Saturday, November 29, 2008

Seeking recovery

When I first found SLAA I wanted to end the pain of my obsessional behavior, but I don't believe I honestly wanted recovery. I wanted to feel better about myself, but I kept turning to the disease in search of the only source of "feel good" I'd had in a long time. I had no foundation at that point to have faith in anything, even though the promises recovery offered sure sounded good.

I did come to believe, after the insanity continued, that it was going to take something bigger than me, bigger than any human power to save me. But, I wanted to be rescued from my insane behavior, not work for it. I had made a lot of half-hearted attempts at turning my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood God. But I was scared to death to surrender that illusion of control. I was seeking a self-made solution, but I had not been willing to follow the path to recovery as outlined in the AA Big Book and our SLAA text. I just wanted the source of that recovery to "appear" in my life and rescue me. I spent a lot of time in this particular phase -- thinking that if I just showed up that was going to be enough, that eventually the recovery would show up and I'd embrace it. And it's true that the fact that I just kept coming back did eventually get me to look around and say, "OK, all these other people are getting it ... what's going on with you?" And when I did that I began to truly seek recovery, rather than wait for it to find me.

The word seek means "To try to locate or discover; search for; To endeavor to obtain or reach; To go to or toward; To inquire for; request." The bottom line of all of those is some form of effort on my part. Seek doesn't mean to sit still and wait for it to land in my lap. One definition of recovery is "restoration from a condition of misfortune." Before I surrendered my will and my life absolutely, I wanted someone to just give me that restoration, so I could go on about my life. I was seeking serenity, a lifting of my desire to act out, great relationships and all the things that recovery offered, but I didn't have the willingness to work for them. After all, wasn't I entitled? I had been horribly victimized as a child, and my acting out was all about me trying to deal with that.

I heard something today that described my condition then: "Doing the right thing brought momentary happiness, but it was not enough to sustain me." I can stop acting out, but that's not enough. There's more. What?!? More. Isn't that enough? Withdrawal and avoiding relapses was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life! There's MORE???

Just as I have to eat three meals a day to keep up my energy; just as I can't exercise once a week and expect to lose two pounds; just as I can't read a single chapter of a book and expect to know its contents, seeking the path to recovery means working a diligent program of recovery throughout the day every day. It means building a foundation of faith by seeking a relationship and intimacy with myself and my Higher Power, not just once a week when I sit down to do step work, but through regular prayer and meditation -- improving my conscious contact. It means learning the tools that work for me and using them consistently, not just once but again and again and again, even if it makes me want to vomit.

Today I am seeking recovery not only because I want the restoration, the peace, joy and freedom it offers, but because I have surrendered my fallible ways and need to know what steps to take in an onward direction. It took every step I have taken to get here, and it will take one step at a time to go forward. I'm simply thankful that I can clearly see the direction is forward, because I am doing the work offered by my Higher Power to propel me ahead. The path is outlined in many texts including the AA Big Book, the SLAA Text and any number of religious and spiritual volumes. There are many people in my life and in the 12-step rooms who are willing to help direct and guide me and you. All we have to do is seek it.

Thanks for listening and being a part of my journey.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I just finished my semi-weekly session with my therapist. I'm beginning to wonder if I should just call each session the great enlightment.

Today we talked about this troublesome feeling I'm having regarding my difficulty balancing my need to do recovery work and my need to live my life by way of keeping up with day to day chores and responsibilities.

I described to her a conflict I had with the hubby this morning in which he criticized me for doing so much work on myself, trying to help others, but not being able to get three simple "responsible" tasks finished yesterday.

She reiterated the story to me in her own words, and in a flash I could see that this conflict is a misperception rather than a reality, and that the misperception is coming from my addictive black and white thinking. I have some idea that I have to do EVERYTHING in recovery and do it perfectly in order to get it to "work," even if that means setting aside my whole life.

She explained that recovery is a place of gray, where I learn to integrate the black and the white and do the next right thing. Shifting my responsibilities as a member of the human race -- things like housework, paying the bills, walking and feeding my dog, taking care of myself, in order to try to do every single thing that has ever been written in a recovery book perfectly is not recovering, it's obsessing and it's not healthy. Neither is incessantly ill-planned use of my indiscriminate time a wise recovery choice. Doing the next "right" thing means spending set amounts of time nurturing my relationship with myself and my Higher Power, then setting about the progress oof meeting my assigned responsibilities first, followed by doing the things that are required, but without a designated time. This last category of time -- non-designated, is the area where I feel I most need to set boundaries.

