I’m Susanne, a compulsive overeater. I’m abstinent today as I weigh my meals off the CGS after I have written them down and committed them to my sponsor, and then I eat those meals and nothing else – no matter what. I make that my #1 priority today.
I celebrated 3 years’ abstinence on Thursday. Thank God… I am living in the solution and I have a life.
Today is Saturday and I haven’t eaten compulsively – so I’m officially into year 4 of abstinence. Right now I’m sitting in my living room, watching Star Trek: Voyager (yeah, I love it) and sipping a hot abstinent beverage. Life is good.
Abstinent life over the past year has been challenging in some ways. In general, having been “in programme” since March 2005, I’m fairly comfortable with the logistics of staying abstinent; I’ve never had an “accidental slip” or anything like that. Whenever I have wanted to be abstinent, I have been. There was a summer in 2006 when I allowed others to talk me out of abstinence and I suffered the result – the insanity of starving and bingeing, even though I never touched the sugars/grains/starches – over the course of about three months before I gathered the courage to stand up for my needs and get abstinent again. Or perhaps better words: I was finally desperate enough again. On 15 October 2006 I got abstinent again and have remained abstinent since then.
But the challenges have been more insidious. Due to a hormonal condition, I have been gaining weight – ironically, ever since I began working with my current sponsor (which is now probably about 2 years), I have been gaining almost every month. My sponsor is wonderful and I hate that this is happening because I feel like a burden to her. For a while I was put on the pill, which was an additional cause of weight gain, but last month I was finally put on other medication and now I’m finally hopeful for loss again. It’s terrible to keep gaining and gaining, but while I’m abstinent I can be confident I will never be *obese*. Even so: I want to look good.
So over the past few months, with my clothes getting tighter and having to move up a dress size, I have had to fight off the urge to starve or diet. To cut out just a little bit from the Greysheet allowance. It would be so easy…. and of course, the next bite would then be even easier. I cannot give the disease a foothold.
At 3 years’ abstinence, I’m not cured. I still have compulsive thoughts. I’ve struggled hugely with gum (currently I’m OK, no gum). I could pick up the food any second, I just choose not to right now. The big difference these 3 years make is that I have a life now that I don’t want to lose by picking up… I got busy! I have a job I love; a place I’m calling home; I have a wonderful group of friends around me; I’m able to help my family; and I’m doing a Master’s degree. Life is full, but I know I could unravel it all if I picked up. That’s why, even though in terms of my weight abstinence is not giving me what I want, I would be mad to exchange what I have for a life filled with food (or just food thoughts) and nothing else: because that’s how it could be.
So I don’t eat today, NMW.