The last four weeks we have been talking about driving into the ditch, or avoiding it! Today I want to talk about what makes the ditch unnecessary.
You know how, in the second blog, one of the alternatives was to pull off the road, and spend some time thinking about what went wrong?
What is it that keeps you from being really free in your food plan and your recovery program? I think that there are several issues that need to be addressed.
1) The Food Plan. Is your food plan right for you? The food plan is the FIRST step in the recovery program; after that, the step work is essential. I meet people who have been in a 12 Step recovery program for years, and they continue to struggle, and they continue to be unable to maintain abstinence, and I think often this is because they never have done the step work. You change by doing a process that helps you change. You change by getting the food out of the way and doing the work of recovery. Start stepwork as soon as you can.
2)Support. We addicts are isolationists. We want to solve the problem ourselves. We want to prove to ourselves that we are not incompetent, we have enough will power, and we are not stupid or a failure.
When you have a sinus infection, you need your doctor and your pharmacist to help you. When my car is making funny rattley noises, I need my mechanic to help me. This is not failure. This is wisdom.
When I have problems with my food, or anything else in my life that I don’t know how to handle, I need to find other people who can teach me how to do what needs to be done. We need to unhappily accept the idea that recovery is a task that is NEVER done alone, and we need to create a support group that guides and helps us.
3)Spirituality. Now don’t go all negative on me here. If you were raised as I was in a strict religion with a God who had a big black book and was comin’ to get you, it’s not surprising that you wouldn’t want to go there. And if you were raised in some other form of religion or lack of it that hurt you, I do not blame you for avoiding this.
But deep inside you, there is a healthy person. Call it the “Wise Person Within”. Call it George (or Hilda) You would not be looking at this problem if there wasn’t some part of you who knows that changes need to be made in your heart and your life. You need to take time to access that Wise Person on a daily basis. You need to get in touch with the healthy part of yourself and take quiet time on a daily basis, to look at what you need, what you want, how you can be of service to others, and what is your next step. I promise you, if you do this, you will be free of the food obsession, and very soon.
4) Doing what works for you. Everyone has their own way of living and being. You need to look at how this food obsession began, what purpose it serves in your life, and how you can be free of it.
“A diet is a period of starvation that happens right before you gain 20 pounds or more.”
“Obesity is the symptom, the cause, or the result of something else; it is essential that we find that something else and fix it.”
5)Fear. Fear of success or fear of failure! If I succeed at losing weight, I will be able to do (whatever you wish) in my life. I’m scared; I don’t think I will be good enough, no one will want this, etc. Fear of failure. I will need to stay in this uncomfortable situation forever. I cannot stand it. I do not want to live like this. I want to get out.
6)My Mother/father/teachers always told me I could never be good enough to do this, and the kids at school bullied me, and I don’t have a chance in the world.
7)The numbness is precious to me. I cannot go on living the life I am living without something to take away the pain. And once I have it, I no longer have the power to solve the problem. YES! The power is in the pain! The numbness takes away your power! When you stop eating the foods you are addicted to, you get the power to change your life.
8)You need to make time for things you enjoy. Why do we need to always put ourselves and our needs last? What gives you real joy? Horseback riding? Golf? Yoga? Knitting? Reading? Working with wood? Stained glass? Whatever it is, give yourself time to enjoy the people and activities you want to be with and do. The person you are now, if you are “in the food” is not the person you want to become! Please don’t postpone being you! Please don’t give up the wonderful, different life you could have – and don’t postpone it – you have suffered enough and you deserve every minute!
Now as I write this, I feel really concerned. What gives me the right to tell you all of this? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because Life affects us all, and I have struggled with many of these same issues in my Life. So, use this if it works for you, press delete if it doesn’t, but please first email me and tell me your thoughts and opinions.
Blessings to you,