I was really reminded in my discussions with my therapist of the value of practicing mindfulness. Things like planning my day by setting goals and boundaries (a to do list with time boundaries), focusing on my recovery program before I ever leave the driveway or sit down at the computer, are great tools for having a more productive, less compulsive day.

All that said, I'm off to pick up my dog from the groomer and get busy with a number of chores around the house. I owe my new sponsor some answers to some questions she asked, and I'll designate an hour this afternoon to answering those, and another hour to doing recovery work via sponsorship and service to my recovery program.

I'm thankful today to have began the day by turning my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand God, and for being willing to feel the feelings of frustration and disappointment with myself and my progress in recovery. It opened the door for some valuable lessons as I walked in to see my therapist this morning and as I take each step of this day.

Monday, November 24, 2008


As I was walking Saturday, I had a profound insight regarding the value of my feelings. My feelings, I realized, are merely glimpses that I am alive. They are not to be feared, or shunned, but rather to be cherished. Out of habit and disease, I have walked around so cut off from the vast majority of my feelings. Feeling is one of my most unique characteristics as a human being, a valued part of my human existence. Being able to recognize that is monumental.

Regardless of this awakening, I can't suddenly "start feeling" just because I have accepted that feeling is OK. I have to work to change old habits, to continually become more mindful. I have been working recently on focusing on the present, of being aware that I have never lived this moment before and will never live it again. So many of the last years, and perhaps all my life, I have lived with my mind focused on the past or projecting into the future, saddened and scared, but reeling in the need to RUN! fast too escape any consequences. It takes practice to even bring myself to the present moment, to put away all those thoughts and the noise that runs like a soundtrack in my mind. However, when I am present, I am feeling the value of being still and being quiet. When I do this, I feel much closer to my Higher Power, much more in tune with the process of listening to the "still, quiet voice." This state of consciousness makes practicing the Third Step much easier.

Another realization I experienced as a result of opening my heart and mind to my Higher Power relates to the work I am doing on the Sixth Step. I had been sort of freaking out at the concept of being rid of all my character defects
and this morning it occurred to me the step says, "Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character." It doesn't say, "Get rid of all your character defects." I know from experience that the god of my understanding has his own timing. I have lessons yet to learn, work left to do, but all this step asks is that I be "entirely ready." It's most certainly true that I don't want to live with the defects of greed, fear, dishonesty and more. I see the destruction they have caused in my life and I'm willing to do the work of the Sixth Step to move from uncertainty to being "entirely ready" to have GOD, not me, remove my defects of character.

Both of these "awakenings" came during my morning walk with my dog. I have come to see this time as a great opportunity to connect to my inner being and Higher Power. In the process of breathing in deep breaths of the fresh morning air, feeling the sun rise above me or the cold wind on my face, I feel alive and open. One of my first sponsors in the SLAA program was a man of Cherokee heritage. He encouraged me to go outside to pray and I found his suggestion to be incredibly useful. It has helped me not only believe that there is a living energy that is a power greater than myself, but also to feel that energy within and surrounding me. The more connected I am to that power, the more safe I feel to experience and explore my feelings without searching for coping mechanisms.

Friday, November 21, 2008

In place

Every city has them, one of those suburbs where all the people look like they've stepped out of a prim and proper machine. You know, the kind where the most underdressed person is wearing designer jeans and suede flats, along with a blouse that looks as if it is fresh from dry cleaner after having been worn for the first time last week. The kind where women sit with their backs erect and place little pieces of lettuce into "on the side" dressing, then bring it to their perfectly pink lips. I'm sitting at a cafe in one such place. Needless to say, my brown sweat pants and thermal undershirt are a little out of place, as is my oversized body and face without makeup. But that's OK, because Esperanza is here, smiling at me, knowing that I'll talk to her a bit, even though we struggle to communicate in each of our native languages.

This particular suburb is knowing for its conservative attitudes and multitude of churches. It is filled with suburban mothers who carry their children to preppy cafes with WiFi access and force their equally preppy, glossy husbands with plenty of hair product to meet them for lunch, so that they can be gophers and bus boys and show their abilities as fathers.

