The Recovery Group

A Personal Recovery




7-20

Thursday was an interesting day.

I finished the book I was reading, Holy Hunger. Great book!

I walked a half a mile, though not intentionally, I just made a mistake in judgment which took me beyond my intended goal for the day. I was trying simply for a slight increase from the quarter mile I was doing to 3/10ths of a mile and misjudged the distances, and was swayed by my daughter urging me on, and so, chose to go 'around' the block instead of turning around and returning the way we had come. Taking the opportunity of this panic stricken "teachable moment", my daughter learned what the phrase, "point of no return" meant. (ever the home schooling teacher, hehe) A real panic came over me just for a minute, as I doubted that I would be able to make it. The fear almost had me cutting through peoples yards to avoid walking the entire distance I had just committed to. Realizing my path would take me past a daycare center because I heard the kids playing outside as I came upon the bushes that would soon be gone and reveal me to them, I had to push back the fear of feeling humiliated because of all the children staring at this big fat guy walking with a broomstick, using it like a staff, slowly working his way down the street, sweating and breathing hard as if it was some monumental effort just to walk. (and at this point it still is) What must they be thinking of me? Why do I care? I concentrated on the task at hand, to get home! Someone waved at me and yelled hi! I waved back, it helped me not be so self-conscious about being out there. It was a neighbor who was working at the daycare, They yelled out, "looking good!", and it helped to make me feel good about making the effort to regain my health.

I was exhausted when I got back home, that was almost 12 hours ago, and right now my legs have gone from feeling tired to aching with pain, slightly throbbing and tingling as the muscles try to repair themselves.

I am not really elated about having walked half a mile last night, though others around me see it as a good thing, I just see it as a bit of bad judgment, a weakness of letting my daughters urging me to do something I wasn't really ready for, get the better of me, of letting my pride rule me. (I wanted her to think well of me)

Thursday was also the night I had committed to going out to my first meeting since coming home from the treatment center, and everyone was 'expecting' me, and I almost let my "walk" give me an excuse not to go, but the pressure of having committed and the fact that the people were expecting me to be there, got the better of me, so I went anyway... it was a good meeting, and I'm glad I went. I guess this falls under the 'doing whatever it takes' part of this program, following through with what you say you'll do, no matter what discomfort it may cause. I 'am' satisfied with myself for having not given in to that part of me that wanted to just take the easier way out and stay home.

I am continuing to let go of some weight, and am pleased and surprised that my knee is not hurting, the sudden realization that my knee doesn't really hurt anymore is a wonderful serendipity, thinking back right now, it's been days since I remember it "really" hurting... it feels a bit tight and a bit achy, but it doesn't 'hurt'. :-) This is good!!!!!!

My food plan is great, I'm not all that meticulous, the measurements are sometimes slightly over, sometimes under, at least in this regard I feel I'm fairly balanced. I feel I have a healthy respect for the plan without having to be 'perfect' about it. It is a source of amazement to me how BIG 4 oz. of meat looks to me these days, how huge 8oz. of starch is... How I sometimes complain because "it's time to eat, ... again?"

All in all, I'd say it was a good day.

Surrender has given me a real freedom, where before I thought it would simply box me in... I am so grateful for this program, and for the people I have met because of it.

I hope your day is a good one!

Love and Hugs,
me


8-20

(This was a response to a friend who had said, the most recent binge had "worked", meaning it felt good for a short time.)

I understand when you say "it works", what doesn't 'work' for me is the feeling of remorse afterward, the feeling that once again, I failed, that once again, I proved to myself how weak I was, convinced myself I couldn't do it without giving in to the food, felt so small and insignificant that trying to get better was just an exercise in futility and 'why bother?', I'll never be able to do it anyway, so 'screw it'. It's all a part of the binge, just eating the food and getting the initial 'rush' of contentment isn't the entire binge, I had to start to consider the entire cycle as all being one thing, not separate parts of my life. I call it 'seeing to the end', if I take that first compulsive bite, I have to know what the end result will be... when trying to 'handle' the awkward or anxious causing events that happen in my life, it is sometimes hard to see that far, but I have found it essential if I am to stay in recovery.

My disease WANTS me to continue to believe that I cannot function successfully without it, that I will not be able to stand the feelings without medicating them. It is the big lie that I believed for 40 years.

Being human is a weakness only because it makes us 'not perfect', and letting the feeling that I have to be perfect run my life is the basis for all the turmoil. Once I was able to be ok with the fact that "I am human, therefore imperfect", I could begin to allow myself NOT to be perfect and still be OK.

I, in my addict thinking, considered 'being human' a fatal flaw - it kept me searching for relief from the feelings of inadequacy and the regrets of my mistakes. It was flawed thinking and unrealistic expectations of myself and others.

Accepting that I am human is how I go easy on myself, allowing that I will not be perfect, making amends when I inadvertently hurt someone without thinking or because I was following my own selfish desires, made some sarcastic remark (which is really just passive anger), or because of feeling hurt myself retaliated by being hurtful. I think being able to accept responsibility for my actions without 'blaming' myself for them is what makes the difference. Yes, I am sometimes hurtful to those I love, but finally looking at what motivates that behavior has made it possible for me to say "I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, I'm feeling very angry and inadequate at the moment and felt I had to strike out at you", and then stop there, leaving off the self deprecating slings that used to follow, blaming myself for being inadequate, putting myself down, i.e. beating myself up.

It didn't happen overnight, and I'm still working on it... but when I'm in the food, it clouds my thinking process and these things are simply not possible for me. I am like the drug addict just looking for that next fix so I won't have to feel bad, the craving that my body sets up to force me to resort to bingeing to satisfy it is no less powerful than the chemical addiction of the drug addict. The only difference is, MY drug is legal and readily available and not as socially taboo.

The addiction, though, is exactly the same. The phenomenon of craving as described in the Big Book says it all, once the substance is introduced into my body, the process is automatic, my only defense is NOT to put it there in the first place.

That's the power of the food plan, it sets my limits, it doesn't let me consider how I feel before making the decision what to eat, I eat what is nutritionally necessary, and that's it!

If I find myself craving something, or wanting more of something that I've had, I have to really look at that to see if it's the substance or if there is something else going on with me emotionally that is causing the desire for more. There are some foods that I have an emotional attachment to, that I have simply taken out of my plan, because it is too hard to deal with at this time, and for my own survival I must remove myself from them for the time being.... one is butter, my plan allows it as a fat, but the taste of it triggers something in me that makes me want more and more... and I simply can't afford to be tempted right now, another is cheeseburgers, my ultimate comfort food - there is no cheese on my plan so that has been removed as an option, THAT would be a tough one for me.... I also cannot tolerate rice, and there are a few others that have simply been removed from my plan because of physical responses to them. It is an evolving plan, as I identify foods that cause me a problem I remove them... my abstinence is more important that anything else, because without it, I am incapable of anything else.

It took me a long time and pain to get to this point, but I am so grateful and happy about finally being here.

I hope this helped a bit, your journey will be different, but if you will be honest with yourself and truly desire to be in recovery, you will get there eventually.

Stay Strong!

love and hugs,
me


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