(Photo credit Jan D)
August 13, 2019
It’s the beginning of August in this the frightfully early beginning of school for many people. People who work in the school system, parents helping their children get ready for school, and people who are taking classes and more I can’t think of right now. I work in a library in the teen section and this summer has been about helping teens find summer reading books among other things. The fascinating thing to watch was the students who came right away at the end of May to get their books as soon as the list was out. Some students had it on their phone. Some of the parents came with the list for them. Some came in July when many of the books had been picked over. Some came a week before school started. Some also came without their lists and wanted me to look up the lists. And the schools….I was in charge of collecting the lists. Some of the schools had the list easily attainable on their on their well organized website. Some of the websites I couldn’t get to at the library because of a certificate wasn’t updated. Some of the websites hadn’t been updated in a few years. I say all of this to say that it takes all kinds to make this weird, spectacular world go round and sometimes we have to exercise a little tolerance with friends, family, other oa’ers. I have three entries from Atiya’s blog to post and have a good school year whether you’re in school or not.
June 29, 2019
From Atiya’s Blog:
Have a beautiful day!
June 14, 2019
Several of you have asked about my playlists. I use music for many things. However, the thing is, I’m not an aural learner. Music does influence me. I can hear an 80s song and remember what grade I was in when it came out. Go figure. I remember hearing Superfreak by Rick James when I was in 7th grade. I remember hearing many many Duran Duran songs in 9th grade. I remember hearing the Beastie Boys Licence to Ill cassette (yes cassette) when I was in 11th grade.
First of all, when I don’t want to move out of bed, I have a playlist called Move It and I ask Siri to play it and I’m moving! I have several Move it playlists. The highlights are:
- Uptown Funk-Mark Ronson
- Spy Hunter Theme – Saliva (Spy Hunter Theme is also know as Peter Gunn)
- Buggin’ Out -A Tribe Called Quest
- Water Fountain – Tune-Yards
- Genius of Love – Tom Tom Club
- Nutbush City Limits (90s version)- Tina Turna
- Black Water- Doobie Brothers
- In the Navy – Village People
- Dancing in the Street – Van Halen
- Red House – Jimi Hendrix
- Oye Como Va – Santana
- Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
- Voodoo Chile – Stevie Ray Vaughn
I listen to music when I get up in the morning and when I go to work unless I listen to a speaker. It really helps to start my day. I also have playlists on my phone for when I just want to chill out and I have many on Youtube that I’ll post links for down below. Happy abstinent Friday!
May 21, 2019
Kathy B took a lot of notes and forwarded them to me and I wanted to put them here in their entirety because I found them very powerful:
– “No matter where I was; there I was” Atiya M
– Learned the concept of “bookending” (such as using the Serenity Prayer at the beginning and at the end of each workshop session). From online research, I’ve learned that bookending has a specific meaning within some of the 12-step recovery programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, and the like. In this sense, bookending is a tool used to help members continue safely along the path of their recovery process, such that they minimize their chances of relapsing back into problematic or damaging behaviors related to addiction. One basic strategy of bookending as a 12-step recovery tool involves making contact with a fellow recoverer both before and after a possibly triggering event. It might mean, for instance, calling or texting someone before and after a potentially risky situation, to insure that no relapse is likely to occur. In 12-step work, bookending may be one way for a person to commit to being abstinent from alcohol, drugs, or too much food at a party for the night. I took some of this bookending info from an online article by Larry Maucieri Ph.D., ABPP-CN at “Psychology Today”: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-distracted-couple/201402/bookending-in-adhd.
– Atiya described her recovery as a result of abstinently (surrendering her food) working the steps. I didn’t write anything down about how she described abstinence outside of surrendering her food. I assume it’s the OA definition of abstinence “Abstinence is the action of refraining from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors while working towards or maintaining a healthy body weight. Spiritual, emotional and physical recovery is the result of living the Overeaters Anonymous Twelve-Step program”. I loved when she described the day she became abstinent: “If I’d known that would have been my last binge, I would have had jelly beans or 1/2 a sheet cake”. I so relate to that thought process.
– “Hold on loosely. Let go gently”. Atiya M
This related to the importance of being open-minded in this process and letting go of ideas and concepts that no longer work for us.
– “Take what you like and save the rest (you may need it later)”. Atiya M
I love this affirmation. I learned it as “Take what you need and leave the rest”. However, I’ve come to learn over the past 9 years in recovery that I didn’t need or relate to some of the 12 step ideas years ago but I do so now.
– “It’s easier to stay abstinent than to get abstinent”. Atiya M
I had not heard this affirmation before this retreat but has been so true for me.
– “I don’t deserve to be harmed with food”. Atiya M
This really hit home with me. I’ve come to understand why I overeat (to comfort and soothe myself when I’m experiencing unpleasant feelings) but I am truly harming myself. As I heard at my first OA retreat in 2010 (speaker Grace Terry), I am slowly digging my grave with a fork. I am a product of childhood trauma and the words “comfort and soothe” appeal to me but in reality, I am harming myself. There is nothing appealing or positive about the word “harm”.
– “AAAA: Awareness, Acceptance, Action, Ability”. Atiya M
I’d not heard this affirmation before but this is exactly how the process has been for me as I work the steps and incorporate them into my daily living.
