but only on what lies in front of me for the next 24 hours.  For 24 hours, I can be happy; I can stick to my food plan; and I can enjoy each moment for what it IS! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Food for Thought: October 26th

Food Is Not Fun

We have used eating as a form of recreation and have looked for excitement in food. For years, we have associated food with fun. What we need to remember constantly is that uncontrolled eating is no longer fun for us, but a trip into anguish.

All of us have unpleasant memories of painful binges, which began as attempts to experience pleasure through a small indulgence. We need to put these memories to work for us by associating them with the first compulsive bite. The idea that more and better food will bring us fun and pleasure is an illusion. We know this in our heads, but we need to feel it in our guts.

Food is nourishment for our bodies - nothing more. To experience pleasure with our minds and hearts and bodies, we open ourselves to richer interpersonal relationships, to aesthetic experiences, to sports and hobbies and work well done. Abstinence from compulsive overeating liberates us to enjoy the activities, which are fun.

Thank You for the fun and joy that abstinence brings.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.
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If I want to maintain abstinence, then I keep my Food Plan super-simple and not overly delicious. Otherwise, I will consider food to be 'fun' and that's a big mistake for me.  I derive some level of pleasure from eating, but not a whole lot.  If I eat a can of tuna on a bed of lettuce, just how 'fun' IS that?  I deliberately avoid overly 'yummy' foods so I don't crave more.
If I take that first compulsive bite of an off plan food, THAT is what begins my struggle.  Allowing myself TO take that first bite is what KEEPS me eating, and then it turns into a binge.  What starts out as 'fun' quickly turns into a nightmare where the word 'enough' does not exist! 
For today, I will consider food as nourishment for my body & nothing more.  For today, I will find fun & joy through people, events & activities rather than food. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Food for Thought: October 25th

Abstaining from Harmful Relationships

Habit sometimes locks us into relationships, which are not in our best interest. It is easy to mistake dependency for love. When we stop overeating compulsively, we can evaluate our attachments to other people with greater clarity and perception than was possible when we continually escaped into food.

Our OA friends act as sounding boards for us as we try to sort out the healthy from the unhealthy relationships in our lives. We may find that for our continued growth we need to move away from old emotional entanglements, which are hampering our progress with the program. Abstaining from a harmful relationship can be as difficult at first as abstaining from compulsive overeating! The same physical restraint is necessary to keep ourselves from following old habit patterns.

By taking Step Three, we make all of our relationships with other people subject to the will of our Higher Power. When God comes first, other loves fall into their proper places.

Show me how to love.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.
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When we're in the fog of compulsive overeating, anesthetizing ourselves with food, we can't see the truth of ANY situation we face!  I wound up staying in an unhealthy marriage for 10 extra years because I was too frightened to get out; too bogged down in my addictions to be able to do the right thing & end it.  I knew the relationship was unhealthy, I just felt powerless to DO anything about it.

I wasn't, of course, but my addictions convinced me otherwise.  Nobody deserves to be mistreated, emotionally or physically, and we all deserve happiness and serenity. 

One of the most crucial aspects of Recovery, for me, is learning to set boundaries with other toxic people in my life.  If I let them, they will drag me right back to the bottle and the refrigerator in an effort to cope with their toxic behavior.  I draw limits; I make the phone calls and end them when I'M ready.  I schedule the visits and call the shots, on MY terms.  When I've had enough, I leave.  While I can't eliminate certain toxic relationships from my life altogether, I CAN manage them! 

These types of people are Energy Vampires; they suck the energy from our soul and we're left feeling drained & exhausted after an encounter with them.  Putting up a shield to ward off the negativity is something I do on a regular basis.  My mother fires questions at me all the time like the third degree.  When I find myself squirming with discomfort, I tell her (in a very firm voice), ENOUGH Mom.  The details of MY life are nobody's business but my own!

For today, I am grateful to have been given the tools of survival in OA.  I am no longer a victim of Energy Vampires, because I am taking care of ME for a change.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recovery Meditations: October 24th


“Fear is not created by the world around us,
but in the mind, by what we think is going to happen.”

Elizabeth Gawain

There are different kinds of fear. Certain fears are good, because they help preserve our lives. Babies, for example, have a fear of falling. It just seems to be a natural instinct. Any fear that protects us from harming ourselves is a good fear.

