Life in recovery, more on step one.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
I am working my way through the Step Guide, and continue to read and ponder Step One. I am coming to terms with my addiction. Step One; that I am powerless over from addiction to food, and my life has become unmanageable. One of the questions is how has my addiction or disease affected me. I am obese. I have type 2 diabetes, which is mostly controlled by diet, and some pretty expensive medication. Because of my chronic ailments, I have frequent doctor appointments. All of this is expensive, and I find my disposable income going toward medication and bills. Then, if you add up all the money I have spent on gadgets, bills, supplements, miracle cures and diet plans, I bet I would have enough to pay for a college education. My addiction has cost me time and money. My addiction has cost me relationships with my family. While it is not entirely my fault, as they have their addiction to contend with, I miss having a big sister who I am close with, a big brother I can depend on. I am not close to my siblings because I cannot deal with the censure from them about my weight. My addiction has become part of my personality. I am the fun host, the good cook, the one who suggests lunch dates and social outings. What will my life be like, now that food is not the focus? My addiction has cost me my faith. I am anger at God, that I have to contend with this, that this burden which has been here so very long, has not been lifted as I ask for healing. I realize now, that I have been given a gift, that as I move further in recovery, I can see how God will use my health, or lack of, my addiction and my recovery as a means to know Him further and deeper and more intimately. I have done things in my addiction that I am not proud of and that has cost my self-respect. My addiction has cost me time. I spend Hours thinking about food, planning the meals, making the lists, shopping. And then there is the actual cost of the food. My freezer and refrigerator are packed, and I get a sense of panic when the pantry gets bare. I rationalize this by saying I have to feed the family, and this is true. But I could feed a family of ten comfortably on what I have in the pantry, and freezer. Will life in recovery be different? How do I meet the demands of my family without obsessing over food? I think I will think about it once a day, when I plan and record my meals for the day. I will then eat according to the plan. I will make the list once a pay period. I will require self discipline to limit the amount of time. But I can’t do it, alone. I am powerless over the issue. I will require help from Above, and from Bailey. Once Jake and Hannah go to school in the fall, it will just be us three and Steve will eat at the daycare. We will simplify, and reduce.
Denial. The step guide states that the addiction brings us to a place where we can’t deny it anymore. NO more rationalizations, no more lies to self or others. I am at the bottom. I first realized that food was an issue when I was 12 and placed on my first diet. Thus began a life-long pattern of diet and gain, of food abnormality. The focus has always been on my size, my weight and how I don’t fit the norm of the culture, and on food. What to eat, how to eat, what not to eat, which leads to binging. What crisis has brought me to this place? My health has deteriorated to the point that I think about going on disability. My economic status is such, that I have racked up credit card debit that my credit score is so low I can’t co-sign for Jake’s student loans. And then there was the opportunity. My friend Amy had given me the step Guide last winter, and I contemplated it but it was massive and scary and I was alone. The starting of the OA group has brought me out of isolation, and I now have the time, and support to do this work. That I am at a place where I can admit that this is a spiritual, physical and cognitive problem, and that problem is that I am powerless over food. I obsess over food, I think about it, crave it and eat it in excess. I have stolen money from petty cash to feed my addiction. I have eaten in the dark, in secret. I am a compulsive over-eater.