– “Trust that what I did that day is enough. If I’m following my HP’s will; I can rest in that”. Atiya M
This statement so resonated with me as I’m always second-guessing whether I’ve done enough or the next right thing each day. If I’m being honest and suiting up, praying up and showing up for my recovery each day then I’m following HP’s will for me and I don’t need to keep second-guessing myself. I have to be willing to accept “what is” (not what was or what will be).
– “Stop, Drop and Roll: Stop (be in the moment), Drop (down and pray) and Roll (with it)”. Jamie
I just love this idea of helping me to be in the moment and to stop feeling overly anxious about a given situation.
“Smiles, Hugs, Affection, Connection”. Atiya M
These are things that most of us positively respond to and is a wonderful part of the OA program, family and recovery.
“The antidote to shame is sharing”. Atiya M
“I recover out loud. I always pray before I eat. I respect my mealtime. I don’t eat when I’m emotionally triggered (call someone, pray…). If I call my sponsor or another OA person and they don’t answer, the power is in me making the call and leaving the message”. Atiya M
“I am a slow learner but a quick forgetter. I need to take time each day with my HP”. Jan D
“You can make a choice but you have to understand there are consequences (positive and negative) – depending on the choice you make. I did experience discomfort this weekend but I did not die”. Colleen
“What is something you do each day to take a spiritual pause? Where is your challenge at right now within each day? How can we tie our spiritual pause to our challenges? For example: You can write “Thy Will Be Done” on a sticky note and place that note wherever you are running into the challenge (fridge, pantry, mirror, etc). This is a powerful reminder of “Your Work; Your Will; Your Way”. Atiya M
“TWBD (Thy Will Be Done). Keep this reminder (TWBD) posted where it’s a visible reminder”. Melanie
“I’m normally a talker but at this retreat I came to listen. I was open this weekend to listen and learn. You don’t know what HP has in store for you. Listen”! How can I have a friend if I don’t have a friendship (love/trust) with HP and myself”. Brenda
This was related to the Saturday afternoon workshop/exercise (Surrender and Trust; Order of Step 5): HP/Self/Another Person. First we have to learn to trust our HP, then ourselves, before we can put our trust in another OA person/friend.
“The decompression exercise at the end of the retreat where we closed our eyes, crossed our arms over our hearts and had another person lead us through the ‘Soul Train’ lines was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever had. Once Colleen did it first and I realized what it entailed, I became emotional and whispered to Jan D (my sponsor of 9 years) that I couldn’t do this and wanted to leave the room. I started crying. I was scared of showing emotion in front of others. She told me it was OK and that I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do. She suggested if I was going to do it, perhaps I should do it sooner rather than later as I was obviously riddled with anxiety and fear. Jan helped me feel safe and thank my HP (whom I call God) that I took this step. I was so touched at my core and even though I felt extremely vulnerable (which I HATE) and I try to never cry in front of people – I remembered Jamie’s “Stop, Drop and Roll” and participated. To hear all those precious women whisper beautiful affirmations of kindness, understand and love in my ears as I was guided down the line was so moving and powerful. I couldn’t stop crying but that was a good thing. I believe in that moment my HP was with me and I was showing the room my true, authentic self”. Kathy B
Thanks for taking such great notes Kathy!
May 13, 2019
I hope everyone had a Happy Mother’s Day. I’m still adding things in that were emailed and given to me at the wonderful, awesome, retreat. I still have more! Thanks for all who submitted these pearls of wisdom!
Why Go to an OA Retreat?
- To hear strong recovery from long timers
- To see smiling faces and get lots of hugs
- To realize that I am alone in this
- To hear how others are working the program (or not)
- To have a peaceful, serene weekend at a beautiful place where meals are prepared abstinently
- To experience recovery ONE DAY AT A TIME!
See you at the next retreat!
An OA’er mentioned the dance party!
From Jamie C:
STOP: When uncertain
DROP: Surrender, Pause
ROLL: Roll with it
She also mentioned submitting to the blog.
From Gina C.
I use the Spiritual Principals as a power greater than me to restore me to sanity in the second step.
May 8, 2019
Oh Yeah! The blog is back! I had a great retreat and listened to an awesome speaker who had a unique approach to her program and enlisted in lots of ladies to help bring back the blog. I want to make sure that something is always on here but I need lots of help. I gave out my email address out at the retreat and I should also say put OA BLOG in the subject. I got several emails and cards in my lovely basket.
If you’ve never been to the OA retreat it is a wonderful location at the Jesuit Spirituality Center in Grand Coteau, Louisiana which is near Lafayette. The location is peaceful and surrounded by greenery. One nice lady sent me a picture and I know my twin takes pics every time we go so perhaps I can persuade her to post some pics on the blog.
I also apologize for the delay in getting this out but the next weekend after I returned from the retreat I was out of town watching my little brother get married!
Some comments I got:
“This is my second time at our OA retreat and I’m glad I came. I encourage everyone to make one OA retreat. It will really enhance your recovery!”
“Important take always from the retreat 1) Abstinence is when I’m surrendered my food. Recovery is when I work the steps. 2) Pause and be mindful! 3) Practice stillness. 4) There is always enough time to do God’s will. 5) I cannot recover in isolation. 6) If I don’t know what to do, I can work on my relationship with my Higher Power. 7) Am I kind and loving toward all including myself? 8) Unconscious eating is an expression of my lack of conscious contact with God.
I have more to come including my move it music playlists and other music lists I have.