I’m still very much in the honeymoon phase with abstinence. Learning a lot about why I let it go last time after almost 1.5 years – as they say, there’s a million reasons but not a single excuse. I was vulnerable then, and now I can ensure that I don’t put myself into such a position again (and if I were to find myself in it, I would know better to be on guard).
The things I have identified are:
- having to change sponsors (moved transcontinentally and our times would not match)
- dieting on Greysheet (restricting my food choices within the GS)
- discussing my abstinence with civilians (openness is one thing, but my abstinence now is not open to argument)
- starting to not call in small food changes
- exhausting myself in getting to meetings and in service (adding stress rather than supporting my abstinence)
- trying to make friends with everyone in the program.
Each one of these added pressure on my abstinence. Most importantly, I lost my understanding of the nature of this disease and began to think I could “handle it” now. I knew I couldn’t handle the grains/sugars/starches and so I never went back to them, but I cannot handle eating outside Greysheet, period. I cannot handle eating without a sponsor. I cannot handle eating unweighed food. I am a compulsive overeater.
I now watch out for these things and avoid them. I love abstinence and this time around, I am enjoying a serenity and peace that I didn’t have then. That’s because I have finally realized that I have to do absolutely NOTHING… except eat exactly what I have committed, no matter what. All other things we do in program may support my abstinence, but they are not the EXTENT of my life in abstinence.
Because I gave myself some leeway about the gum and soda, figuring I’d take care of them once I’ve got some abstinent time together, I now find myself eating through family packs of gum and drinking diet sodas. It doesn’t feel abstinent to me. It gives me indigestion. Certainly the expense for unnecessary things like this bothers me, too (I’m scraping as it is).
Does anyone have some ESH about quitting gum/soda? Or should I leave it be for now and tackle the problem after I get to 90 days? It’s just that it feels like I still always have something in my mouth. When I was long-term abstinent I could be perfectly content with nothing in my mouth for hours. Now I struggle.
I wouldn’t have had to, but I celebrated Thanksgiving. It’s my favourite holiday – a time to reflect and give thanks and get together with loved ones. So I organised my closest loved ones to get together and have a meal together, and we each named one thing that we are thankful for that happened in the last year. Mine was the fact that I moved here to the UK almost a year ago and in this time have gained a family of people around me who truly care, truly know me (!), and truly love me. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude – I never had that. It’s not superficial, it’s real, and I am grateful.
Why can I be me, can I be transparent and open? Because I don’t have anything to hide. My food, and my life, are out in the open. Because I was abstinent, I could enjoy the fellowship of getting together and soak in the loving friendships last night. I didn’t have to wonder whether I could have seconds or not; whether anybody had seen me have the third piece; when the heck they would all get out so that I could eat the leftovers. I could
BE while they ate, and enjoy my awesome #10 meal that had a beginning and, this is crucial, an END.
This morning I was saddened to see an email from South Beach Diet (they send me their newsletter and I can’t figure out how to unsubscribe) titled, “Getting Back on Track After Thanksgiving”. I thank my HP that I don’t have to try to do that. There’s no track, only a path to recovery. I don’t have the option to get on and off “the track”. That’s for normal eaters. I can stay in recovery or go down the drain, it’s as simple as that – and for today, I choose to stay in recovery, no matter what!
I have a job interview later today. This job that I’m currently at just bores me silly. Right now I’m counting down to lunch (92 minutes!). I have had some good suggestions from others, that have been helpful – many thanks! I believe that this falls into “change the things I can”, so that’s what I’m trying to do.
Regarding boredom, I actually am grateful that my mind is bored in this situation – if I wasn’t on Greysheet, I’d be finding lots of ways to occupy my mind with food: surfing the Internet for support groups, diets, planning out weight-loss menus, fantasizing about food, projecting into the future, reading recipes (especially for things we don’t eat – I wouldn’t eat them, but I made lots of sweet things for my housemates; for some reason I got pleasure out of feeding them things I don’t eat)… the list is endless. At the end of the working day I would have both the perfect weight-loss diet for the next four weeks planned out, and an uncontrollable desire (and subconscious plan) to go out and overeat just one more time. Of course, I’d know exactly what foods I’d go get.
So, the fact that all these things AREN’T occupying me leaves my mind bored. Fair enough…
Yesterday I had a long conversation with a loved one who is like a father to me – a loving, guiding presence under whose authority I joyfully submit. He knows me very well. Yet, he was instrumental in leading me away from Greysheet… now that I’m back, and he knows it, he accepts me being on Greysheet for a season. As long as I’m open to complete healing. I used to debate this and argue about how this isn’t something that will go away, etc. etc.
What I have realised now is that he will never understand, and I don’t need to make him understand. Why argue some future point? Today I weigh and measure, and he supports it. I don’t need to convince him that I need to do this for life. I only need to do this for today – discussing and arguing about the future is a pointless, useless activity.
I weigh and measure my food today, and I thank my Higher Power that I have people around me who care so much. Even if they don’t fully understand, it’s an amazing feeling to be known and loved. I never knew.
I’m dealing with boredom at the moment and would appreciate any coping strategies or tips you might have. I work in a job where my bosses know that I am underused, but we are waiting for more people to come in (in Spring) so until then, they are content for me to just sit there and surf the Internet, and do the occasional bit of work that comes up.
That sounds great, and within reason that’s certainly a nice and relaxed workplace. But I’m having trouble killing eight hours! I find myself shopping, fancying a new “THING” every day, checking my bank account all the time, just trying to do something to occupy me. I play Sudoku and am getting sick of it. I’ve already read all the resources on Greysheet.org and on Greysheetresources.org (and going through the online cookbook over and over again only makes me hungry) and I keep checking my email account to see if there are any new shares… I email other Greysheeters privately to comment on their shares… but all of this only goes so far until boredom returns.
I really want to say this. This fellowship. It’s what makes all the difference to me. The inconvenience of having to call somebody every morning to commit my food; the awkwardness of contacting people I don’t really know at random times only to confirm my and their abstinence; the time spent keeping my email program open in hopes that new messages might come through; and the staying up or getting up early for phone meetings because they’re at inconvenient times for me. All of this is worth it, all of this is keeping me abstinent!
Can’t do this by myself, can’t do it in isolation. I want to be more part of the group. I wish I could afford to go to face-to-face meetings regularly (might be able to do it this week, but highly unlikely). I wish I had more time and guts to call other Greysheeters. I feel such a need to be part of the herd, not on the outside where the danger is. Inside, protected.