An Awesome Abstinent End to an Awful Day

This morning I went to the dentist and found out the full extent of the damage my addiction to sugar has done to my teeth. I will have to have several procedures before the end of the year to save my teeth. I left that appointment with my addict voice yelling at me in my head “See? You are worthless, you have let your mouth fall apart. You used to have a good smile, now look what you’ve done.” So, I went to a meeting. It was an interesting meeting, we read a story in the big book about a teenager and her disease. I’ve realized a lot of things recently about when my disease started and when I actually knew about it (which are 2 very different times). That meeting helped to quiet things in my head a little bit. I came home, stayed busy. Cleaned, cooked (By the way, don’t ever boil Arugula alone with just salt and pepper. It’s disgusting) and reorganized my recovery space in my home. 

Today was the day I decided to return to the gym. For whatever reason, I decided that my first trip back should be into a kickboxing class. I stood at the front of the class where I always used to. Big. Mistake. I had to leave 20 min in because I nearly fainted. I was mortified. I used to lift weights 3 days a week and go to these types of classes 3 days a week and kick ass. And here I am now, unable to complete one workout. I lost it. I broke down and had a major anxiety attack in the parking lot of the gym. I’ve never quit a workout, I’ve never given up. I’m a fucking beast in the gym. At least, I used to be. I called Paula. She pointed out: “Babe, Beast mode isn’t some magic thing with a switch on and off. You have to work your way back into beast mode.” I sobbed and cried and knew she was right. I looked at the clock and realized I had just enough time to make the last 10 minutes of a meeting at the GLBT recovery center. I walked in with swollen eyes and saw lots of familiar faces greeting me  with smiles. I got to share, and immediately felt a sense of relief. 

Then, after the meeting something amazing happened that has begun to restore my belief in a higher power. This woman invited me to coffee with a few of the other girls from the meeting. I went reluctantly, not sure what to expect. I ordered coffee and sat with them, nervously sharing at first. Guess what? I was surrounded by 4 queer women in recovery. We all have different stories, we are all at different stages, but you know…I think my entire day happened so that I could need these women. So that I could be at that meeting, so that my life could change. 

My life changed a little today, just another fucking miracle of recovery. 

On my way home I realized that I was supposed to go right home after the gym to pull the chicken out of the oven that Paula had put in. I freaked out…had all these horrible thoughts about my house burning down running through my head. I called one of the ladies I met tonight and she helped to calm me. I got home and even though that chicken had been in the over for over 3 hours, it was not altogether inedible. I had an abstinent dinner despite the whole drama. Another blessing from some power greater than myself.

Today I am so thankful so many things:

1) Thus far in my life, I haven’t struggled with any other addiction issues besides cigarettes and I have been cigarette free for almost 1 year and 8 months. 

2) My beginning steps into recovery are happening NOW when I’m 28 (29 next month) instead of many years and many lbs down the road when it just gets harder. 

3) I have faith that this program can work, and have so far been allowed to find the strength somewhere outside myself to take the steps to recovery.

4) I am abstinent. I am not perfect, but I do not have to be. 

5) I am finding my spirit. Even through all the anger I feel, I can find serenity. If I simply sit in my anxiety and anger long enough to let it pass, serenity and hope are on the other side. 

I am soooooo pissed most of the time right now. Paula is dealing with the brunt of it. I am so grateful to have her but I am shocked she’s still around. I am detoxing, and it is ugly. BUT….then I have a night like tonight and I realize what it’s all for. 

 

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The Truth about my Compulsive Eating

I have a lot of stories to share. I have a lot of writing to do. Most of this writing will be done privately as I am sure none of you care to go down into the trenches with me and dig through the muck. I do however, need to share some things. Not only in an effort to be honest and forthcoming regarding my disease but also because I know there are those people out there who have read my writing all along feeling the feelings I have felt. I made a promise all those years ago that I would share this journey so that others would know they are not alone. I am keeping that promise regardless of how hard it is to write. Please, excuse yourself now if you don’t want to read about the difficulty of my journey. Because, from here on out I’m excluding disclaimers. I am going to write what I am feeling, how I am using my tools of recovery to deal with the feelings and what my life looks like really. 

The First Step of Overeater’s Anonymous says: We admitted that we were powerless over food—that our lives had become unmanageable.

I have made that admission to myself and to others.

So, for now I am simply going to share the things I wrote in honesty to my sponsor today that have assisted me in developing a healthy eating plan.

1)    My personal binge foods as of today. I choose not to eat these foods as they lead to compulsive overeating and therefore a break in the commitment I have made to abstain:

a)    Pizza

b)    Bread (white, wheat, hamburger/hotdog buns, sourdough, excl rice breads)

c)    Crackers, chips, all other dippable carbohydrates.

d)    Sugar (in all of it’s many forms),

e)    Peanut/almond butter,

f)     Popcorn,

g)    Cold cereal,

h)    Cream cheese. 

2)    Compulsive behaviors- I choose not to participate in these behaviors as they lead to compulsive overeating and horrible feelings:

  1. Drive thru windows,
  2. Buffets,
  3. Walgreens/cvs/or convenient store snacking,
  4. Eating in the car,
  5. Eating while watching television,
  6. “Let me try a bite of that”,
  7. Eating too quickly,
  8. Hiding what I’ve eaten. 

The last behavior I have to confess is something I haven’t ever shared with anyone besides my OA group members. Along with compulsive overeating, I am also a bulimic, purging excess food by vomiting, laxatives, and starvation. 

So, there it is out in the open. These are simply the foods and behaviors. I have only just begun to dig into the emotions and situations that cause them. I am working on the 12-Steps to Recovery one at a time, starting with step one. 

New Steps to Recovery

I have mentioned my addiction to food. I have mentioned my prior abstinence from sugar. I mentioned how I longed for recovery. I begged for support, I cried every night. But, I did ALL of this without actually committing to the OA program. I thought the 12 step meetings were full of enablers sitting around talking about why they hadn’t succeeded that week. I thought I was better than that. I could find recovery on my own. In my own way. Certainly I was strong enough. I had lost over 100 lbs already, I don’t need stupid meetings to tell me how to fix the problem. The answer was simple, I just had to stop eating. I just had to stop obsessing over food. So, I posted blogs and facebook posts and everyone gave their support. I tried time after time and FAILED because, well frankly my will-power and my devotion to the process don’t mean CRAP unless I actually get INVOLVED with the solution. I am one of the lucky ones in that I kept getting back up each time I failed. I never again let the disease fully take over my life without recognizing it or seeking resolution. 

One day last month, I decided enough was enough and why not just try a damn meeting already? I’ve now been attending at least 5 meetings a week for a little over a month. Every meeting, every share session, every literature reading brought me new enlightenment and new feelings. Finally, on Thursday 7/18/2013 I met with a sponsor and decided that I will fully embark on my journey to recovery from compulsive overeating USING the program instead of just my own will. I accepted that I cannot do this alone. I am seeking spiritual enlightenment. I am searching for my faith. I want to believe a higher power exists, and until I do I am just going to set upon this journey “as if” it does. I will begin writing again, I will try hard to stop isolating, I will stick to a food plan my sponsor and I agreed upon, I will abstain from my individual binge foods, I will go to meetings, I will do service, I WILL FIND RECOVERY. There is just no other option. I cannot continue to live the way I have been living. 

Abstinence is clarity and meaningful life.

Compulsive behaviors will kill me. 

I choose life.