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?


Anonymous said...

This was great for me to read today... I had my one year birthday recently and I think somewhere in my subconscious I had an idea that a year without sugar would be "enough." I went for months and months with very few cravings and now I crave all the time. And keep thinking of ways to "bend" my abstinence just a little bit... it probably needs to be stricter, not looser. -- wil

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog and all that you do. I really needed to read this today and I have taken it to heart. And yes I went to bed abstinent last night and I am VERY grateful for that bit of recovery!!


Steps Toward Serenity said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, strength, and hope, Charlie.

Beth said...

Thanks for being so real, Charlie. You're getting back on the wagon -- now just one day at a time, with God carrying you.

G. Rabanon said...


You know how when we talk to other fellows we tend to give them exactly the words that we ourselves need to hear? Well, hearing it all back from you is such a gift... even the parts that are my own words, when they come from you, are imbued with a new strength. I'm so glad to have you as a friend. Keep with it, you'll be okay. You'll be better than okay. :) *hugs*

zannelaw said...

I ate an entire bag of Reese's miniatures in the span of a few hours. It makes me want to cry. but they were so GOOD!

zannelaw said...

did I mention I am 5'6" and was 104lbs. in November. And yes, I am an overeater too!!!

Anonymous said...

It was an English muffin for me. It was wondering why the scale hadn't moved with a voice that said "you're not supposed to care about the scale" -It was the emotional upheaval of endings and "deserving" to eat what I want. Etc. Always et cetera. Your place in the journey now may be just what I needed to hear, Charlie. So thanks, and let it be done that you are on your way away from "I".