Perhaps I'm judgmental of places like this because I secretly want to be one of these prissy people. Or perhaps I am observant because I'm thankful that I have no desire to be like them.

Either way, I identify more with Esperanza, who cleans the tables and smiles pleasantly, feeling different than the rest, but in some way happy to be here, watching.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanksgiving terror

As I stepped out into the cold, crisp midwestern air tonight, bound for a short evening walk with my dog, I heard a car engine start across the street, and as I walked forward I saw its lights come on. It was a white car, and the shape of the headlights looked familiar. Immediately I was struck with a flashback of terror, of the many days while living in another state -- literally and figuratively -- I walked outside my house feeling dread, fear and a state of panic. I would look around at every car, and wait for a figure to step out of the shadows, drunk and ready to fight, ready to reveal my secrets and ruin my life.

I have not felt that fear in a long time, but I cannot forget it. It was a fear that rose up in my chest on Thanksgiving morning two years ago when R. sent me a text message before 6 a.m., telling me if I didn't come and get my "shit" from his apartment, that he was going to bring it to my house and I could explain where it came from. I was terrified, knowing he was drunk and capable of anything. I was still living under the delusion that I loved him and that he loved me. In fact, I lived under the spell for four more months -- lay in his arms as my husband got the call that his mother was dead, made myself sick with worry that he would kill himself, lost myself in the insanity of fear that I might hurt him if I said goodbye.

Tonight's headlights were just the neighbor, but they were a grim reminder that lurking in the shadows are many hidden secrets that still could rise up to haunt me, to take away this marriage that is finally beginning to come together.

I heard someone say at a meeting earlier this evening that his sobriety was the most important thing in the world to him. It was the first time I actually nodded my head and agreed. Without my sobriety, I have nothing, I risk everything.

In the past few months a couple of newcomers to the program asked me if it couldn't be possible that in their own cases that the love between them and their qualifier was real. Who am I to judge? I don't know. I can only speak for myself, and what I know is that my "love" for R. felt like the most real thing I'd ever experienced. In hindsight, in sobriety, I can see it was the scariest, most terrifying experience of my life. I was willing to risk my marriage, my self-respect, and all my dignity, to please his never ending need for love and acceptance. More than all my dozens of careless sexcapades, losing myself in my cunning, baffling and powerful addiction to this man was the most dangerous risk I ever took. Walking away alive with my mind even slightly intact is a miracle I can only credit to my Higher Power.

Deeper and deeper

I went to see my therapist yesterday after a five-week hiatus. I needed some time to absorb all that's been coming at me. She is so on point with so many things Yesterday I mentioned something about my husband working 13 hours and all weekend last week, and she asked if that was seasonal or if it was common. I expressed that he does have a problem with giving excessive amounts of time and attention to work and her eyes lit up. She gave me a list of characteristics of partners of workaholics. So many of them were dead on. She said it is important as I recover from all my "sickness" that it's important to know what all of it is.

I also talked with her about my fears of giving up dishonesty and how dishonesty has played a role in setting boundaries. I explained that I can set boundaries, but then I have come to find that I just lie about whether I kept them or not so I don't really value the boundaries. For example, if I set a timer to regulate how long I'm at the computer, the timer goes off and I just ignore it. The nutritionist says write down all your food, but I leave off the candy bar I ate. My husband asks did you go to the gym, and I say yes, even though I didn't darken the door. All of this is to my detriment, but I seem to be programmed to try to get away with things. My sixth step is where I'm supposed to become "entirely ready" to let go of my defects of character. I'm not feeling half ready, much less entirely. And that frustrates me.

My therapist also had me read a passage on deprivation from one of Patrick Carnes' other workbooks called Facing the Shadow, and showed me the cycle between binging and purging, with not only food but behaviors as well. She said a workaholic who marries another workaholic (both hubby and I were workaholics when we were married -- then work didn't give me a high anymore so I switched to sex) might tend to go into the purge mode after some time, and that might be what's going on with my "inability" to stay focused professionally.

As I said to her ... the onion just keeps peeling.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sharing my day to day

This time last year, one of the bloggers I miss so very much, Bella at Beyond the Map, committed to writing on her blog every day for a month. I've been lax in keeping up here, but am going to make a commitment to write more often.