However, when fear becomes an obsession, it is getting out of hand. Why do we go looking for trouble? There is a saying, “Don’t let clouds of fear of the morrow hide today’s sunshine.” We can get so anxious about what’s going to happen in the future that we don’t enjoy living today.

Life is a precious gift to be lived one day at a time, and is to be shared with others.

One Day at a Time . . .
This is how I will live my life: One day at a time, one moment at a time, sharing my precious gift with another through Twelve Step giving.

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The "one day at a time" philosophy of all the 12 step programs is in place for a reason & has a deeper's not just an old saw.  One-day-at-a-time means that we agree to live in the NOW, to appreciate the moment and to stop projecting about the future or dwelling in the past.  For compulsive people, this is a HUGE undertaking! Many of us simply do not embrace this concept; we are so rooted in past hurts or in matters of the future that the moments of life that really matter are LOST.

We want what we want & we want it NOW.  Our self-will runs riot. We stamp our feet with impatience, waiting for a 'magical' day when life will be perfect, which usually means "When I Am Thin".  

Life IS perfect NOW.  We are perfect NOW. We are children of God and our souls are unblemished & utterly perfect right at this very moment.  All that is real is happening NOW.  What happened two minutes ago no longer exists, and what is going to happen 2 minutes from now is merely a hallucination. 

When we live for tomorrow, we are embracing fantasy.  We tend to project a future where life will be as we would like it to be, where there will be no pain & no frustration, where we will be thin & life will finally be grand.  Then, we get to that place, perhaps, and find that nothing IS as we'd hoped it WOULD be.  

Expectations breed resentments.  Living in the 'could-have-been/should-have-been/woud-have-been' mentality is to miss out on the beauty of what exists right NOW.  And that, my friends, is the ONLY reality that matters.

For today, I will appreciate all the precious moments of my life.  I will marvel at the beauty of nature, the smile of a small child, and choose to feel contentment with what is happening NOW.  Yesterday is gone & tomorrow isn't here yet, so I will focus on the Moment and enjoy it to the best of my ability.

For today, I allow myself to forget the past & the future as I focus on what is real right NOW.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Food for Thought: October 23rd

Tomorrow Is Another Day

As compulsive overeaters; we can be tormented by the urge to finish everything right now, today. That was the way we used to eat, and it may still be the way we try to operate in other areas of behavior. It is possible to exchange our addiction to food for an addiction to work or perfection.

Trying to do everything today is just another example of self will run riot. We are not super people and we cannot perform miracles. It is our Higher Power who makes possible our accomplishments, and His work is done slowly and gradually. God never expects more of us than we are able to deliver. It is our own pride that entices us to tackle the impossible.

As long as we are alive, our work will not be finished. Each day we are given new tasks to do and new experiences to enjoy. What we do not complete today can be continued tomorrow, according to the will of our Higher Power.

I leave tomorrow's tasks for tomorrow.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.
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Being involved with weight loss for the past 4 years has shown me how impatient we all are when it comes to wanting things NOW.  We expect to lose lots of weight immediately, and we want to reach goal overnight, without putting in the time or commitment.  If the scale doesn't show a favorable number, our OCD kicks in BIG time and we're trying to 'fix' what isn't broken.  The inner brat tends to take over and makes the journey unbearably difficult.
What a great example of self-will run riot! We put obstacles in our way & insist we 'have to' eat what we want, when we want it.  We allow other people to influence what we eat and drink, and succumb to peer pressure left & right.  
Losing 100 lbs has taught me patience. What's the difference how long it takes me to reach m goal? I've committed to changing my eating habits permanently, which means I embrace a food plan for life.  So what's the rush?  The tempting food will always be there..........I don't 'need' to eat it right now, no matter how badly I'm being pushed into doing so!

I have learned to live in the moment.......for today and today only.  Yesterday is gone & tomorrow isn't here yet. 
 As Buddha said, "Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most."

For today, I will tackle today's tasks & leave tomorrow's tasks for tomorrow.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Recovery Meditations: October 22nd


“Dwelling on the negative
simply contributes to its power.”
Shirley MacLaine

I’ve lived most of my life filled with bitterness towards people, God and myself. My mind, soul, and body were consumed by hatred, self-pity, pain, hopelessness, and a complete sense of powerlessness. I focused my energy on reviewing my scars. I counted them, checked them, nurtured them, and flaunted them. They were proof of all the wrongs I’d endured. They were my source of energy. They were my identity. They were my badge of sorrow.

