Friday, October 8, 2010

With Gratitude

Hi. My name is Charlie, and I'm a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

I have been reflecting on my two months of abstinence in the Overeaters Anonymous H.O.W. program. I have so much gratitude for where I am today. 

On August 2, I wrote this post. It was basically moaning and whining and complaining. I was so angry, so resentful. I was a victim. I was hopeless and helpless.

A couple of days later, my blogger friend G. Rabanon (@RecoveringinOA on Twitter) reached out to me via email. I've asked her if I can share her email, because it was a life-changer for me. God used it, along with a phone call from the woman who is now my sponsor, to get me back to an O.A. meeting where I found a sponsor - that very day - and surrendered to this structured plan of recovery.

Here's G.'s [slightly abridged] email:


Looks like you've got a serious case of the "fuck it"s. It's ok, it happens to all of us. I understand losing your willingness. It's a horrible feeling...

You made the distinction, Charlie, between a slip and a relapse. Well, let me tell you, there is no difference. Know why? Because all any of us has is Today, This Moment, Right Now. There's no such thing as relapse, there is just "Are you slipping now? How about now? What about now? Did you slip now? You gonna slip now?" Every moment that you don't slip, you are abstinent. When you slip, you lose that abstinence. You need to make a decision, Charlie. From this moment (if you are eating something not abstinent right now, stop. Just stop. Now. Just for this moment STOP!) you are abstinent. You are abstinent RIGHT NOW as you are reading this. The decision you have to make RIGHT NOW Charlie, is to NOT LOSE YOUR ABSTINENCE RIGHT NOW. Just for this moment. And now the moment has passed. And now in this moment, DO NOT LOSE YOUR ABSTINENCE! Just for this moment... and now the moment has passed. That is all you have to do Charlie. And it is so hard not to string the time together and lose track and lose sight of each individual minute, but that is what we have to do. We who suffer from the disease of addiction have to remember moments like other "normal" people can get away with ignoring. Sometimes it really really sucks. But you know... I think overall it's a blessing. How many Normals routinely make the effort to experience every minute of their lives and to be grateful for it? Our lives depend on it. In that sense, we are the lucky ones.

I'm with you Charlie, and so is God. God loves you even when you forget to take His hand. He's still reaching out to you. And when you have one hand in mine and one hand in God's, you have no free hands to pick up.

I wish you an abstinent weekend and look forward to hearing from you. :)


Today I celebrate the 12th Step - "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other compulsive overeaters, and to practice these principles in all our affairs" - with great gratitude to G. and to my sponsor. And to anyone else who carries the message by reading or commenting here on my blog, calling or emailing me, or sharing in O.A. meetings. You all are awesome, and I am so grateful for you.


Sabilon said...

Hi Charlie, thank you so much for sharing that wise OA friend's e-mail! It is so clear! I often hide behind 'it was only a slip'. It's all excuses, on my part. All I want then is to use the food.

Am grateful that I found your blog, rather randomly.

Thank you! And thank you, dear E-Mail writer! I will copy your mail and pass it on to an OA friend who keeps slipping.

Charlie O. Edinburgh said...

Thanks, Sabilon! You should thank her yourself! Or at least follow her blog ( or Twitter feed (

I'm so glad you're here. Keep coming back! :)