STEP TEN

Continued to take personal inventory and
when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.







Essay

Week 10 - Hello again! Woow, I had quite a scare! My computer crashed but it has recovered and I'm able to send out this week's study for you. Guess I better back this puppy up and get someone to take a look at it. But for now, here's your work for this week. Blessings!

This week we will be looking at The Family Afterwards and To the Employer. Again, do the exercise of crossing out the alcohol/alcoholic and replacing it with food addict, coe, etc/food, binge foods, etc on your first pass. Then go back a second time and highlight what you relate to.

Let's look at some of the high points of these two chapters.

On page 122, it sounds like the whole family is affected by the alcoholic. I know for me this is very true. My husband, David, has only known me food sober. He is affected by my behavior. I remember one night we were having a discussion, and I suddenly became aware of my tone. I sounded like I needed an exorcism, rather than the loving wife of a very considerate man. I stopped and said to him, "Look, I don't like how I'm speaking to you, I'm sorry and I'll change that right now." You'd have thought his teeth would fall out, his mouth gaped so widely!

But I tell you that because now, he listens to himself too, and occasionally will reciprocate with similar words, if he's being a little snappy, know what I mean? So we are all affected, not only by food addiction but by abstinent behavior!

Says on page 122 that living with us makes our whole family neurotic! That's not going to heal overnight. On page 125, we see that there are no secrets, either. We all know one another's business in OA - we listen to one another's inventory and muust guard against gossip. Further down, we see that it is better to relate our own intimate information if we want to but not to divulge others.

Look at page 126 - see hoow we've damaged our families? They've been neglected while we were face first in a pizza. They may expect us to act a certain way now which leads to resentments. Again on page 127, more reminders that we were largely to blame for the troubles in our homes. On page 128, we see how the family reacts to our sudden spirituality – that can be very scary for a family who isn't God-fearing.

On page 130, we read about more changes and the effect on families. Our spouse or partner may not really like it when we start acting responsibly again. But the whole transition for the food addict and the family is a give and take proposition. Everyone is affected and will react in their own way.

On page 132, it says we are not a glum lot! Wahoo! Newcomers are attracted to us when we are light hearted and having a good time. What is appealing about someone who looks like their sucking lemons? No matter how much physical recovery you've acquired, if you look and sound miserable, you are not attractive. You may also have health problems for quite a while as you lose weight, it indicates on page 133. And also, here's reference to getting emotional help if you need it.

You know, I was abstinent about 4 weeks when my long term memory came back and I remembered why I started eating like that in the first place. I sought help and was in therapy for my first five years in recovery. And I am so grateful that I had this opportunity. My recovery is very solid today for having healed emotionally too. But it also says we rarely listen to the doctors. So, don't waste their time or yours. If you get help, be prepared to follow the doctor's advice.

Now on the top of page 134, this is just for alcoholics, not you. Skip that part about eating chocolates! See, that's why so many AA's end up in our rooms! They push another drug in there! Only kidding.

Also on page 134 the big "S" word is addressed - sex. Don't be surprised if it takes a while for your libido to return.

Some thoughts from this chapter:

Do you see how your behavior while in the food had an effect on your family?

Are you practicing the principles in all your affairs at home too?

Do you feel comfortable seeing help for emotional upheavals if you need it?

And no, we don't want to know any intimate details about your sex life! So journal those privately, okey dokey? Thanks!

Now let's look at Chapter 10 - To Employers

Yes, we had an effect on our co-workers and bosses too. This chapter will give you a look at it from the boss's perspective, having us on the payroll. On page 136 is the worse case scenario, the employee who commits suicide. We do that. This is a life threatening disease - we kill ourselves slowly with food.

On page 137, we see that many of us have special abilities, and an employer will keep us on way past when we should have been fired. But more important, I have come to believe that addicts are very talented people - our deficit in food control is often offset by strrong artistic or other talents.

On page 138, you'll see that not everyone has an understanding of what we are like or want to help us. On page 139, we see that there is a natural annoyance with us. No wonder - we are not soo productive at work when our focus is on food, food and more food. And there we see another reference to our brilliance, fast thinking, imagination and like-ability. Yes, we are special alright!

On page 140, we see more reference to our differences from "normal" eaters. We hide the evidence of our overeating - bags under the car seat, in our desk drawers, you know all the sneaking around! On page 141, it talks about some of us even getting fired from jobs!

When I was 19, my first husband got sent overseas on a temporary military assignment. I moved home with my parents and acquired a job in a caramel corn shop, who also hand dipped chocolates. Can you imagine, they told me to eat whatever I wanted because I'd get sick of it! Maybe a normal eater would have, but not me. I never did get sick of that stuff! Three months later, the apologetically let me go, saying that I was a nice girl but they hadn't made a penny of profit since I came on board. How awful that was for me. When my husband had left, his little wife was a size ten and he came home three months later to a size 18 wife, my first trip over 200 lbs. We went through this many times during our marriage - he'd leave and never know what II'd look like when he returned. I could gain and lose 50 to 100 pounds in a very short time.

Just try to read this chapter objectively, as your employer would read it about you. Look at the bottom of page 147, where the jr. executive approaches his employee and asks if he wants to stop overeating or not? Wow. Have you ever gently and lovingly approached another overeater and ask to be helpful? It is a hard thing to do and on the receiving end, surely feels like a slap in the face, but sometimes we love each other to death in the rooms of OA.

And on page 149, we are referenced as sick, deranged men. We are distinguished from normal people by our oddities as overeaters. But on page 150 we see that we can have a new attitude and we've been saved from a living death. Ain't that the truth?

Here are some questions from this chapter to reflect upon.

Did your overeating interfere with your ability to be a top notch employee?

How has your work performance changed since you are abstinent?

Have you ever asked another overeater if they want your help?

Next week we'll be looking at A Vision for You and then finish up with the appendices, A Spiritual Experience. I am so enjoying your beautiful insights from this step study. Everyone is blessing me! Thank you for that.





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