STEP TWO, PART 2
My name is Shlomo and I am a food addict and a compulsive overeater.
I think that some words I am using should be defined, so that we
understand each other better.
Insanity: Big Book - The peculiar mental state food addicts get into
before the first bite of trigger foods.
Obsession: To fill the mind continually. To preoccupy or haunt to the exclusion of contrary ideas.
Powerless (over food): Big Book - Cannot eat trigger foods as the
result of an allergy (abnormal reaction) manifested by craving, and
cannot stop (or stay stopped) as the result of a mental obsession.
Sanity: from "sanitas" (whole). Mental health. The tendency to avoid extreme views.
Craving: An overpowering desire. (Big Book - after starting to
eat trigger foods.)
In this post let us give our attention to the part of step two that
says "restore us to sanity." We will return to the first part of
this step in a later post.
After the concept of a power greater than ourselves, this was my
second stumbling block. I thought sanity was the opposite of insane as in berserk, or totally and irretrievably mad, or nuts. But that is not what is meant here.
The insanity referred to in the Big Book, is my obsession with food
which makes me believe a lie that I can eat like any other person,
and therefore I act on that lie and begin eating trigger foods again
and again, even after I have been clean of triggers for quite
some time, and don't crave them.
Insanity is repeating the same act again and again and expecting
different unreal results, which is what I do when I start eating
Insanity is believing in a lie contrary to the evidence of my life,
and acting on it.
Therefore in the Big Book insanity equals obsession, and sanity
means freedom of the obsession.
Here are some quotes:
" ... there was always the curious mental phenomenon that parallel with
our sound reasoning there inevitably ran some insanely trivial excuse
for taking the first bite of a trigger substance. Our sound reasoning
failed to hold us in check. The insane idea won out. Next day we
would ask ourselves, in all earnestness and sincerity, how it could
have happened." BB page 37.
"However intelligent we may have been in other respects, where food
has been involved, we were strangely insane." BB page 38.
The insanity referred to in the Big Book is definitely not what I do
under the influence of a chemical substance (my trigger substance).
It is not what people do under the influence of their drug of choice.
It is the act of taking the first bite while not under the influence
of cravings, but under the influence of my mental obsession.
I definitely want to be restored to sanity, i.e., to be free of
my obsession with food, since if I were free of the obsession I could
stop eating my triggers and not want to eat them.
Can you visualize such a state of affairs of not even wanting to eat
I never could, and I never could understand it. How can a person such as my wife be satisfied with a small piece of chocolate and not want more, or a small piece of cake, or a very small portion of ice cream, or two potato chips?
In my twisted thinking I thought something was wrong with her.
I could also stop sometimes like she did, but never because I was
satisfied. It was only because I struggled to stop, and I always lost the struggle eventually.
Not being able to stop eating without a struggle after I began,
was not my insanity. It was the manifestation of my physical
SUBJECTS FOR SHARING:
1. Read the Jay-walker story in the Big Book, third edition, pages
Do you find that the illustration fits you if you substitute
compulsive eating for jay-walking?
Share on how the insanity of your obsession with food affected your
life, and manifested in your feelings, thoughts and actions before
2. Sometimes we change obsessions, or add obsessions, and thus our
insanity, manifests in other areas as well.
Did this happen to you? If it did share about it.
3. Was your obsession ever removed after joining program?
If yes, than what were the actions that led to the removal of your obsession?
4. Can you imagine your life without your obsessions?
Try to describe such a life. How do you suppose will your actions, feelings, and thoughts be different?
If you already have such a life, describe it too.
Have a nice day.