A week ago I wrote about watching for indications of this disease after indulging in a foray into the world of "normal eating". I had determined that eating from a fast food restaurant would be okay, that I had had no overwhelming desire to repeat the incident the following day, but that I would keep my eyes open for any unwarranted desires.
Yesterday, almost a week later, was the first day of serenity since that little excursion of mine off MY normal food plan. It wasn't anything so horrid as having to white knuckle my days, but it was the constant thoughts of what all was in the house, and just a little wouldn't hurt, and all the other "conversations" about why I could and couldn't have these substances. It was not overwhelmingly irritating, but it was a constant conversation, especially at meal times, while waiting for the food to heat up, or while preparing my meal, my thoughts would immediately drift to all the options that were available in my house. I was able to stay on my food plan but I wouldn't want to have to go through that everyday. I'm sure it would eventually wear me down and finally I would have given in to it.
I knew this might be a challenge after stepping out last week and eating that sandwich, and so in order to bolster my strength, I made an increased effort to make calls, to write, to read, and I talked to my sponsor more often. It helped immensely. Yesterday was the first day that I was aware of NOT thinking about food except to write and send my food plan to my sponsor in the morning as was my usual back when. I'm back to my normal food plan, and it's wonderful not to have to worry over those decisions again. Variety, while most people would tell you is essential, is highly over-rated for me. I like the simplicity of my food plan. It's balanced, it's mostly things I like, and it requires minimal time to prepare, usually 15-20 mins does it.
I was thinking this week also about "enough". largely because until yesterday, I was constantly thinking I hadn't had enough of anything. I was eating my 4oz of protein, and remember thinking, "I could eat another package of this quite easily, or even two or three". I have the deli weigh them out for me in 4oz increments, so I just have to grab a bag out of the frig and I know that's my portion. If I had to slice it myself I don't think I'd be that meticulous yet. It would be too easy for me start slicing "heavy". It is my basic dishonesty with myself around food, and I have to create ways of not allowing this temptation for myself. Some day my HP and I will get me to a place where it may not be an issue, but for now I have to deal with me the way I am. I don't like that about myself much, but I have to acknowledge it or I would never setup ways to make myself do what I should be doing.
A phrase that has become a normal part of my day, a normal response to my child and to myself about the discipline of living by rules not of my making - "You don't have to like it, you just have to do it." It applies to my food plan, to my phone calls, to my going to meetings when I'm feeling tired, to walking, to almost every aspect of my life and it has been a blessing to me to just do it anyway.
I'm not sure if I'll ever come to love doing these things, I hope so, for now though, I do love the effects that doing them is having for me. As much mental conversation as I have to get myself out for my walk every morning, I feel better when it's done, my mood is better, my outlook is better, physically I feel better. Same goes for meetings, phone calls, reading, etc. Taking the time to do the things that are "suggested" in this plan of recovery pays tremendous dividends. In other words put simply, "It's worth it!"
I'm actually home sick today, a bug going around the school. My daughter and I both came down with it together... and as lousy as I feel right now, I'm grateful for being here with some quiet time to reflect a bit on this past week. Someone related their life being like a stone skipping across the water, busily going from this to that, and only when the stone sinks was there time to reflect about what had been going on... we call it meditation, to sit in quiet and listen, and think, and ponder, and it is in those moments for me that the feeling of spiritual contact is strongest. I may recognize the hand of my Higher Power throughout my day in life's occurrences, but it is in those quiet moments that I "feel" that power holding me, cuddling me. That's why it's so important to take those moments to begin my day, reassured that I am not alone, and that the strength of my HP will be available to me for any happening if I so desire.
I have watched myself slipping somewhat over the past few months, rationalizing my behavior, failing to make the continued effort to remain in strong recovery. I've discovered yet again, that it's not the major, sudden happening that moves me off my plan, it's the small, insidious, gnawing insistence of my addict brain that keeps telling me "just a little will be okay". It's the extra bit of abstinent food that eventually leads to the obviously "un"abstinent food that I can rationalize is perfectly okay. Relapse is just around the corner unless I can recognize this behavior. I DO NOT want to go there. This is why going to meetings and keeping in contact with other program people is so important, I see in others what I will not see in myself, and hearing others sharing at meetings the same rationalizations that I am using suddenly brings it home to me... and then I can see more clearly my own actions and behaviors. Our meetings are places to speak our truth, and then to sit and listen... I always hear what I need to hear, but it almost always happens when I'm listening and not busy talking.
Putting thoughts into words brings clarity of those thoughts. It is the blessing or using this tool.
I love this program, it has saved my life.
Keep coming back.
love and hugs,
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