I was thinking today about this disease of Compulsive Overeating and how for many years I didn't take it seriously. Why not? I think it was because if I gave in to the food, there was no immediate reprisal other than the feelings of remorse and self-loathing for being a weak-willed scum bag. I could always start again tomorrow, or next Monday, or whenever, I always felt I could just start again and there would be no real horrible price to pay for my neglect, for my abuse of my body, etc.
And the fact that I had gotten so big that I could no longer function, couldn't stand for more than a few minutes, couldn't participate in my families lives except to have them wait on me, made no difference. I still sought the food for comfort even though knowing that doing so would further my degradation emotionally and physically. Finally it became my instrument of self-destruction, it was the "gun to my head" to commit suicide. It was all very logical to me, in my despair it seemed a good solution. But that little part of me that still wanted to hang on prevailed in the end, a desire the size of a mustard seed overcame the monumental wishes of my selfish self-centeredness and brought me back from the precipice.
If I relate this disease to a cancer, then what I chose was the chemotherapy as an attempt to eradicate the disease from my body and mind. I chose to work the 12 step program even though the side effects were awful sometimes. What are the side-effects in this program? Feeling embarrassed about the situation I found myself, feeling vulnerable that others would now KNOW me for who I was, being irritable with no drugs to soothe me, going to meetings and talking to and listening to people I didn't know or care about, or in some cases didn't even like much after I got to know them. Forcing myself to make time to read stories about people who's lives had been changed by this program, some I could relate to but some I couldn't. Saying prayers to a "Higher Power" that I wasn't even sure existed much less would be interested in my little self inflicted condition. After all no one made me eat, this had to be my own doing didn't it?
More side effects when facing my own limitations and shortcomings were the despair I felt at how far I had to climb to get to a place of just surviving my life, much less accepting it as it is. The humiliation of going out in public to put myself on view for others to make fun of, to be the point of ridicule and disgusted looks and comments, it was difficult to keep the thoughts of recovery in my head at these times, to remind myself that I was making progress and to be content in that knowledge in my own mind. Yes, people were seeing a 600 lb. man waddling around, they didn't know I had once been a 725 lb. man... they didn't know how far I'd come and could care less, cause they didn't "know" me. But I had to find comfort in the progress I was making despite what "they" knew. It was not always easy. (I am now somewhere under 400 lbs. and the looks are mostly gone now)
The "chemo" required my diet to change, I could no longer eat all the foods I used to 'cause some of them were the cause of this cancer or contributed to it, so they had to be eliminated. The withdrawal from those was intense for a while, but it did eventually subside, some faster than others, and still some thoughts of them still cross my mind, but now I have to remain focused on the recovery, the cancer is in remission at the moment, and I have to think, could I go through that again? Is a quick and passing reminder of the way it was worth the time and pain and discomfort of having to go through all that again? For me, at this moment, the answer is "no". I pray it will always be so.
And what are the payoffs of going through all that? Is being cancer free worth working through the pain of the feelings of helplessness and powerlessness, and hopelessness? YES!!! Does being cancer free eliminate the normal situations of living? No! Does it make them easier to deal with? Not always, but it doesn't add to them, and that's something!!!
To once again know "joy" is amazing. To once again look forward with excitement at what the day will bring is exhilarating. To know that whatever happens in my life, I will be able to handle it without numbing out to it and that's because the spiritual connection nurtured through this program is freeing beyond my wildest and most coveted dreams. Not to say there are never challenges, there are, but overcoming them is where the real satisfactions of life come from I think. I am currently going through some real tests in my life, and thank my HP, food is not an issue, so more and more solutions are being seen and considered, but more than that, there is no hopelessness about the situation I find myself in, and some progress has been made, but I don't know how it's going to turn out yet, I just keep doing the next right thing, and whatever happens, happens. I will deal with it one day at a time.
I continue to take my "meds", in order to work on keeping this disease from flaring up again. Tonight is my weekly meeting, I have written, I have prayed, I have read, I have planned my food for the day, now to the activities of living... I get to mow the lawn today, to trim some bushes, to work on the computer, to play with my daughter, to watch a movie, to listen to some music, to talk to some people, to put together my chain saw after having the blade sharpened, to pet my dog, enjoy a shower after the yard work, etc.
Life is good!
love and hugs,
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