My name is Charlie, and I'm a compulsive overeater.
I had a rough, long day. It was the big finale to a rough, long week. It started with a really sad funeral last week and went through a week of a lot of drama and discomfort.
But I'm still here, and I'm still abstinent. This, my friends, is a miracle.
This was my reading and writing assignment for the day. I started reading and writing feeling stressed and irritated that I even had to do it, and I finished with joy and gratitude. I hope you are encouraged tonight, no matter where you are in recovery, no matter how you're feeling, no matter what your path or program of recovery, to stick with this. It's so worth it. It's always worth it.
10c) Don’t Water Down to Suit Your Fancy.
Read BB Preface page xi, paragraph 2; page 58, paragraph 1.
Read Bill W. page 229, paragraph 4 beginning with “If also some” and ending with “life.”
Read Doctor Bob and the Good Old Timers pages 261 top to 262 top ending with “program anymore.”
This reading assignment was very simple today, but so relevant. Today I’ve been frazzled. I’m tired. I really want to go to bed early, and I have a list a mile long of things I want to get done before I go to bed. I left the house at 6 this morning and didn’t get home until 5:30 due to all the commitments I had. I didn’t even begin to think of program commitments like the calls and reading/writing until was driving home, and then I felt overwhelmed by all I had to do. But when I finally sat down to read and write, I get to these very basic thoughts. This program works, if we follow it “as is.” It’s not about picking and choosing the parts that apply to me. Because when I do that, when I get in my head and start trying to “figure it out,” I get crazy. Or maybe I should say the craziness starts to come out to play. Cause I’m always crazy, it’s just that this program of recovery keeps the craziness at bay.
I’ve been telling people on my hook-up calls today that the program works. It has gotten me through a couple of busy, crazy days. Days I would have made exceptions for in the past. Days I would have broken abstinence because of “special circumstances.” I have done that countless times. This program works because I’m still abstinent, 76 days in. I’m still here. Through a weekend retreat with my son where I lost my cell phone along with all my phone numbers. Through a BBQ early on with my band and vocal team at church. Through dinners and lunches out with friends, colleagues and parishioners. Through an all-day retreat in Wichita where I packed my meals in individual sacks and went to the car at each meal to get my brown bag from the cooler to take in and eat with my friends in the cafeteria. Through a somewhat spontaneous lunch today with church friends. Through my wife’s and my anniversary, my birthday, the twins’ birthday. Through band gigs where there was all kinds of free food and beer. All situations where in the past, I would have just HAD to eat… Would have HAD to fudge it just a little. But no, I’m abstinent. Because of this program. Because of all the tools. Because of friends who are in this with me, guiding me and showing me how we work it.
And if it’s worked in these situations, it’ll work in all situations. Thanksgivings and missions trips and conferences. And even at my daughter’s wedding.** And I don’t feel like I’m future-tripping in saying that. I think it feels to me more like surrendering to the reality that this program can and does work in all the situations of life as long as I remain honest, open-minded and willing. And as long as I just keep on doing the next right thing.
**These are all future things my sponsor and I have talked about. In fact, I am always guaranteed a laugh in an OA meeting when I use the following line about my tendency to future-trip:
"I get really panicky sometimes when I think about never having sugar again. How will I ever get through my daughter's wedding without having a piece of her wedding cake?
My daughter is nine years old...."