How are your amends going? It might take you longer than a week to get through them. Just keep doing them as you can but these last three steps is where I started really LIVING my recovery.
We ended our study last week with those beautiful ninth step promises on page 83 and 84. "We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves." I don't know how suddenly it was for me but I do know that I was aware that for the first time in my "dieting career", I was not gaining back all the weight I had lost. I weighed in excess of 248 pounds when I came to Overeaters Anonymous. I was in recovery about a year, lost the majority of the excess weight and knew that it was the first time I had ever stayed on a "diet' for a whole year. Something was different this time. It was the God factor!
And then I arrived at step ten which said that I was going to be able to correct new mistakes as I went along. Man, was that nice. I no longer was a mistake - I was human and able to set right my wrongs. All that stuff I ate over, I now was being offered an opportunity to do it differently. Pizza no longer had to be a solution. Read through from right past the promises on page 84 to the bottom of page 85 to see more about step ten.
Notice it says that this is not an overnight matter, and that we are going to be doing this for our lifetime. This has turned out to be a beautiful experience for me. Here's how I look at it. I was 43 when I came to OA, that means for 16,000 days (isn't that amazing? I was alive 16,000 days when I came to Overeaters Anonymous), I practiced living life as an addict. I got really good at it. So you can bet that it isn't an overnight matter to reverse 16,000 days of reinforcing habits.
Now I'm abstinent 5,383 days or only 30% of the time I took to become that woman of substance abuse. Which do you think I am better at? The 16,000 days, of course! I did them longer! So I have a lot of compassion for myself. I don't beat myself up for not being "perfect'. You know what my sponsor told me? That the synonym for perfect is BORING! Now I may be many things but boring just ain't one of them. And I'm sure not perfect either.
This part of the big book says that I can stop fighting anybody, anything and food. It says that I'll seldom be interested in food/binges/overeating. It says that I'll recoil as if a hot flame. And I do. My life today is so wonderful that I don't look at overeating as an option any more. When does that happen? When does the abstinence feel better than the excess food? I cannot answer that for you and I'm not sure when it actually started to happen for me too, but it sure is nice when it does.
I am acting sanely and normally today. I have this new attitude toward food that is suggested on the top of page 85. All that effort I put into dieting and I never really got a new attitude toward food like I have in recovery. The problem has been removed for me. And I say this without cockiness or fear.
Okay, here's the clincher - this is a daily reprieve, based on my spiritual condition. Let me tell you something - I think that staying on a food plan is spiritual. The second I start putting food first, I no longer have a contact with the God of my understanding. My job today is to be of maximum service to God and my fellows. Hard to do that when I'm zoned out on food.
On the bottom of page 85 come what I like to call a tenth step promise, God Consciousness or a sixth sense. I love having this God Consciousness. But it takes a lot of work to keep it.
I do a daily tenth step I actually got it on pages 86 through 88. There are some great questions on in there. I combine it with the tools, like a check list. I'll tell you what, if you want a copy of my tenth step, email me privately, okay?
To recap, let's try to answer a few questions:
Have you entered into the world of the Spirit? What does that mean to you?
Are you still fighting anything or anyone? Are you willing to let go of that?
Has the food problem been removed for you?
What disciplines make up your spiritual program of action?
Are you cured?
Thanks for all your hard work so far and it's an honor to read your shares. Keep that abstinence first, okay? Absoulutely.