Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dealing with resentment

When a person offended we said to ourselves, "This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done."

We avoid retaliation or argument. We wouldn't treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and everyone. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 67)

She said, "Sorry for the late notice." But I want to tell her just how sorry she really is! It feels like I'm doing more than my share already. I know I'm a "volunteer." I know I'm doing more than I should because I don't ask for help well. And I'm about to go eat in a place both for breakfast and for lunch where my ability to control and eat within my food plan will be challenged. Heck, for the second, I'm in charge of bringing the desserts! 

I heard a couple of weekends ago that courage to change the things I can means from my skin in; serenity to accept the things I can't is those things skin out. So I'm sitting here working on the skin in, planning for skin out.

I came to the 5th chapter today to find a different passage, one I need:
We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow fear. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 68)

I jumped up and left this when I realized what time it was this morning. The day went well. The restaurant had food I could eat abstinently, as did the meeting at noon. I've had a good day, and the resentments didn't drive me to the food and now basically are damped and dying.

I listened to OA speakers driving today, and one notable quote was that forgiveness means giving up our dream of a different past. Neat quote. Good day. And good night.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I am personally convinced that the basic search of every human being, from the cradle to the grave, is to find at least one other human being before whom he can stand completely naked, stripped of all pretense or defense, and trust that person not to hurt him, because that other person has stripped himself naked, too. This lifelong search can begin to end with the first A. A. encounter. (pamphlet: A Member's Eye View of Alcoholics Anonymous)
I visited last night with a woman I sponsor. The loss of her beloved cat has cast her into the depths of depression, even to entertaining suicidal thoughts. We spoke of the blessing, mixed though it may be, of actually having loved to that depth.

I had the privilege of meeting John K at the Region III Assembly/Convention this weekend in Albuquerque. His message is a powerful one, and one I will absorb again and again from the tape of that keynote address as well as from others I've found of him at the site. I liked him first as a geek willing -- no, eager -- to work with others to carry the message as addressed by the Information and Technology Committee there at Assembly, that before I knew he was the speaker that evening.

I heard him "stripped naked" and exposing my own nakedness in statements like

  • I managed to fall in every pitfall imaginable in this program and screw it up in every possible way.
  • Every diet works. For the first time. Then I've learned the way to manipulate it.
  • You're going through the hardest part over and over again when you slip and slide. It's like moving a stalled car a few feet, letting it stop, then starting to push again, then doing that again.
  • We have a weight we know we'll never let ourselves become, one that if we approach, surely we'll get control and stop. But we get a few pounds higher at a time and incrementally get to that point we would never consider reaching.
  • He talked about really seeing overeating as a disease, long after "calling" it that. We don't have to feel guilty about this any more than we would about having cancer.
  • I don't want a donut, the disease wants a donut. It just sounds like me because the disease is a good mimic.
  • Do you really believe you're powerless? We know we're powerless over a bullet in a gun. We don't flirt with that one. We don't really acknowledge that we're powerless over food. We assume we can come back and get abstinence.
  • In the small version, I am powerful, because I know I can pull myself back. But that sets me up for the next one, slip or relapse one at a time, again and again forever.
  • If you think that food might ever be an option again, when you get to a crisis and it's food or pain, food's always going to be the only option.
  • My disease is good at not only mimicking me but in doing a god impression.
  • Maybe it's time you start beating yourself up. Cut the crap.
  • Turning it over is not so much that as just getting my own will out of the way, keeping it from being an impediment. 
  • Skin in, you can change. Skin out, you can't change.
  • The steps are in order, the steps are discrete, and you do them one at a time. Eight/Nine, for instance, is not a step.
  • if I choose the easier softer way of recovery, I'm going to get the easier, softer recovery.
Connection can be tough when it's somebody who knows you from the inside out. But connection can be wonderful when it's somebody who knows you from the inside out.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Moving Boulders

The reading today in For Today talked about cleaning house inside, talked of our Higher Power removing stubborn defects I can do nothing about. The mental image I had was a family story. My grandfather was born in 1888. The summer he was 14 he spent alone, in a 40-acre field, with his assignment for the summer being to till the fallow land of Erath County, Texas. He got that 40 acres ready that summer.

He was tall, strong, an athlete -- pole vaulter -- and macho. And a few years later, as a Latin teacher among other things, he took on a school where several mature and cocky young men as students ruled the roost. They'd already driven off a couple of teachers that year before Pop took over. A field behind the school building seemed a place where team sports might redirect the young men to better pursuits, and he allowed the use of school time to clear the land for that purpose. The boys liked the project and worked hard, quickly getting it ready -- except for a large boulder they tried and tried to move and could not budge. Pop could. He picked it up and carried it to the edge of the field, and that feat sealed the deal. He could then teach them Latin and the classics, reading and arithmetic, and whatever else he had on his agenda.

I can't. God can. Thank God!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Little Foxes

Consider Song of Solomon 2:15. At our OA meeting today, Joan quoted a favorite sermon she'd heard based on this verse, directing us to catch the little foxes that ruin the vineyard. This, in the context of the Tenth Step, makes a world of sense. It's the little foxes, darting here and there, bedeviling us, seemingly just a nuisance, until they take over and destroy the blooms in the vineyard of our recovery. Neat scripture. I've worked on a book of reflections on Ecclesiastes. Maybe the Song of Solomon should be next. But then again, there are other possibilities. Like the Letter to Philemon?
Have a good day, free of little foxes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Snuffed Out

I really got a bang from the For Today topic today. It not only spoke to me, it YELLED at me. "Hatred is the result of not accepting the world and its people -- myself included -- as they are." Wow! Another "right-on" moment recently was last night listening to Jim P as a speaker at the Region III OA Assembly in 2004. He talked about getting up from supper and announcing, "I'm done eating." I like that. It's the part of the day I most struggle with the compulsion, tempted to report my food then add to it. So I think I'm going to start doing that. When I figure out my food for the day and know that I've gotten into the ranges set by my nutritionist, I'll announce I'm done and mean it! Then, not only will I mean it when I say it, but I'll live up to the commitment. 

Okay. I've fixed what I can eat the rest of the day, and when I finish eating this bowl's contents, I'm done eating. I can have dieter's tea or no calorie frozen ice pops, and that's it.

I went to a funeral today, a dear old lawyer. The preacher talked about his playing Devil's Advocate with the high school kids he taught in Sunday school. Neat picture. And neat idea as it relates to recovery. The term, of course, comes from the person in the Catholic church arguing against sainthood for a person being considered. But the things said are outrageous. And that's okay. God can take it. 

Okay. It's a rambling post, but it's a post. And the title? It's also from the For Today reading. If I don't work the program, everything I value is snuffed out.

I'm done eating.