Friday, April 16, 2010

unexpected response

I attended my 1st OA meeting in a month. I was going to sit quietly through the meeting learning, supporting the other more successful people, looking for a sponsor, but I was not planning on speaking. I felt to embarrassed to share with the group that I fell off the wagon again. At the last minute & on impulse I decided to let everyone know what a failure I had been. "I stopped working the 12 & 12, I fired my sponsor & never got a new one, I've never made an outreach phone call, & I fell off the wagon 2 times in the last 3 weeks. I shared how I felt I'd failed & how horrid I felt about what I'd done, what I hadn't done, & me succumbing to my addiction. I then started to say something, I don't remember what I was going to say, I just remember starting my statement, "I'm having to start all over again. I'm 2 days abstinent..." I was interrupted at that point by everyone having started clapping. I was stunned, & came to realize that they were elated that I was back and hadn't given up on myself or given in to my addiction. I realized by their reaction I shouldn't be ashamed to admit my failure. They accepted me fully no matter if I was in the middle of a massive month long binge & purge, having been abstinent for years, or back to day 2 of my abstinence. They were celebrating my return rather than being disapointed in my failure. No one was disappointed in me or what I'd done.It's great to feel acceptance for once from an addiction most people just look at as having a lack of control or having no will power. Most people look at us with eating disorders as weak willed, looking for attention, or pathetic. These people knew I wasn't weak. I don't have a self control problem. They realize I'm a person with an addiction who is trying to recover. They understand me. They support me. With that kind of support I no longer feel alone or embarrassed. So I'm back, about to finish my second day of abstinence, & I feel like I'm on top of the world! The only failure from me could of come from giving up.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Back again

On April 7th I was about to hit the 3 month mark of asbstanance. I was about to erase this blog. I felt there was no reason to blog about something I'm cured of. Just days before I hit the 3 month mark I had a day of uncontrollable binge eating. Thankfully I was back on the wagon again in less than 12 hrs. I've never recovered from a binge that quickly before. That's good news because it shows progress. OA teaches that we should strive for progress, not perfection. I showed progress because I recovered in less than 12 hrs & because I went almost 3 months without uncontrollable & destructive eating.

Fast foreword my story to today. I'm back on the wagon after a 2 day binder. Not good. Not an easy thing for me to swallow. It was particularly difficult for me because I had convinced myself that I had found a cure. That I had urges that I'd be able to ignore for the rest of my life. I'm not cured, I'm an addict. I'm addicted to food. & I'm unable to control it. Period.

I have found I use food for a lot of reasons. I use food to celebrate. I use it to deal with anger, frustration, & sadness. I especially use it when I feel like I have no control in something in my life.

I also use food to hide behind during social situations. I have social anxieties caused by PTSD. I have found I can be around people & enjoy the social situation but not have to participate in the conversations as long as my mouth was full. When I wasn't chewing I was expected to add to conversation. It's easier for me to only add to a conversation when I want to, rather than when I'm expected to. And food offers that island of safety for me.

I had progressed through the 1st 3 of the 12 steps of recovery. The 4th step is dang hard. I have to make a list of all the people I had hurt & make amends to them. I have to make a list of all the people I have negative feeling towards & what my part in that is. I also have to make a list of all my short comings & of my strengths. Sounds easy at first. Trust me it's not. I've always been a perfectionist. If I can't do something right, I just won't do it at all. And that is exactly the approach I took on the 4th step. I found it hard & wasn't sure if I could finish the step to perfection, so I stopped progressing through the steps completely.

Since I felt progressing through the 12 steps was an integral part of OA & I couldn't finish the 4th step, I stopped everything. I didn't go to meetings anymore, I stopped making out reach phone calls when I felt the desire to eat, & I got rid of my sponsor.

So tomorrow I start going back to meetings, working the 12 steps, go about finding another sponsor, & making out reach phone calls-ok, time for me to fess up, I never once made an out reach phone call. I was to proud & cowardly to ask for help. But next time I have a need to binge I'm going to try to make my 1st out reach.

Stay tuned here to see how my recovery goes. This time I know I'm an addict. I can't be cured. My addiction is something I need to learn skills to live with. My addiction is something I need to deal with on a daily basis. Everyday. I can't do this on my own. I have to work the steps, find a sponsor, follow a meal plan, & turn it over to God because this addiction is bigger than I a capable of dealing with..