Thursday, May 20, 2010

Step One, Question One

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

::Hi, Charlie!::

And I'm totally avoiding this.

I have an OA workbook, and I want to blog my way through it. I've been telling myself that I would do it later... you know, after my seminary class is over, after Easter, after things "settle down." And that would be when?

So, since there will never be a good time to do this, I'm going to start now. It won't be perfect. I can't manage everything. But I will just type and try to answer the damn questions.

STEP ONE We admitted that we were powerless over food - that our lives had become unmanageable.

1. "In OA we were encouraged to take a good look at our compulsive eating, obesity, and the self-destructive things we have done to avoid obesity - the dieting, starving, over-exercising, or purging." Here is a first-step inventory of my compulsive eating history.

I'm having trouble writing this in a history... I think I'll just bullet point some highlights from my illustrious career.
  • All the times I tried to "start over" tomorrow, or Sunday, or Monday, or the first of the month, or on my birthday, or on such-and-such a holiday, or on New Year's Day. Some of those "do-overs" are documented on this blog or were documented on its previous incarnation. And, huh... Look at that, I'm still here, with only one day of abstinence.
  • All the times I took out cash so my wife wouldn't know I was going to McDonald's or other drive-thrus on my way to or from work.
  • All the times I ate fast food right before I got home, trying to cram it all in, and then hid the bag under the seat, went in, and ate dinner with my family. I could barely eat because I was so miserable. But that never stopped me. I did it again and again.
  • Staying up late to eat after everyone else is asleep. Eating 2-3 bowls of cereal, sometimes with sugar dumped on top of it. Eating until I felt like I would burst. Eating while a voice in my head kept saying, "Just stop, dammit!"
  • The insanity of having to eat another kind of food in order to make up for the food I just ate. Binge on ice cream, now I need something salty. Now something sweet again.
  • Fast food. Oh my. I remember one specific time I started at McDonald's (my all-time drug of choice), got a big meal there, and then went right across the street to Burger King because I wanted a chicken sandwich with cheese and onion rings. I already had the Diet Coke from McDonald's (always a diet), so I got a shake at BK. I had a three-hour trip ahead of me, I reasoned. I could eat it all. And I did, but I was miserable.
  • I remember the insanity of thinking I could just have one milk shake after 7 months of abstinence. That was the beginning of a relapse that, really, continues to this day.
  • Yes, I've done the whole "eat out of the trash" thing. Not often, but really, isn't once enough to qualify me as a compulsive overeater?
  • At restaurants I often make sure my kids' plates are clean. By eating their food myself. Sometimes I even hang back as everyone's leaving to make sure I can grab a last fry or half a cheeseburger.
  • I don't know halfway or moderation. For me, there is no "just a little bit" of sugar. For me, it seems to be all or nothing. Either I'm "on plan" or I'm not. And when I'm not, I'm NOT... I'm totally binging.
That's it for tonight. More to come.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Time Will Tell

Hi, I'm Charlie, a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

Yes, dear friends, it's been a hell of a couple months. I've been in the middle of an enormous relapse. I blamed it on everything. My seminary class, my job, my big family, everything. (See my last post, right before Easter.)

Whatever. I made myself go back to OA on Saturday morning. It was SO good to be back. I had to ring the doorbell cuz I got there a few minutes late, and of course who sould come around the corner to let me in but my sponsor... I haven't even called or emailed her in months! She gave me a hug and welcomed me back. I'm grateful.

Tonight I finished my final exam for my class. I'm done now until the fall. I have a little (OK, a lot) more time now. What will I do with it? Maybe I'll dive into my stepwork, which I intend to do here on the blog, at least a good bit of it.

Maybe I'll stay on plan. Maybe I'll get better. Maybe I'll surrender to God, one day at a time. Maybe I'll remember how bad relapse feels. Maybe I'll keep reaching out for help. Maybe I'll come back and post here regularly. Maybe I'll be grateful for the support and encouragement that you readers and Twitter followers regularly give me. Maybe I'll give back.

Time will tell. God help me.