As I work my recovery, I am beginning to see everything from a new perspective. Gradually my head is lifted and my eyes are turned away from my once-beloved scars. The more I allow myself to accept that my powerlessness is not a prison of doom, the more I discover that it is my doorway to faith, surrender, and serenity.

My scars are still here. There is no magic potion to remove them. What is magical, however, is that I see them so differently. I find that I have a choice to make every day: I can cherish my scars as proof of the pain I have suffered, or I can be thankful for them as evidence of things I have survived. Scar tissue forms and creates a stronger, thicker skin in its place. I can either pick at it and make it bleed, or I can welcome the lessons and endurance it has built into my life.

One day at a time...
I will choose to see my scars as proof of the difficulties I have survived. I will choose to appreciate them as evidence that God has brought me through suffering and has used all things to strengthen my faith in Him, my hope for tomorrow, and my serenity for today.

~ Lisa
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Dwelling in self-pity because of my scars 'entitled' me to practice addictive behaviors.  If I kept myself busy reviewing, counting, checking, nurturing & flaunting my scars, I chose to live in hopelessness & gloom.  My identity was a badge of sorrow & I wore it for all the world to see.
Nowadays, I choose to look at my scars differently.  Had I not experienced the pain that led to those scars, I wouldn't be the person I am today. And that person is strong, capable & rooted in truth & reality.  If I pick on the scabs of my scars & make them bleed, I avoid Recovery and stay rooted in self-pity for no good reason.   
For today, I am grateful for the lessons I've been taught in my lifetime.  I choose to see my scars as proof of my endurance & strength in God.
For today, I will dwell in positivity & retire my badge of sorrow.  For today, I am happy and entitled to feel that way!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Food for Thought: October 21st

New Memories

If certain times of the year and certain activities are associated in our minds with overeating, we need to create new memories to blot out the old ones. If we are hung up on past loves, hates, and hurts, we need to let go of them so that we can live in the present.

Old eating habits keep alive old wounds and frustrations. Even after we have maintained abstinence for a significant length of time, we may be troubled by unresolved conflicts from the past. The fact that we are abstaining from compulsive overeating gives us a chance to see the problems more clearly and to then walk away from them when we have done all that we can do to resolve them.

The past and the future are in the hands of our Higher Power. If we work our program now and live the best we can today, we are creating good memories, which will sustain us in the days to come.

Take charge of my memories. Lord. 

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.


Most all of the holidays are/were associated with food & drink for me.  Christmas, especially, seems to be SO focused on what to eat instead of celebrating the birth of Christ.  These days, we've changed our ways in my family.  We eat simple meals and do no baking.  I don't participate in cookie-exchanges, nor do I take part in the food fests at work.  Instead, I organize ugly Christmas sweater contests and other fun things that have no relationship to food or drink.

If I want to change my life, I have to change everything about it.  If I rely on the old memories of overeating during the holidays, I will feel resentful and angry that I am "missing out" on something I'm entitled to.  What I AM entitled to is good health & a fit body, which contributes to a fit mind & state of being.

For today, I pray to forget the old food memories associated with the holidays, and instead, concentrate on creating new ones.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


To all my followers;
I will be on vacation from October 5th through the 20th, and not posting my daily Recovery readings. Check back on the 21st for the next thought-provoking message.

Thanks to everyone for ALL of your support!

Food for Thought: October 4th


Through this program, we learn that we have choices. Not only can we choose what we will eat and what we will do, but also we can choose our friends. As we become honest, unaddicted people, we are able to relate to each other on a level of mutuality and admiration rather than out of dependency and fear. We gain the self-confidence to choose those with whom we enjoy spending time and sharing, rather than slavishly catering to anyone who will notice us.

Friends in OA have a special bond, since we share a common problem and a common solution. By putting principles before personalities, we avoid dependency and childish demands. Though we love and support each other, we do not cling together, since we are each dependent on a Higher Power. Our friends give us the gift of themselves, which shows us who we are.