Even though there's been a lot of growth going on in my recovery and my life, I have not been posting. I've written about that before -- that it seems I only want to come here when things are bad. However, I think it is important that I share in good times and bad.

I have been isolating a bit from everyone as I look inward, and I suppose not showing up here is a form or isolating as well. As I unravel the web of emotions and thoughts that race through my psyche these days it almost feels like I want to keep it all inside until I sort it out and THEN share.

Of course, just as I'm experiencing even at this very minute, I know that as I write things start to become more clear to me, less confusing and less chaotic.

So, as I said, I'm going to work on coming back here more often and writing.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Doing my part

Since sharing my 5th Step with a trusted friend, I have felt myself open a more clear channel to my Higher Power. In doing so, this week I recognized a need to more thoroughly study recovery literature. I followed that "still quiet voice" into my first AA meeting on Thursday. Including that meeting, I've been to four AA meetings in the past three days.

Mind you that the AA Fellowship Club where I attended three of these meetings is less than five minutes from my house. It's been there for the full year I've lived in this house, and long before. I've never even known it was there, nor thought to darken the door of an AA room until Thursday, when that still, quiet voice said "Find it." I'm thankful to have been open and listening.

Don't misunderstand. I'm thankfully not plagued with the disease of alcoholism, though for the sake of my SLAA sobriety and my health, I do have a desire to stop drinking -- which is enough to qualify me to attend these meetings, particularly open meetings. Right now I simply need to study the 12 steps and 12 traditions and recovery literature in great depth. I need to hear the stories of recovery that I heard in those rooms where men and women have gathered for years together to read the AA Big Book and the 12&12. I need to hear from people whose sponsors have sponsored sponsors say things like, "It doesn't matter how you work the steps, you just have to do them." and "The most important step you work is the First Step."

As a result of attending these AA meetings over the past three days, I've gained a lot of insight into working my Sixth Step -- just by keeping my mouth shut and listening and applying what I learned to my SLAA program. I also heard a lot about the 9th step, and heard ESH from those who have done it. It was valuable insight, and I'm so grateful to have had access to it, to have been willing to go to any lengths to get it.

Because SLAA is a relatively new fellowship (founded in the 70s), I don't have access to multiple meetings with strong recovery, and in the SLAA meetings I do attend, the focus is often on the problem rather than the solution. I rarely even hear a person in an SLAA meeting who can say they've worked a 9th step, much less share their ESH on it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not running SLAA down, nor am I insinuiating that there aren't SLAA meetings all over the world where people are living in the solution rather than the problem. I am simply saying that those meetings are not, and have not been, in five years accessible to me. An online support group has been my lifeline to the SLAA program. I know that I am not alone. Thus I am committed to doing my part, with the strength and guidance of my Higher Power, to stay sober and continue to do service by serving as a sponsor and encourage others to join me in building a stronger culture of sobriety in our program.

Through this program, my life has been saved. I believe in it. I'll keep coming back and doing my part, because that's the only way it works for me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I am forgiven

After three long years of searching fearlessly inside myself, examining my motives, my behaviors, my resentments, my fears and my misconduct, I have completed my 4th Step, and shared it today with a trusted friend, in completion of my 5th Step.

When I finished reading the things I had written as part of my 4th Step inventory, my friend shared with me something a priest with whom he'd shared his 4th step with several years ago told him. "God is pleased that you have done this and you are forgiven."

Wow ... what powerful words. "You are forgiven."

Obviously, my friend, nor even the priest can speak for God, but the uplifting I felt in my heart told me that the words were true.

In John 1:9 of the Big Book of Christianity, it is written, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

There was so much pain, resentment, anger and misconduct, as well as recognition of the positive changes and attributes of my character in my inventory. I offered up my whole truth and took full responsibility for it.

Today is an important day. I feel the peace of forgiveness. I feel lighter and more open to be filled with the loving grace of a power greater than myself.

Thank you sweet Spirit of Life for the gift of your grace and forgiveness, and thank you dear friend for the kindness of your ear. I am truly blessed.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Women are sex addicts too

I found this article on the Fox News website, not a place I spend much time:

Sex addiction. The term conjures up visions of men addicted to pornography or unable to commit to one woman.

But the so-called disease isn't just for men. Women are sex addicts too and some experts say almost a third of people treated for sex addiction are females.

