~ A TRG STORY ~
~ Rose ~
I'm writing this in June, which is a special month for me; my OA
birthday is June 9th.
I walked into an OA for ACOA meeting on a Tuesday evening 17 years ago,
sat down and cried .. for the rest of the summer. I'd been going to
Alanon and ACA, for a few years off and on, but it wasn't until I got
to OA that I really began to see that the 12 steps are a program for
transforming and growing into the person God wants us to be. There
really *was* an answer for me; there really was a higher power there
for me, and my life could be different than it was. If I hadn't
found OA, I'm pretty sure I would be either dead or extremely ill
today. I was 24 years old then, extremely immature, and had no clue
how to take care of myself; spiritually, emotionally, and least of all
physically. The winter before I found OA, I was sick, constantly
ending up in emergency rooms more than once, mainly because I would
not take the time to care for myself appropriately, and became more
and more rundown. The fact that I ate very little besides sugar,
trashy carbohydrates, and grease didn't help matters. I was over 220
pounds. I'm not sure what my top weight was; I stopped looking at the
scale. I was borderline diabetic, and I have no doubt that I would be
diabetic now, if I hadn't been able to surrender my eating and will to
a higher power.
I've had my ups and downs in the program. I was abstinent and
maintained a 90+ pound weight loss for almost nine years. In that time,
I began a new career, finished my degree, and met and married a
wonderful man. But I became very complacent in my program; I stopped
going to meetings as much, didn't call my program friends much, and
didn't have a sponsor. I found out what happens when a real life
challenge comes along when we are not spiritually fit. I lost my
abstinence when I became pregnant w/ my first child, and then after
two years of struggling, was able to maintain some long term
abstinence. Two years later, I had another baby, and again found it
very hard to maintain abstinence for any length of time. For the past
year, I've been on a foodplan that has really helped me stay mostly
abstinent and mostly craving free, which is truly a miracle and a
blessing. Thank God I didn't gain backall 90 pounds from my original
weight loss 17 years ago. But, I'm older now, and those 25 pounds
that are left from my relapse are coming off slowly. I have learned
to let God be in charge of my weight, and that's where a daily program
of working the steps comes in. Even more importantly, I've learned
what it means to put my program and my abstinence first, which is the
foundation of any long-term recovery. It is a mindset and a way of
living that I am willing to commit to today, because I now understand
it's really not that difficult. And I know in my soul how truly
miserable the alternative can be. It is just a matter of being
willing to make that phone call, or even just stop and sit down,
instead of taking that bite. Really.
Today, I'm married with two young children and I work full time. I
volunteer a lot at my childrens' schools, and have a very full, rich
life. There is *no way* I could be on the path I'm on now, if it
weren't for the tools for living which I've developed through working
these 12 steps, and relying on my HP for everything I need.
Love in Recovery,
~ FROM OUR RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~
~ Saying Farewell ~
This is Mary; I am leaving my Trusted Servant positions and active
participation in the Recovery Group. I am moving on August 3/4 and not
taking my computer. The building I am living in is infested, and even
spraying the computer and putting it in bags would not get rid of the
bugs. I will be checking in at the web sites. I will be going no mail
and cancelling my ISP on July 20, since my billing cycle starts on
July 21. I will have access through a friend's computer for four hours
a day. My friend moved into the building where I will be moving, on
Friday. Before she moved, she would come up and be on my computer for
four hours and when I move, we will reverse it. I have appreciated all
the help, support and friendships I have made along the way. I will be
back. A friend is having her ex look for a used computer for me. He
knows where to look for free. I will also be saving for one.
Sending everyone the very best; I will miss you.
Mary in Albany, NY
~ RECOVERY WRITERS' SERIES ~
~ Recovery Inspirations ~
During the first quarter of this year, our monthly Writers' Series had
the joy of sharing selections from the Reflections on Recovery series.
As the seasons turn, we invite you to join us as we switch our focus
inward and begin to explore our relationships with ourselves. Over the
next three months we will be focusing on "Ten Ways to Love Ourselves",
a collection of writings in which a fellow TRG member shares her
thoughts on "The Power Is Within You", a book by Louise Hay. This
month's selection begins at the beginning with "Day One, Criticism."
(Note: if you wish to read the remaining Reflections, the entire
collection of articles can be found at:
~ Ten Ways To Love Ourselves~
Dear Friends on the Journey,
My name is Mari. I am a compulsive overeater who is grateful to be in
recovery. And I am trying very hard to love myself ... because I know
if I can't love me .... I can't love others.
Yesterday I told you about spending the next ten days talking about
how to love ourselves. And why that is so difficult to do. Several
months ago, I saw an anonymous piece on this subject and it helped.
There were ten ways to love ourselves...actually ten things to do to
help *teach* us to love ourselves.
I've always believed that love is, or it isn't. But in the case of
loving oneself, I believe we are going to have to LEARN to do that. At
least I am. It just didn't come automatically. I suspect the same
thing is true for many of you, also.
I hope over the next ten days, we can each practice these exercises
and love ourselves a little more ten days from now than we do today.
~ STOP ALL CRITICISM ~
CRITICISM NEVER CHANGES A THING.
Beginning right now, let us think back to when we were very small. Is
it possible that as children we were criticized? Maybe it was
unintentionally ... but could our parents have sent us the message
that perhaps we weren't quite "measuring up" to their expectations?
REFUSE TO CRITICIZE YOURSELF.
ACCEPT YOURSELF EXACTLY AS YOU ARE.
WHEN YOU CRITICIZE YOURSELF,
YOUR CHANGES ARE NEGATIVE.
WHEN YOU APPROVE OF YOURSELF,
YOUR CHANGES ARE POSITIVE.
For me this is true. Some of my earliest memories of childhood are
those in which I was criticized by my parents; mainly my father ...
although my mother sent many signals out with that "look" ... that
raised eyebrow ... She just didn't verbalize it as much as my father.
He was cruel, my father. Abusive. He wasn't a very nice man. But he
was my father and I thought all fathers were like that. I remember
being down on my knees as a little girl with him standing over me as I
polished the brass plates on the floor of our doorways. It was NEVER
good enough. I might polish and polish but it was just not ever shiny
enough. And then the criticism would start. The verbal abuse. The
temper. And finally the rage.
"Anything worth doing is worth doing right." I must have listened to
him tell me that at least ten times a day. "Can't you do *anything*
right?" "Get back in there .... and this time, God Damn It, do it the
way you were supposed to have done it the first time!!!!" By that
time, I would have done anything. I was petrified of his temper. I
was cringing. Whimpering. And down on the floor I would go once
again ... and this time I did it right. And the brass shone. And was
And the message that was sent to the tape recorder in the head of the
little girl who was me, by my father, who was supposed to nurture me
and love me was that "You are no damn good."
Do you know that I never once in all the years I lived with him heard
him remark to me, or about me, that there was something that I did
well? If he thought it, he never verbalized it.
Isn't that remarkable?
~ REMEMBER ~
BE KIND TO YOURSELF. BE GENTLE
WITH YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS.
FOR THE MORE WE CAN LOVE OURSELVES
AND THE MORE HONEST WE CAN BE WITH OUR OWN EMOTIONS,
THE FREER WE ARE TO LOVE AND GIVE JOY TO OTHERS.
Please help me
to not criticize those
I love. Please help me
not to criticize myself. The
act of criticizing is damaging.
Help me to undo the damage it
has done in the past.