Thank You for friendship.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.
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As I became free from addictive behaviors, I stopped slavishly catering to anyone who would notice me.  I was taught to do that, from a very young age.  To pander to others, at my own expense, regardless of whether I liked the person or not! "Put on the face" and then talk about the person behind their back! I watch my mother practicing this behavior every single time I am in a social situation with her!  Over the years, and the deeper I delved into Recovery, the more I realized it is this very behavior that keeps me sick with disease. 

I have choices, believe it or not.  I am free to pick & choose my friends.  When I treat myself & others with honesty, I relate on a different, healthier level.  Instead of relating to others out of dependency & fear, I relate honestly, using my voice to speak MY truth.

Working the Steps taught me who I Am at the core, not who I 'ought to' be.  I 'ought to' be exactly who I AM, and I thank God for showing me that truth.

Childish demands brought me to my knees for the last time.  As I continue to work my Program, I am able to put aside my childishness & accept my place in society as an Adult.  When I act like a grown up, I am treated as a grown up.  When I act like a willful child, pouting when I don't get my way, I am relegated back to the depths of despair as a practicing addict.

For today, I am thankful for being alive and free from addictive thinking.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Recovery Meditations: October 3rd


"The truth will set you free,
but first it will make you miserable."
James A. Garfield

After years of therapy, I thought I knew myself fairly well. I prided myself on my integrity, honesty and responsible nature; however, my morbid obesity and compulsive overeating reflected the exact opposite of these values. After breaking many resolutions to myself, starting and stopping countless diets, and continuing to have no control over my eating, I began to doubt my integrity. How could I keep a commitment to everyone I knew and yet break my promises to myself over and over again? It wasn't until in a moment of frustrated clarity I blurted out, "I'm acting like an addict!" Finally I experienced my own truth.

I am an addict. I am addicted to food. I use food to fill the gaping black hole within me. I use food to anesthetize my pain. As a compulsive overeater, I stuff my face rather than face my stuff.

Working the Steps allowed me to see that even though I thought I valued honesty, I was constantly lying to myself about my compulsive eating. Becoming abstinent from compulsive eating removed the veils of delusion and dishonesty that I had over my eyes. Living this program, one day at a time, freed me from compulsive lying to myself as well as compulsive eating. Telling the truth, while sometimes very difficult, has let me live happy, joyously, and free.

One day at a time...
I will work the Steps honestly, tell the truth about my life, and be the person of integrity my Higher Power always intended for me to be.

~ Bernadette B.
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Before I found commitment to abstinence, all I did was make empty promises to myself that I continuously broke.  Instead of learning to love myself, I wound up hating myself for my lack of 'willpower'.  It wasn't 'willpower' I lacked; it was Commitment.  I was powerless over food & alcohol, but I didn't realize it.......I thought I knew myself pretty well.  When I finally admitted my addictions, only THEN was I able to treat them seriously.
As a compulsive overeater & alcoholic, I was stuffing my face rather than facing my stuff.  That's a very profound statement! Only when I became willing to treat myself as an addict was I able TO deal with my issues honestly.
I am a liar & a thief when it comes to addiction.  I can tell myself that I have a high level of integrity & character, but all bets are OFF when it comes to my addictions.  By committing myself to an abstinent lifestyle, I agreed to remove the veils of delusion, denial & dishonesty that were making me so miserable.
For today, I will tell the truth *to myself & others* about my life.  I will share my experience, strength & hope with others in an effort to let them know that hope DOES exist! If I can find Recovery, anyone can!
For today, I will be the person of integrity I was meant to be.  I will live in truth, putting my program FIRST, with faith & knowledge that all good things begin with abstinence.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Recovery Meditations: October 2nd


“All human actions have one or more of these seven causes:
chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, desire.”

When I was eating compulsively, it was similar to taking nitrous oxide at my dentist. Like a heavy anesthesia, the food comforted me and gave me an extraordinary sense of well-being. Like many short-term cures for what is bothering us, it took its toll. Any resemblance to reality while in the fog of compulsive eating is purely coincidental. While there may be times in my life I needed anesthesia, to use it day in and day out to block emotional pain is a burden only compulsive eaters know about.

