When I first surrendered to this program, it was not with joy in my heart, it was with resignation, having a weight sitting on my back, with the heel of pain into my neck, and I finally said, "Uncle", "I give in, I give up, what do I have to do to relieve this pain?"
My first step, and the first step in any 12 step program - to give up the substance that is causing the initial challenge. For me, it was food, my all consuming, all appeasing craving for - food! Food had to be relegated to a less important emotional attachment for me. A song has been going through my head lately, often music/lyrics speak to me, it goes:
You are living a reality I left years ago, it quite nearly killed.
In the long run, it will make you cry,
make you crazy and old before your time.
And the difference between me and you,
I won't argue right or wrong, but I have time to cry,
You don't have to cry.
Is it fair that I can't enjoy food like "normies"? Doesn't matter.
Is it fair that certain foods create unhealthy cravings in me, makes me physically sick when I eat them? Doesn't matter.
Might as well ask if it's fair I have brown hair, is it fair that I age, that my body has begun falling apart, that my eyes are getting worse each year, that my knee hurts today.... doesn't matter about "fair", it matters only that it is... that THIS is what "I" have to deal with, this is the hand "I" was dealt.
When first surrendering to this program, the food plan I followed had foods on it that I would never have eaten, foods that made me feel I was going to hurl, though I never actually did. I was of the mindset that "whatever" was put in front of me, I would eat. If I liked it, I was happier than if I didn't, but I ate it anyway. I survived. I thrived. I put food in a place of sustenance, not functioning as an emotional crutch. I learned to plan meals for nutritional value, not for the "tastes" I liked. Food is fuel, nothing more. When I can view it this way, it becomes a moot point how I'm feeling at mealtimes.. doesn't matter when it comes to deciding what I will eat, it's already been decided, so my "feelings" are eliminated from the equation. It IS freeing, more than I ever thought possible. It IS the miracle of this program for me.
Do I still desire foods that aren't good for me? yep! Do I allow myself to return to them sometimes? Sadly, yep again. BUT, When I am in a spiritually fit place, when those thoughts come, I can more easily dismiss them, let them travel on through without acting on them. I am not perfect, but I am getting stronger with each passing day. Will I ever not have these thoughts? I hope so, if I ever stop feeding them I'm sure they will wither up and die. My downfall in every case over the last five years, has been, "just this once", a phrase that continues to feed the beast, continues to leave the wounds open, continues to be the chink in the armor of my program.
I was watching a program about Faith and Myth, and they were talking about Heros, and Greek mythology, and that those myths presented the Heros, not as we do today, as the perfect humans, but as the complete person, strengths and flaws, and that in each case, the Hero's own defects, which were known to them, ended up being the cause of their demise, because of THE FATAL FLAW... and this flaw lives in me, it lives in the excuses I make when I say, "just this once".. that flaw is my arrogance. I am participating in my own demise because of arrogance, failing to acknowledge with humility my limitations, failing to believe that I am powerless over this disease, that I can handle it i.e. control it "just this once".. it rears it's ugly head every time I make an exception to my food plan, every time I rationalize one of my many defects, every time I lash out in anger rather than deal with my own part in a situation, looking to lay blame elsewhere instead of standing up and saying, "this was my part".
I have discovered it takes strength to say no, strength to resist the temptations of the quick fix. I've also learned that the real easier softer way IS to resist. That strength comes from somewhere outside myself, a power greater than I. Before this program that "power greater than I" WAS food. It was my Higher Power because that's where I turned to cure every situation. It became an unbearable master, demanding more and more and giving less and less.
This is a spiritual program, the Higher Power from the spiritual realm has yet to make demands of me, it is a reactive HP, if I choose, the strength is there, given freely, my only requirement is to ask, and then to take some action. Action is the key to recovery. All the thinking, all the pondering the nature of this disease, trying to figure out why I have it, does nothing, only taking action moves me forward, moves me towards my Higher Power and away from the draw of this disease.
Arrogance is my fatal flaw, humility is the flip side of that defect. Acknowledging my powerlessness and seeking strength and sanity by working this program is to have some humility.
Food is fuel. Spirituality is Serenity. However you define it, it is the source of strength, and so, the source of peace. That is the dream isn't it, to be happy, to be at peace?
love and hugs,
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