“In America, 30 percent of people coming in for treatment for sex addiction are female,” Don Serratt, director of Life Works, which offers sex-addiction treatment in the UK, told the Times of London. “They’ll come for help with alcoholism, drug addiction or depression and, in the course of treatment, the sex addiction — the root cause of the other addictions — will be uncovered."

Susan Cheever, a self-confessed sex addict and author of "Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction," said it is common for women to blur the lines between the compulsions of love and sex. “If there is a difference between sex and love addiction, I don’t know what it is,” she said. “Sometimes people say they just fall in love too frequently. Are they saying they don’t want to have sex with those people? Love addict sounds nicer for sure.”

According to the National Association of Sexual Addiction Problems, about 14 million adults are sex addicts. That’s 1 out of 17 adult Americans. But FOXSexpert Yvonne Fulbright isn't sold on the concept of addiction to sex.

"An addiction, such as to alcohol or tobacco, is a physiological dependence," Fulbright wrote in a column. "Deprived of a fix, an addict has physiological reactions, like increased heart rate or the sweats. Physiological changes take place — changes that a "sex addict" does not experience when denied sex. Thus, the addiction label is quite deceptive."

To Ms. Fulbright I offer my congratulations that she is NOT a sex addict, otherwise she would know that her statements that "sex addiction is a crock," and the following quote from the Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous' chapter on withdrawal. Anyone who has not gone through this process might find it impossible to comprehend the physiological, not to mention the gut-wrenching emotional, reactions. However, having been there myself, I attest that there is a very real emotional and physical process of withdrawal from a very real addiction that affects men and women, young and old, poor and rich, fat and skinny, powerful and powerless, gay and straight, and any other combination of humans.

This unraveling was wrenching. We found it necessary to live through withdrawal in day-at-a-time, twenty-four hour compartments. We would awaken in the morning, sometimes very early, and inwardly exclaim, "Oh God! Another day of THIS!" Sometimes we found ourselves wishing that we had died in our sleep. Regardless of how we felt, however, we asked in prayer for God's help in facing the day at hand. If we had any grievances with God, we threw those in, too. No one was trying to force us to trump up gratitude! We were striving to be "honest," not "good."

We would then embark on our day. Living alone, as many of us were at this time, even the daily rituals of bathing, clothing and feeding ourselves became very important. Just going through these ordinary tasks was an affirmation of our caring for ourselves.

We then surveyed the day. There probably were tasks we needed to attend to, whether paying the rent, doing the laundry, shopping, or going to work. Physical activity, even as basic as taking a long walk, could get us out into the day a bit. Some took up jogging, or other exercises that required greater physical effort. These helped to provide a physical sensation of tiredness which could fill the void left by the absence of sexual release, or even replace it. Contact with other S.L.A.A. members or trusted friends, perhaps members of other Twelve-Step fellowships, was helpful. Attending open A.A. or Al-Anon meetings was likely to be possible, or perhaps we were fortunate enough to have an S.L.A.A. meeting in our area. Maybe we were trying to start such a meeting, and had tasks to attend to there.

The purpose of all this was not to clutter our day with activity. Most of us needed rest and solitude just as much as we needed other tasks, personal contacts and responsibilities. We were, within ourselves, expending as much energy as most people do who hold full-time jobs and maintain active family lives. In fact, most of us were "working" far harder than we ever had before. After all, we were working at standing still, at freeing ourselves from the tentacled clasp of a frightful addiction which had driven us to such a pitch of self-destroying activity. Simply not doing it took tremendous effort. We were suspending, for the moment, our very real fears concerning the outcome of all this by attending to those tasks immediately at hand. We were living in the immediate present, and discovering that we could indeed make it through an hour, or a morning (mourning!), or a day. And we were discovering that there was a joy to be had in successfully negotiating our way through each twenty-four hour period.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Destined to numb

So I can't eat, can't have wild liasons real or imagined ... so I play Solitare to avoid, and occassionally read political blogs. I am working on finishing up some key step work. Maybe I needed to numb a bit today. Thank you God for the many ways I still have to avoid!

Monday, November 03, 2008


Today's reading in Answers in the Heart focused on my favorite topic -- honesty. One part that stood out to me was: "The more we grow, the more we develop our ability to make one choice at a time, to experience one feeling at a time, to tell the truth one situation at a time. We admit to ourselves when we feel guilty, angry, fearful, resentful -- the difficult feelings that are hard to face."

