Friday, July 8, 2011

Coffee With An Old Friend

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

::Hi, Charlie!::

I used to be a fairly regular blogger, too. I used to be on Twitter all the time. And I loved it, I really did. And now I just can't seem to summon the will to write anything. I think, sometimes, that it comes down to perfectionism. I want my words to be so perfect... And I want this blog to be a perfect, detailed record of my life in recovery. And the more time that goes by, the more I feel completely unable to write about all that's happened since the last time I blogged.

So. I'm releasing myself from that unrealistic expectation. I won't be writing about the last several months. I guess it's enough to say that a lot's happened. Some great stuff and some not-so-great stuff. And I reacted to all of it in various ways, good and bad. And here I am.

I'm sitting in a Starbucks store in Tulsa. My kids are at the movies, and Mrs. Charlie is at work. It's been over 100 degrees every day this week. Damn it's hot. I had an iced venti decaf sugar-free vanilla Americano. And here we are, you and me. My laptop is here in my lap as I relax on a big, comfy chair... How nice. It's like coffee with an old friend.

The good news is that I'm abstinent. I'm still OA-HOW abstinent, after all these months! One day at a time, I've made my calls, done my assignments, weighed and measured my food, abstained from sugar, guided my sponsee, worked with my sponsor... I'm grateful.

333 days today. Wow. Sunday will be - if I stay abstinent between now and then - eleven months.

I hit my "maintenance weight" this last month. 163 pounds. It's a miracle.

And sometimes - more often these days that I want to admit - I think I'm cured. I forget how miserable I was, how hopelessly out of control. I want to eat more "normally" again. I want to have a beer, dammit! I want to have a milkshake or a bowl of spaghetti! Enough of the cottage cheese and pineapple, right?

But for today, I'm doing this. I'm doing this with all of you, and I'm grateful for the recovery I've found. The recovery I'm finding. Because it's not just about the weight. It's about the peace of mind. I'm not on the scale every five minutes anymore. I'm not diving into sugary cereals at midnight. I'm not fasting one day and binging the next. And more importantly, I'm able to see myself so much more clearly these days... I'm exposing my character defects to the light and surrendering them to God, who is removing them! Another miracle. I'm making amends for the ways in which I have harmed others. My family is becoming more important to me, and I'm learning to value them with my actions and not just my emotions and words.

So gosh! I've been talking so much about myself... How have *you* been?


Carla said...

Hi Charlie--I'm Carla, compulsive overeater, working on my 25th day of abstinence.

I'm so happy you're back! That perfectionist thing, that's familiar and, I think, not uncommon for us compulsive whateverers. :)

Remember that there are newcomers like me who take great comfort from you when you share your encouragement, strength and hope. Congrats on 333 days abstinent, and counting. I'm so grateful for the program and for those whose hands are always there for me.

Charlie O. Edinburgh said...

Thanks, Carla! I appreciate the feedback... And congrats on your abstinence! I'm so glad you're here and working this thing with me. Nice blog, by the way. I've added it to my blogroll.

Liv said...

congrats on your abstinence...i just stumbled on your blog...i'm not in recovery, but i've always thought 12 steps could help with weight loss...thanks for your posts about it.

i also just watched a clip about a new show called Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (Monday nights on ABC at 10pm/9c) that addressed food addiction...really great that it's getting some national exposure!

anyway, so great catching up on your blog and reading your story...SUCH an inspiration!

Lady Di said...

Hi Charlie! I'm Diana, compulsive overeater and food addict. I've been in the program since May 1st and have 74 days of abstinence. I, too, have difficulty keeping up with my blog. I'm chalking it up to just having a life. It's easier than trying to be perfect! It's good to have others who blog about OA and their successes (and failures, we all make missteps at times). Sometimes I don't care to pick up the phone or e-mail my sponsor. I just want an anonymous voice in the ethernet that understands just exactly what I'm going through. Congratulations on reaching your maintenance weight!

Lady Di said...

Hi Charlie, I'm Diana. I'm a compulsive overeater and food addict who's been in the program since May 1st. I have 74 days of abstinence. I understand how hard it is to keep up with blogging. I'm chalking it up to having a life, it's much easier than trying to be perfect! I'm just glad there are other OA bloggers like you out there. Sometimes I prefer to sit with my computer and an anonymous voice in the ethernet that understand exactly what I'm going through. Congratulations on reaching your maintenance weight!

V said...

Hi, Charlie. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say how great it is to read about people in recovery. Im in OA too but I don't follow the HOW plan.

I really related to the whole perfectionism thing and not being able to blog - I've had a very hard time with getting a recovery blog started for the very same reason. Anyway, congratulations on your abstinence!