I have been struggling so desperately with gum in the past few weeks, and it has escalated to incredibly painful levels. Today at lunchtime I emailed my sponsor in absolute agony and self-hatred, having already gone out of control with gum in the morning. I felt absolute despair, so demoralised when I sent that email, after days and weeks of picking up, putting down, picking up, putting down – I have never struggled with the food like this. With abstinence, when I wanted to be abstinent I was able to be. With the gum, I keep taking my will back… it’s like I want to put it down, but there comes a time when something in me WANTS to pick it up again and I feel powerless… and I can’t see why I could do it with the food and why I cannot do it with the gum!
I felt such condemnation. And trying to do it on my own, sort this out without reaching out for help, I was only getting more pain. Another lesson in recovery, my need for others, my need to reach out before it becomes so unbearable. I’m reaching out now because it has become unbearable. I’ve been in touch with another Greysheeter with many years of abstinence and she was telling me how she has committed herself to doing 90 in 90 because she felt her abstinence was in jeopardy because of various pressures she is facing at the moment. I have such respect for that: she knows herself so well that she took remedial action before the pain got too bad.
I WANT to say no. I WANT it down!! From right now – not from tomorrow on. I don’t have to finish today off with as much gum as I can because tomorrow “I’ll put it down”. I’ve fallen for that lie so many times. Then I do well for much of the day and then the afternoon comes and there’s no good reason… I just pick it up. So from right now, from this moment, that’s it – although I’ve already “blown it” for today (already had by lunchtime) – this is it, right now marks the moment and I will not wait until tomorrow.
I have prayed… and will continue to pray. I’ll pray when I go to bed tonight and I’ll pray tomorrow morning, on my knees, for abstinence not just from food but from gum, on a no-matter-what basis. I need God to do this, that much is for sure!
I’m so glad that I have a sponsor who shares invaluable ESH… and I need others, I need people who have successfully put the gum down after struggles, I need to hear that it is possible. If I had struggled like this with the food itself I don’t know if I had ever been able to get abstinent. My abstinence was a true gift from God, I could not have done it myself, but it was given to me. This thing, abstinence from gum, is just NOT like that!!
I feel so much more hopeful now, after having prayed and reached out and after putting all this down in writing.
Thank you all for being here.