An update; it’s been a while since I’ve written here. I’m sorry to have neglected this online community I found so helpful in the first year of my recovery–I hope it hasn’t come across that way. There are helpful and probably unhelpful experiences in all the archives, and most of the time straight-up honesty, although I did find it hard to write on the despairing days, on the slipping days. So please feel free to take a look; it’s certainly one window into my experience, strength and hope in OA.
I may write again here, but blog-keeping has taken a back seat to writing the 4th step and using the other tools: sponsorship (I have two sponsees now!), meetings (at least 2-3/week), the telephone (I have friends and a sponsor who I actually call, it’s magic), following my food plan (breakfast, lunch, dinner, 2 snacks, 1 dessert) and, you know, living my life, which is almost too full right now.
I still have hard, off, dark days where EVERYTHING SUCKS! and I want to eat a lot of food to make it feel better, now. Or I start obsessing about the amount of food I am eating and I want it to be less and less and less. So the compulsion hasn’t gone away. But it has “lifted,” a term I’ve heard a lot in meetings and will reuse because I think it describes the experience pretty well; there is a lightness of spirit that surrounds me when I work my program and gives me that pause, that moment to confer with God and ask for the next right thought or action. When I work my program: it works if you work it.
I’ll also put a plug in for taking what you like and leaving the rest. There are aspects of program that don’t work for me today, so I let them work for other people and I let go of them. Example: day counts! I don’t count days anymore. I find it unhelpful and slightly counterintuitive to the slogan “just for today.” And in meetings I feel a franticness or competitiveness surrounding the day counts–although in some there is great humility which I envy. I’ve had slips in my current abstinence, but I am on a forward-moving path that doesn’t get to start over and try to be perfect this time. And since we decide if we are abstinent in program, I can say, “hey, progress not perfection, I’ve got some imperfect abstinence, let me do some service”–because for some meetings there are certain requirements of abstinence for service positions.
To the newcomer: go to a meeting! Keep going back. You will find a solution there–a clarity of existence you might not think possible quite yet–if you stick around and do your work.