This morning, I have read:
“How fortunate we are, those of us who share this program for living! Our worries about the future are over, if we want them to be. We need to take only one step at a time. One day at a time. And always in the care of God. Relief from our lives of worry is immediate when we live the axiom, “Let go and let God.””
— from Each Day a New Beginning, AA Conference approved literature
How timely… just yesterday I was thinking about gum again and how on Earth would I live without it for the rest of my life. The next thought was: but no – just don’t have any today! I thank God on my knees every morning for the sanity this program has shown me. As a constant planner, I love the concept of one day at a time!
It also works when people, with the best intentions, try to get me off the program. To the argument that I can’t possibly do this for the rest of my life, I simply reply that I only do this today.
And it’s true – I can worry about tomorrow when it comes! Today I’m abstinent, no matter what. Yes, of course I intend to be abstinent tomorrow, but really, I don’t HAVE TO be abstinent tomorrow. Why? Because tomorrow is merely a concept – today is real. Today I’m abstinent.
I posted the other day about gum being out of control. Thank you so much to those who replied, experiences are so different. I find gum useful when the choice is between gum and eating – to keep from eating, I will do whatever it takes. In those times I accept the out-of-controlness regarding gum. But I can’t live like that long-term – I had to let it go.
I surrendered it, and one GS’er who replied reminded me that I can ask God in the morning to give me the strength not to touch it, just like I do with food. Why that hadn’t occurred to me yet, I don’t know! So I have been doing that and the gum’s been down. It helps me to have a little bottle of Listerine in my bag though, if I do want to have some freshness then that is the best thing.
So once again I’m grateful for this group and the experience that has gone before me! I won’t eat, no matter what, and for today the gum is down.
I used gum to get through visiting my family in Austria. Helped me stay abstinent all right, better than eating anyhow.
But now I’m seriously eating gum like it’s going out of fashion. I mean, loads. My jaws hurt. My digestive system is going crazy. My addictive personality is in full force – HELP
I’ve been rationalising, setting deadlines, “I’ll definitely not buy any more after I’m through these” – just to go back to the store. Geez I really need help. For today I commit not to buy any more gum.
I went to Dresden first. There, I stayed with friends – a young family with two little kids of 3 yrs and 3 months – who knew what I do beforehand and who were fine with me simply using their kitchen. The first thing they did upon my arrival was to take me grocery shopping. We shared our meals, at least I usually shared the protein and some of the cooked veggies, while taking care of anything I needed “extra”, myself. So, food-wise, everything went easy and well!
What I found difficult was how to fill my time. I went in order to get to know them better, spend some time with them, build friendship; but their lifestyle being so different from mine, as she is a stay-at-home mom and he works. I stayed with her all day. I’m not a child lover, not a hater either – I’m simply not bothered, but they are work. I had no structured time except for the meals, and found it really difficult… we had good conversations at times, but not all the time and I ended up being extremely bored, reading books… couldn’t go out much because the weather was terrible and I didn’t want to spend any money. Eventually I found a way to be useful and use time, by translating some material from English to German that they needed – it was a great service to them and for me, it simply filled the emptiness. They are lovely people, but I was relieved to go.
Then I took the night bus down to Vienna. I’d been a bit apprehensive about not sleeping all night, would I be hungry? But I wasn’t – even though I never slept – my body apparently knows by now 🙂
Then, I was completely without Internet while in Vienna, for five days. It’s never easy being there but I had as good a time as possible, thanks to being abstinent. The sheer negativity of Vienna surprises me again each time and I know I’ll need a couple of days to recover from that. But I was, and am, abstinent!
I’m in Germany right now, staying at a friend’s house, and I’m not stealing their food. They know what I do, have bought ample provisions before I arrived (Greysheet is so simple… I said, as long as you have meat, veggies and fruit I will be OK!) and have taken me shopping too. I am having no problem here at all, we eat together at the family table and I simply add extra salads to my meal. What freedom.
I’m finding that it is this time of year again, though – has started here, in England it will shortly get there – where the cold drives me nuts. It’s fairly cold here and they are not yet heating the house… they are fine, but I am suffering. It’s as if, once I’ve got cold, I cannot shake it and there is no way for me to get warm again. Winters, to me, are long, drawn-out periods of pain, ever since I lost my weight. The fact that winter is coming fills me with dread.
I am already wearing three layers inside the house, and it’s only September. I wonder if this is normal, nobody else seems to suffer as much. Has anyone else experienced this kind of thing? How do you cope with cold?? There’s only so much coffee/tea a person can drink… Anyway, be that as it may, I will NOT fatten up again because I am abstinent on
the Greysheet today, no matter what.
Here in the UK, the death of one woman has been in the news. She was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and told she had six months to live. Her response to this news was to use the time she had to the max – she began training, and completed several marathons and even triathlons, raising £2 million ($4 million) in the following seven years… and didn’t die until seven years after being told she had six months!
It made me think what my reaction to such news would be. If I only had six months, and was told with such certainty that this was all I had… would I eat? I am very tempted to say I probably would. People like this woman inspire me to think that perhaps, maybe, there might be some slim chance I might try to make the most of my time, like her. But I don’t know. If I was on death row, would I eat? I think so. If I was about to die, would I eat? Probably. Why, because I wouldn’t have a life to lose if I considered it already lost.
On the other hand, speculations like this are academic, until it happens to me there is no way of knowing my real reaction. I have no doubt that if I were on my own, I would go for the food; but because I have this program and this community, I know I would have a place to go, wisdom to draw upon, support. I would truly learn the meaning of “One Day At A Time” and “Just For Today”. And maybe, just maybe, I would remain sane (abstinent) until the end.
I’m about to go on the first of two trips (this one, and then America in November) – this Thursday I fly out to Dresden, Germany for a few days and five days later will go from there to Vienna to see my family for a few days. I’m packed and ready, as I tend to plan ahead a lot! Got my plastic picnic cutlery for the plane (learned the hard way that they don’t necessarily have plastic forks on board!), and will try to eat my lunch on board.
I said try, because with the way airline rules change, I can only hope they will allow me to take my food in. Water, I know, is not allowed to be taken through security (but an empty water bottle is fine, which I will then refill in the bathrooms), and I have previously taken food on flights. But I haven’t flown in a few months and they keep changing rules.
In any case, it’s only a 2-hour flight so if I can’t eat on it, I will eat immediately afterwards.
Travel CAN be done abstinently, and in fact I’ve found that abstinence takes the hassle – as well as much of the cost!! – out of traveling. I mean, I’ve never been one to just eat “anything”… grab a bite somewhere… no. I was always either on a special diet (in which finding acceptable food would be a huge endeavour) or I was binging on everything in sight (in which case the overpriced airport food would put a huge strain on my budget)!
Abstinence takes planning and commitment, no question. But is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!