Sunday, January 31, 2010

Feeling the grit

I've been abstinent from sugar, drive through food, Diet Coke and graze eating for three months and 14 days. I'm feeling more feelings than I ever have. It is allowing me a deeper level of honesty with myself. Other than Solitaire, there is nothing really to soothe the emotions I don't know how to handle.

I've been cranky, resentful and overall just not in the best of moods. I'm like the recovering alcoholic whose wife says, "Would you just take a drink for God's sake? You were a lot easier to live with as a drunk." How easily we forget.

I've been fortunate that I haven't really felt much of a compulsion for sugar -- despite the fact that before I became abstinent, I was eating as many as two king sized candy bars a day, plus other kinds of desserts every chance I got. I thought it would be impossible to give it up. But one day at a time, I have simply been able to refrain from eating those things. The one binge food that has called me is Diet Coke. It's not that I drank 10 cans a day or something. But when I used to get a taste for it, I couldn't deny it -- and when I drank it, I couldn't stop drinking it, and wanted more and more to eat especially salty foods, which sparked the craving for sweets.

Recently though after taking my husband to work I saw a boy eating some candy that I really liked to binge on. For two days I couldn't stop thinking about the taste of that food, the sound those crunchy shells made in my mouth, the sound of them pouring like buttons out of the bag. I have eaten full sized bags of this candy -- intended to last an entire family a whole week -- in one setting and mourned the fact that I was at the end. On that day last week, the old call of "opportunity" to eat myself into oblivion was there unlike it had been in three months. But I was grateful that there was a new call for an opportunity to do something else -- be with myself and my God and reach out to others for help.

I went to an open meeting this morning and the speaker said she was addicted to excess. That is me. If I like something, I want it in excess. I can't get enough of it. There's never enough of anything -- whether it's food or sexual highs or romantic euphoria or attention or wins at the game of Solitaire. I'm always left feeling depressed and even emptier than when I started. The only thing that fills the need is a relationship with a power greater than myself, and if I'm honest, I never feel like I do that good enough, so I just have to keep trying, one day at a time, to deepen the relationship, and learn to rely on my Higher Power rather than my own willpower. And when I say up and Higher Power says down, I have to accept that with humility ... IF I am to feel whole.

I asked my Higher Power this morning to help me focus so I could work on my Fourth Step in my recovery from compulsive overeating. I haven't done a bit of work on it yet. I also asked if there was someone I could help, to reveal them to me and give me the willingness to help. Two opportunities presented themselves over the next hour. I did what I could and I thank my Higher Power for answering that prayer.

Sometimes living life one day at a time feels like waking up to a losing battle one more day. Other days I can look back and know that I've made more progress than I can imagine. Today I have no desire to use this computer to find some horny man who wants to meet at a coffee shop and then go to my car for a little action. I am having a little bit of obsession over a friend and know that the thoughts are obsessive in nature. Still, I'm able to reach toward recovery and know there is something more meaningful there. For that I am grateful. I don't like the way I feel today ... but I don't have to try to numb it. I know my feelings won't kill me, especially if I share them with someone else. That's enough for today.

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