I’m the chairman of multiple personalities!
I used to be a slave to the voices in my head, especially the greedy one. She doesn’t just compulsively overeat, she simply wants everything and more of it. Compulsive overeating is just one aspect of her greed, although it’s probably the strongest. When in active addiction, in the food, I felt almost one-dimensional: as though everything about me was filtered through the lens of my food problem, as though there wasn’t really any more to me than that. That’s why I loathed myself, not just the compulsive overeater within me. I thought I was her!
So this week’s reading actually showed me a new way of thinking about all the thoughts / personalities within myself. I used to dismiss the idea of multiple personalities – I’m not a schizophrenic, I only have one personality and that’s me. But that’s a very limited view. In fact I now see that they are all there, but they are not me… that is to say, not one of them is me but they all together make up me. That’s a significant thing to me, and I don’t know if I’m expressing what I mean very well. I am not the unkind, fault-finding pragmatist; I am not the insecure scared wallflower; I am not the greedy, thieving glutton. All of these are inside me and I can act on their prompting at any time, but not one of them IS me or indeed has any power over me unless I choose to listen to their “suggestion” and act on it. Wow!
This also means that I have a lot more power than I thought I did. As Paul writes, I can acknowledge an impulse as a “suggestion” and not act on it. Wow! I’m not a puppet on my disease’s string! That’s a revolutionary idea too. Of course I used to think I had simply exchanged the strings, from those of my disease to those of Greysheet – not my own will. And when it comes to food then I still do have to submit my will. But I’m not powerless in the sense that I can’t choose my actions… I choose to do Greysheet, I’m not in bondage to it. I have been struggling lately, probably because things have been so frustrating with my weight, with the willingness to be absolutely exact about my weighing. (strangely though, I’m never tempted to have LESS when the scale is at 3.95, for example). I have had to consciously reign myself in and make myself go back and take the little bit off that makes the scale go over, where if I was completely surrendered it would simply be an unthinking reflex action. I’ve had to lay down my will more consciously lately.
But the point is, that’s an adult way of dealing with things – I make my choice. Whether I make it easily or not isn’t so much the point as the FACT that I’m making it, is.
I must stay surrendered, that’s my decision as the chair of this particular board.