Compulsion is self-will gone berserk. I try to think of it as the opposite of effortless abstinence. Between the two are miles and miles of varying experiences. For me there was never moderation ... only the two extremes. It took several years of squeaky clean abstinence to trust myself and begin to try moderation in eating. At that point I had learned to recognize and be aware of the dangers of that first compulsive bite. There have been times when this cunning disease always waiting to pounce has sent me straight back to hell as a result of that one single compulsive bite.

One day at a time...
I will pray that my actions are caused by anything except compulsions.

~ Mari
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So I lived my life under anesthesia, then wondered why, after getting abstinent,  I was unable to identify and process my emotions as they came up??  I was used to instant gratification; instant numbing.  Something hurts? Take a drink & eat a bowl of pasta..........make the pain go away.  Ahhhh.
The problem with blocking out pain is that the anesthesia also blocks out joy.  The problem with drinking & overeating to cope with life is that doing so makes me drunk & fat.  So the results of all that 'coping' are worse than the original pain I am trying to avoid.
Using painful techniques to block out pain causes MORE pain. And so, the vicious cycle of yo yo dieting begins.  It only ends with abstinence, and making a commitment to a food plan.  Abstinence from drinking is 100%...........simple (not easy); just don't pick up a drink; it is not necessary for survival.  Food, on the other hand, IS necessary for survival.  Junk food isn't, however.  Commitment to a food plan means commitment to healthy, nourishing eating & avoidance of trigger foods that set me on a downward spiral.

When I was in charge of running the world & playing God, I was eating & drinking compulsively; my self-will had gone berserk.  I functioned in the 'all-or-nothing' mentality where I was either starving myself or eating everything that wasn't nailed down.  Sitting on the couch like a slug or exercising like a maniac.  Moderation? What on earth is THAT? 

For today, I choose to live with the reality of my disease.  To keep it in recovery status rather than having IT run MY life. 

For today, I will not take that first compulsive bite, the same way I wouldn't take that first sip of a cocktail, because my Recovery is way more important than the temporary, numbing pleasure that food & drink promise to give me.

For today, I will let go & let God take over.  He knows what's best for me, even when I insist otherwise.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Language of Letting Go; October 1st

Be Who You Are

In recovery; we're learning a new behavior. It's called Be Who You Are.

For some of us, this can be frightening. What would happen if we felt what we felt, said what we wanted, became firm about our beliefs, and valued what we needed? What would happen if we let go of our camouflage of adaptation? What would happen if we owned our power to be ourselves?

Would people still like us? Would they go away? Would they become angry?

There comes a time when we become willing and ready to take that risk. To continue growing, and living with ourselves, we realize we must liberate ourselves. It becomes time to stop allowing ourselves to be so controlled by others and their expectations and be true to ourselves - regardless of the reaction of others.

Before long, we begin to understand. Some people may go away, but the relationship would have ended anyway. Some people stay and love and respect us more for taking the risk of being whom we are. We begin to achieve intimacy, and relationships that work.

We discover that who we are has always been good enough. It is who we were intended to be.

Today, I will own my power to be myself.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.
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"Be Who You Are"..........what a novel thought! While I was practicing my addictions, I didn't know who I was.
I was who YOU wanted me to be.  And the ensuing resentment drove me deeper into my addictions.
I was always made to feel 'not good enough' my parents, my first husband, by the people in my life who mattered most.  It wasn't until I gave birth to my first child that I began to glimpse what it felt like to be 'good enough'.  This child needed me! I was able to make him smile & gurgle! I was able to care for him & help him grow..........although I still felt as though I could have been a 'better' mother..........still far from perfect.........still striving to be MORE.  My son was colicky & difficult........which must have been 'my fault', somehow.  
Although I was on the path to feeling good enough, I still had a long way to go. I was still trying to find Myself & establish a relationship with that woman.
By the time I gave birth to my daughter 8 years later, I'd gotten sober & stayed there for years.  I was at peace with myself & had a relaxing & beautiful pregnancy.  I allowed myself to love my swollen belly & to feel totally at peace for maybe the first time EVER.  I had a purpose and I was Becoming.
I had glimpses into Who I Was for many years before I actually unlocked the door to my Spirit.  It's been an incredible journey of self discovery to own my own Power to Be.
For today, I know who I am and it's plenty 'good enough'.  I am a child of God.