This started as a response to someone who was having some challenges working and accepting Step One, but it became a bit more for me as I was thinking about these last 3 years. Today is my anniversary of abstinence, and I feel such joy today, such accomplishment(a little pride sneaking in there), such gratefulness for the path I am travelling, I have been truly blessed.
Step one is really the only step we have to do perfectly I think, until we admit to ourselves that we are COE's (compulsive overeaters) and will be the rest of our lives, we will always be stumbling around looking to be cured, miraculously transformed into a "normal eater".
My life HAS been transformed, no doubt about it, but I'm still who I am. Food could still be more to me than just sustenance, it still calls to me but the volume of it's call is much lower now, and I'm able to counter it with more positive thoughts. I'm able to see further down the path it would take me in that first lie it tells me, that "this time it would be just once", or "just one would be okay". This program clears my vision in that regard, and still those thoughts appear, so I can not relax my conviction, I must work this program everyday, must stay focused. It's a pain, and in the past I have partied down in that pity pot about how unfair it is that "I" have to do this, and that there's no hope that someday I'll be normal. THAT'S my step one, "Acknowledging the conditions of my life" here. I didn't choose to be this way, it's just the way it is. I've complained to the manufacturer, but there was nothing they could do either. There no warranty, no recourse except to Accept the conditions and do the best I can with what I've been given. The slogan I love for this is: "Grow where you're planted."
Instead of focusing on all those negatives I've learned to appreciate the positive things that I have been given, a talent for music, a talent for humor, a sensitivity to other's feelings, a willingness to please others, a fondness for teaching, a real interest in learning new things, creativity to create things artistic in nature, in exploring the unknown, in studying the intricacies of the computer, in the systematic thinking that allows me to be good with numbers, and organizational matters, in the patience to train animals, in the joy I find in simply watching the "wild kingdom" outside my window, finding peace and serenity in the sunset and sharing those thoughts and moments with my family, the feel of a warm breeze on my skin as I walk in the morning and the smiles I receive from the passersby when I offer mine.... etc.
As I was writing that gratitude list, I felt I could go on and on... now THAT'S a miracle. 3 years ago, I could not think of one single thing that I was truly grateful for, and now the list is amazingly long.
I have struggled somewhat these past weeks, the voice of the food was a little louder than usual, the stresses of my life have increased a bit, money is still a major contributor to that stress, or should I say lack of it... my soon to be teenager is testing limits and pushing boundaries again, struggling to find a balance, as am I. As a homeschooling parent and subscribing to the principle of taking advantage of the "teachable moments" I have overdone it at times, and so my child was feeling she was constantly being corrected instead of instructed, so I have been trying to pull back and choose more wisely the moments to use in that way. I remember feeling that "I" was never doing anything correctly enough and I'm afraid that I've instilled that in my daughter also, not out of any need to feel superior but just wanting her to "live up to her potential" GEEZ, that thought sounds so condescending right now. I heard it my whole life and the fact that I never did live up to that potential was all I heard, and here I am passing along those same inferiority feelings when my intent was to teach, to show another way, to enlighten. This area I still need a lot of help with.
In the past weeks I have found myself being more judgmental of my spouse, wanting "to blame" for the conditions of our lives instead of working on solutions to change those conditions. Fortunately because of this program it's an internal conversation, so no nails have been put in the fence post yet. :-) That's an analogy about using words wisely, that things we say can't really be taken back without consequence. It goes something like: "An apology for something we've said is like pulling a nail out of a fence post, the nail is gone but the hole is still there." Making the amends is still better than leaving the nail in the wound, as the hole can then be filled (or healed). It would have been better though to have not made the hole in the first place. Dealing with the consequences of our actions in a positive way is what this program has helped me to do.
For the past week, I have been going through a period of fatigue again. This is cyclical with me and the last "good period" lasted a long time, so long in fact that I forgot how bad it was. I have had to force myself to go out for my walk and today is my normal "day off", and I really "want" to go today.. not sure if I will yet, but I might.
The aging process is attacking me now, was at the doctor on Friday and discussed all my ailments, the hearing, the fuzzy thinking, the heart stuff, the circulation stuff, etc. Doing the best I can with what I've got has been the theme for me I guess, and finding the acceptance to do that has given me the serenity today, finally. Today there is no struggle. Today there is a peace and a joy. As I watch the day begin, the sun and shadows on the scene out my window I see that life is a mix of dark and light, contrast and hue, and it really makes me feel that "all is right with the world".
It's been an amazing 3 years living in recovery. Growing more each day, sometimes so minutely that the sameness of it seems redundant, but looking back over the past 3 years, the changes have been phenomenal and I appreciate this life more and more.
I will continue to work this program, the alternative is just unacceptable now, and I pray for the strength to always believe that.
love and hugs,
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