Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fear of a Repeat Performance

Hi, I'm Charlie, and I'm a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

I want to talk about one thing here quickly while I'm thinking about it.

This past summer I was doing pretty well on this food plan... a modified version that included probably too much alcohol... but I was doing OK. I had dropped down to 195 pounds. All that changed when I had some visitors, relatives that I love a lot. They are both compulsive overeaters, and it has had terrible effects on their health and the quality of their lives. But that week that we spent together wreaked havoc on my program (which was, admittedly, very weak). I ended up eating just like them by the end of the week, and it just went downhill from there.

So why am I talking about it now? Because they're coming to visit next week. And I'm a little afraid of that. But I pray that this time around I can do it right. I'll talk about it and I'll make healthy choices.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.


legally_barb said...

Not that you asked, but I've got extra time at work today and nothing to do, so I'll comment nonetheless. :)

I would suggest doing a 4th step style inventory about the last time these relatives visited. Write down a list of everything you did while they were visiting - go chronologically, as best as you can remember, and maybe even start a little bit before they came (any "preparations" you may have done). It doesn't have to be perfect, and you might forget things, but the important thing is to just write down what you do remember. Make that column one.

Then mark those things that you think were "wrong" or not consistent with recovery. Depending on how you made your list, it could be everything - i.e. perhaps you listed only those things you remembered that you classify as having been "wrong" or inconsistent with recovery. These are the things that you want to focus on.

Column 2 - try to identify any feelings you had either prior to or during any of those things you did that you've identified as "wrong" or inconsistent with recovery.

Column 3 - identify what things in you were affected due to those feelings identified in column 2 (self esteem, ambitions, personal relationships, sexual relationships, pocketbook).

Column 4 - identify your part in each of those things - what did you do or not do such that those things happened? (From this you can develop a nice little list of character defects that flared up when you're with these relatives.)

And then column 5 - write down what you think you could have done better, or what it would have looked like if you had been "working a strong program" and not living in those character defects identified in column 4. This can help you formulate a plan for when your relatives visit this time.

My experience has always been that visits with relatives go according to how honest and humble I'm willing to be. The more honest and humble I am with my relatives, the better things go. If I'm trying to be someone that I think they want me to be, or someone I think I should be, rather than who I actually am, that's when I struggle. In addition, if I'm honest with my relatives about something I need to do or not do while I'm visiting with them, and I'm willing to set appropriate boundaries when/where necessary, I struggle much, much less.

O.K. - I'll leave you alone now. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Charlie. Just remember you have support if you need it when your relatives are there. And about the scale - I agree - compulsively weighing yourself is NOT good...just another way to obsess about something. My husband hides ours. Maybe when you are ready your wife can hide it and get it out once a week or month?

Rachel said...

Please blog. My family is coming this weekend and I'm a little scared.

Legally_barb, thanks for sharing.