I certainly have recognized that it is important to "feel" rather than to continue to numb those feelings with sex and love addiction, but feelings do still scare me and I do find myself continuing to want to run away from them somehow, rather than get honest with myself about how I am feeling.

Most recently, I have began to face the "other place" I go to medicate when not using sex or love to avoid myself and my feelings -- that place is food. A little less than two years ago, I started working an addiction program around food and ended up relapsing in this program. Thank God I found my way back ONCE again to SLAA. But today I am doing my best to work both programs and have to admit that I'm scared. I feel lonely and empty and an overall feeling of sadness.

It seems so strange to me to mourn the loss of two things (the diseases of compulsive overeating and sex and love addiction) that I have used to hurt and injure myself in so many ways. Yet, just like surrendering dishonesty, being without these coping mechanisms that have served me for so long leaves me feeling very vulnerable and afraid.

Anyone who has known me at any level probably has understood that it is very, very difficult for me to feel vulnerable. Control and confidence feel much more comfortable to me. But those are no good if they are empty, if they are not based in reality, if they are fueled by acting out or eating to cover and soothe my feelings.

So, for today I will be honest and say that I don't feel good. I feel an emptiness in my stomach and in my heart. I want to isolate. I have no desires to act out, but I choose to be honest enough to say that I will continue to suffer until I turn to my Higher Power, not food or sex or love for comfort. I also am willing to admit that I feel scared to share these things. I am afraid of judgment and just as afraid of the intimacy required for someone to show me their genuine support. Just for today I'm facing those fears.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Some things don't make sense

I have began, once again, to face my love-hate relationship with food. It is an addiction, no doubt. I use food as a friend and isolate myself inside this body, at times treating myself to a slow, but certainly early death.

I have been willing over these years to come here to this confessional and write about the dozens of men I've met and bedded or played sex games with, about my struggles with romantic and sexual obsessions, yet somehow coming here to write about my lifelong, daily struggle with food, seems more shaming than anything I've written thus far.

I live in constant shame as my short, obese body moves about in the world. I walk into a room and search for the chair where I'll be least obtrusive, the seat where I'll fit in best. I walk into job interviews knowing that the very first thing anyone notices is my weight.

I am ashamed as I sit in restaurants, or even in my car, for other people to see me eat. I feel their eyes, filled with shame glaring with contempt, thinking things like, "Disgusting. Don't you care about yourself?"

One of my compulsions as it relates to food is drive-thrus. I literally drive down the road, after stopping at a drive-thru, hoping I don't have to stop at any traffic lights so that no one can watch me eating that burger.

Another compulsion is buying candy bars, cookies and cakes from convenience stores. Again, I eat these all in hiding. Ashamed, beyond words, buying more and and more to cover the shame, and building a larger and larger exterior that will never hide the hurt.

I have lived this way since I was a child. I am not sure I would know how to act if I weren't fat. I grew up the fat kid in school -- a compulsive overeater, my love affair with food going back as far as I can remember.

I had some fat friends for a while who I could laugh with about it. We made jokes about all the things we couldn't do. But behind those laughs was a deep pain in our hearts that each of us understood without speaking. Two of my "fat friends" have recently lost their weight. When they talk about how freeing it is to go into a "regular" store at the mall and have something fit, I yearn for that feeling. It's only plus-size shops for me, for as long as I can remember.

It is very, very painful to live like this, and when I think about powerlessness ... it's almost unimaginable how powerless I feel over the disease of compulsive overeating.

So, here I go again, joining a program at my gym with other overweight women, thrilled that mine is not the highest weight in the room, seeking to move forward in becoming wholly healthy through better food choices and regular exercise. I realize that because of my shame, I have a lot self-will. Thus, unlike times in the past, I am very aware of my need to surrender my will and my life over to a power greater than myself. And that power mustn't be the food.

I have a lot fear (which is the absence of faith), because the last time I tried to tackle my compulsive overeating issues, I had a serious relapse in my sex addiction program. This all goes back to that constant need for some form of escape. I think for a long time I used work as my escape. I don't have work to turn to now.

I know, without a doubt, that it is my Higher Power that I must turn to. God please help me. I cannot do this alone.