Thursday, November 3, 2011

"What you deserve is to not feel shitty."

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

::Hi, Charlie!::

Where to begin?

Look to your right. See the little abstinence counter? That's right. I'm starting over. Again. Since choosing to re-define my abstinence a few months ago, I've been really struggling. Just like they said I would. I hate proving them right. I hate it. I've heard so many horror stories about people who leave OA-HOW and get right back into the insanity of compusive overeating. They gain tons of weight, often more than they lost in the first place. And they either get sicker and sicker until they finally die, or they come crawling back to OA-HOW, miserable, and climb back on the willingness wagon.

I swore I would not be one of those people. And I'm not. Not yet. But I did slip. I did relapse. Damn it.

I found a sponsor in "regular" OA, and I began to work a much less structured program. This opened the door for me to eat "moderately." I eventually had an ice cream cone. Then a breakfast sandwich from McDonald's. I had pizza and dessert at a men's event at church. I stopped weighing and measuring. I started eating compulsively sometimes... quietly, secretly.

I was still running a lot. I was healthy. I was skinny. I was fine.


I got real a couple weeks ago. I saw the handwriting on the wall, thank God, and I began to pray for help. I got in touch with a program friend who has what I want, and he agreed to be my sponsor. But even then, I was not very willing... Halloween came a few days ago, and I told myself I'd have "just one" Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. One turned into ten, then twenty, just like that. Damn. I felt crappy. I "washed it down" with two hunks of bread. At 10:00pm.

Even after talking to my sponsor about it and re-setting my abstinence, I overate at lunch the next day... compulsively tearing though two big plates of food at an Indian buffet. I got scared. Abstinence reset again. That night I was online and I ended up chatting with my good friend G. Rabanon. She helped me remember some really important things... I'm just gonna copy some of the conversation verbatim, because it was so good...

Me: That's what started it last night. a frickin' peanut butter cup

G.: Understood. Those things are deadly.

Me: 20 little candy bars later, i feel pretty shitty

G.: *nod*

Me: i'm still pretty skinny! that's the thing my addict points to to justify my compulsivity

G.: Oh Charlie, you know it's not about how skinny you are. and yeah, that's what it tells us. Always, it tells us that we've been so good, or we're skinny enough, or that we deserve it... What you deserve is to not feel shitty.

Me: oh g. that is fucking true. thank you. god DAMN it.

That sentence killed me. It's exactly what I needed to hear. What I deserve, what we all deserve... is to not feel shitty. And that is what God offers us, every one of us... freedom from that awful feeling - which I can have whether I'm running 9 miles or sitting on my ass, whether I'm skinny or fat.

And so here I am again. I'm abstinent. I'm so grateful. And I'm still very cautious. I'm still very aware that I'm one bite away from a slip, from relapse. I am so compulsive, so sick. Even after all this recovery, I can so easily spiral into pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.

Thank you, God. Thank you, G. Here we go. I'll go to bed abstinent tonight. How 'bout you?