~ CONFRONTING THE DISEASE ~
Controlled By Fear
I'll never forget the day I recognized the depths of my compulsive overeating. I saw
myself for who I am and was forced to come to terms with my disease. Feelings of fear,
panic and anxiety came over me as my stomach churned over the truth that is now the
basis for my recovery.
After a meeting, I was talking with another member about my history and struggles with
food when she awoke a truth in me that I had long denied. This truth scared me because
it fit my life so well. The obsession with food, dieting and weight only scratched the
surface. The physical, emotional and mental turmoil were insane. I had become so
self-absorbed and isolated that I barely had room for anyone else in my life.
I thought no one could understand my pain. I thought that if I could lose weight,
I would fit in, and my life would be normal. It was a lie.
I built my attitude upon my denial of fear. I was afraid of all the issues and feelings
underlying my compulsive overeating. Because I feared losing control, I tried to control
myself to death. It never occurred to me that I had lost control a long time ago.
While feeling terrified, crazy and chaotic, I continued to try fighting my disease
secretly and alone. Downplaying the obvious effects of the disease on my life,
I pushed everyone away out of fear and shame. Inside, I compared myself to everyone
around me because I feared rejection.
I started dealing with those demons from long ago and feeling the pain from my past.
My efforts to avoid feeling don't work anymore, and I am grateful for that. I have
been coming to OA for more than a year and never acknowledged the extent of my
problem until recently. This program has literally saved my life. I am learning that
it's okay to feel the pain, especially the fear, and not act on it. Today my Higher
Power is doing for me what I could not do for myself: restoring me to sanity one day
at a time.
- Reprinted from Lifeline, Volume 29, No. 10, October 2001
(Edited and reprinted from OA Awareness newsletter, AZ/Phoenix Metro Intergroup, June 1999)
~ DANNY'S CORNER ~
~ GIANT CHOCOLATE EGG ~
What is this? Another test?? It's almost 11:30 a.m. and my phone has not stopped ringing.
Started at 8 a.m. with Gramps, that as usual was such a nice present, thanks. He is a good
and spiritual man, at least I think so. The rest of the calls went down hill after him.
It's the same old cast, crying the same old tales of why me, poor me and give me. I was,
I'm sure, not too gentle with them as the answers they received were to go to You and do
as told. They won't but it gets me off the hook. Which brings me to the EGG.
An old and well meaning friend presented me with a two pound Godiva Chocolate Egg he had
received from a business associate and he is allergic to the stuff.
Not wanting to offend (sounds like a set up) I accepted the egg and into the fridge it
went. All the while thinking the grandbabies will enjoy this. Bullshit. You and I and
anyone reading this knows that. Somehow it was forgotten until I heard its lovely alto
voice singing my praises. Who could resist Godiva, Queen of Food. Once again into the
breach rode the four hundred in the form of, yes, the woman You sent to run my life.
She disposed of the EGG, whose very existence she knew was life threatening to me, and
while refusing to tell me of the manner (she does not want me to cry) in which it was
removed has spent an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom this morning. Hmmmmm.
The GOMU at work again. Thanks.
Somehow the folks who make themselves suffer so about regaining lost abstinence need to
be reminded that no substance abuser ever relapsed if they were spiritually fit. Relapse
begins not with the temptation but with the lack of humility produced by being too busy
to pray and meditate and hold out a hand to those still suffering. Relapse is a foregone
conclusion for those who do not give away that which has been so freely given to them.
How utterly selfish.
My meager resources are unable to fight this disease so Your strength is required to
do Your will as it is revealed to me today. Watch over my family, friends, fellow loopies,
those who still diet and the people I don't like. Have I told You lately that I love You.
AND WHY NOT......Danny
~ FROM THE RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~
Working the Steps (WTS)
The Working the Steps Session is going great guns. Schlomo is our leader. His guidance,
pushing and prodding is helping many of us take the next step to recovery.
I have been in OA for nearly 14 years. Until last year I never worked all the steps.
I did the 1-2-3 Waltz as Shlomo described. I started at one, continued through two and
three and never made it through 4, 5 and 6. Then I quit until another time. No wonder
my abstinence never stayed in place. I would not do whatever it takes to stay abstinent.
Last year beginning in July, I got serious about working the steps. I made a commitment
to myself to work all of them. I followed the leader, worked the 12 step program and
before I was finished my abstinence became stronger than it has ever been.
I found the promises coming true in my life. I continue to work the steps every day.
Steps 10, 11 and 12 are part of my life. The program does work. It's like we close
every OA meeting ~ "It works if you work it."
For 14 years I used the tools and wondered why abstinence eluded me. Others worked
the steps, got abstinent and stayed abstinent. When I used the tools my abstinence
was better. I would give service, I read OA approved literature, I journaled daily,
I had a food plan, I begrudgingly made phone calls, and I kept my anonymity.
It was after I began working the 12 steps with the people on this loop that I knew I
would be able to get abstinent and stay abstinent. My abstinence is now the most
important part of my life. I work hard at it. I think about it and take care of
it every day. Each morning I turn my day over to God. This includes my abstinence.
Each day my God takes care of me and my abstinence.
I do not know how this program works. I can give you no scientific reason why it works.
I can only say that, for me, working the 12 steps of OA was the most important thing
I ever did for my Recovery.
Keep working the steps. These will be the most important 12 steps you have every
taken in your life.
Yours in ESH,
~ Life In Recovery ~
This way of life I call OA,
Has changed the way I am today.
I never knew I was insane,
I'd eat and eat, which caused more pain.
Another diet? I was so leery,
Acceptance came when I grew weary.
Sick and tired of controlling the food,
Only to find, a more depressed mood.
Surrender came when I gave up the fight,
Willing to do anything, with all my might.
Am I really this awful, God? I can't accept that,
I'm not that bad, just a little bit fat.
Never feeling good enough, or being picked for the race,
Always being told, "You're so pretty in the face."
"But what about me?!?" I'd shout in my mind,
"Love all of me or none of me, I'm really quite kind."
It's not about food, OA's would say,
Share your feelings on paper, meditate, and pray.
OA has shown me love and spirituality,
And taught me the meaning of true humility.
I never knew I had a spiritual side,
Not 'til OA, took away my pride.
He comforts me with unconditional love,
And gives me guidance from above.
Negativity fades and my head is now clear,
I can get through this day, with abstinence and cheer.
Recovery to me is the ability to be,
Free from the bondage, food once had on me.
I can face the world, and enjoy the ride,
Or sit by and watch, isolate, and hide.
The choice is mine and I choose to see,
My Higher Power's gracious will for me.
. . . . . Lori L.
~ LETTING GO ~
Love in recovery,
- To let go doesn't mean to stop caring, it means I can't do it for someone else.
- To let go is not to cut myself off, it is the realization that I can't control another.
- To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
- To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
- To let go is not to try to change or blame another, I can only change myself.
- To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
- To let go is not to fix but to be supportive.
- To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
- To let go is not to be in the middle, arranging outcomes, but to allow others to
affect their own outcomes.
- To let go is not to be protective, it is to permit another to face reality.
- To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
- To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it
comes, and to cherish the moment.
- To let go is not to criticize, and regulate anyone, but to try to become what I
dream I can be.
- To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
- To let go is to fear less and love more.