Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Without My Training Wheels
My name is Charlie, and I'm a compulsive overeater.
I feel a lot like that boy today. Thrilled and terrified all at the same time.
But like that little boy, I have a loving Father too... Check out what I read in "For Today" this morning:
Today, I open my mind to everything that could be - possibilities that are far from the idle wishing of the old days, but rather a loosening of restrictions, a broadening of the imagination. I leave my life up to my Higher Power, remove my hindering ways and let my spirit soar. I seek to be more honest, more aware, to have closer relationships, a better ability to carry the message, more time to serve. I have received, and now pass on to others, what was once impossible: the hope of spiritual awakening, of recovery from compulsive overeating. For today: I keep an open mind to having an open mind; the possibilities are endless.
So. I talked with my sponsor this morning about my plans to leave OA-HOW. I have to confess that I was terrified. I couldn't sleep last night. I got out of bed several times. I read and wrote in my journal. I prayed. I chatted online for a minute with my rabbi, G. Rabanon. (It's not every Evangelical pastor who has a rabbi friend on Facebook!)
Here's some of what I wrote in my journal late last night:
"I'm ready to be done with HOW, but I have no idea how to quit. I'm afraid to bring it up with [my sponsor], but I will have to in the morning. I can't keep these feelings and thoughts bottled up anymore. So why do I want to stop? Why now?
"I know I am a compulsive overeater. I want to continue working the steps I want to stay abstinent and use the tools of recovery. I am convinced that I do not have these things mandated to me by my program. WIrh every passing day I am less willing to abide by the requirements of the HOW format. I want to work with [my sponsor] on the steps, but I'm pretty sure she will no longer sponsor me at all. I am very concerned that she know how grateful I am...
"I want to see if I can do this. OA-HOW says I can't, but I don't believe it. Deep down, that's the bottom line, the problem I cannot seem to get around. I simply do not believe that this method of working OA is my only hope.
"I want to transition well. I want to remain abstinent. I do not want to binge; not even once."
I finally fell asleep around 12:30, and then this morning at 6:00 I talked with my sponsor. We did the normal routine... my food plan for the day and my writing assignment. Then we talked about the possibility of changing my call time for the semester. So that brought up the perfect opportunity to talk about this.
I was afraid. I was afraid that she would be hurt. I was afraid that she would be angry or worried or disappointed in me. That she might lecture or scold me. That she would somehow reject me and dump me on the spot. In reality, I had nothing to fear... and I think I knew that deep down all along. She was remarkably gracious. Cautious, yes, but gracious. Always. And she said that even if we don't work together as sponsor and sponsee, she and I could still be friends and walk in recovery together. I was really touched by that. We spoke words of encouragement and affirmation, and we left it open.
For now, she's sponsoring me (as long as I continue to work OA-HOW day-to-day) until I come up with some sort of transition plan. I'll need to find another sponsor and clearly define my new abstinence.
So for today, I'm OA-HOW abstinent. I have talked with four program friends today. I have followed my plan. I have used the tools. God, give me what I need today to be abstinent and to move forward... without my training wheels.