Blog 2020

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February 12, 2020
From Sandy B:

Whatever we call them, they mark our achievements and are goals for us to look forward to. This week marks seven years since I came back to OA, and stayed. At one of those first meetings, a fellow received a 30 day coin. She was SO excited! She shared how hard she had been working and how long it had taken for her to get to that point. I hadn’t even figured out what abstinence was, let alone could I imagine being abstinent for 30 days, but seeing her joy and celebration gave me hope.

Last night I picked up a 90 day coin. It’s not the first time, but I think it might be the last time. I have a bowl of coins at home, and when I stack them up, I have LOTS of desire coins, a fair number of 30 day, fewer 60 day, fewer still 90 day, and even a couple six month and a 9 month. In the past, I would pick up a coin, hold on to it for a couple of days, then it would go into the bowl. This time, starting with the last desire coin I took, it stays in my pocket until replaced by the next milestone. In the past, I have looked on that bowl as my failures. Now, I see my past achievements! I’ve done this before, I can do it again! Even If it was only for 30 days, I did it! I was abstinent for those 30 days. I CAN be abstinent for another 30 days, just one day, one hour, one minute at a time. 

These days any time I’m wearing something with pockets, I have three tokens in one of them. Every day. One is a coin with the serenity pray on one side and a tree on the other. When struggling with my concept of a higher power I remember, I can’t control the sun coming up in the morning, and I can’t make a tree grow – there has to be some power greater than me making that happen. The second says “Every little thing is gonna be alright,” because, yes, every little thing IS gonna be alright. The third is my most recent recovery coin to remind me how far I have come, and that I CAN do this. There’s no money in my pocket for junk food, there’s no junk food in my pocket 😉 but there are these reminders. I am not alone, it’s going to be OK, and look what I have achieved so far!!! 

 

February 11, 2020
Hello my fellow OA’ers! Sorry I have been slacking on the job but I have some notes from other OA’ers:

From Aleta P:
Just wanted to share the definition for abstinence that I found in my daily meditation book that I am currently reading.  It is a throwback so I am figuring that few of you are reading it.
“Compulsive Overeating was concentration on food; Abstinence is concentration on Recovery.”

From Anita K :
-someone told me once about this and it has stayed with me. I try to focus on it when I’m struggling: Think of our daily plans of our eating—when we’re going to and what we’ll be eating. Like it’s our job. But we’re really bad at this job, as experience has showed us. So we need to be fired. We have to turn this job over to someone else-our higher power.

I know it’s been a while because I have 3 messages from Atiyah:

Sat, Jan 11, 2020
Atiya Mosley (myserenitymypeace@hotmail.com)To:you (Bcc) Details
Spiritual Principle of Step One: Honesty
I initially planned to write about perfectionism today, however that writing will keep. Instead, I am writing honestly about honesty. This week I did something I have not done in years. I purchased clothes in a size 8.

When I arrived at my first OA meeting in November 2006, I weighed 240 pounds. I had just purchased a new wardrobe in size 18/20.  After I surrendered my food to my higher power and began to work the steps, I had a weight release of approximately 5 pounds a month and approximately 90 pounds in total. I began to wear a size 6 and even fit into some size fours. During the weight release, my menstrual cycle stopped. I begin working with my dietitian (with the knowledge of my doctor and sponsor) to re-gain some weight in hopes that my cycle would naturally resume.  I continued to weigh and measure my food. I almost always felt very full and bloated after my meals.  Eventually, with a weight increase of about 10-15 pounds, my menstrual cycle resumed.  I was able to still wear most of my clothes.

About seven years ago I began another part of my journey: surrendering the food scale (which I will likely share more about when I send out my reflection on perfectionism).  My weight dropped almost immediately as I stopped eating until I felt very full and instead learned to stop eating when I felt comfortable (about 80% full).   I once again easily fit into size 6 clothing.  Over the years I also stopped weighing my body and instead used my clothing as a guide.  I felt comfortable in my body and enjoyed being a size 6.  Since I stopped weighing my food, I have continued to eat the same foods, in the same amounts (or less).  The few times I inadvertently saw my weight, I weighed the same.  In the past two years or so, my body seemed to shift and my waist expanded.  Initially I responded to this change in my body shape with a lot of profanity and disbelief. When I finally begin to accept the reality, I slightly increased the amount of time I spent doing cardio and started doing sit-ups.  The biggest blow has been although I can still fit into my size sixes, I feel uncomfortable in some of my clothes (and truth be told, have for some time). And when purchasing clothing items recently, I chose the size 8 because they fit better than the size 6.  I also (reluctantly) admit that the last time I inadvertently saw my weight several months ago, it was about 5-10 pounds heavier than I previously thought.  So where does this leave me? In a place of humility.  By all accounts, I am still skinny and very much a healthy body weight.  And, I don’t have the same body I did when I first had a weight release 10+ years ago.

I am also very clear that all of the actions that I am sharing about today were guided by my higher power (whether I believed in one at the time or not). My part was simply to surrender and trust. And to continue to work the steps – honestly!
Thanks for letting me share.  May we all be well.
Atiya M.
Raleigh-Durham, NC
919-302-1030 (no texts please)
Jan 26, 2020
Atiya Mosley (myserenitymypeace@hotmail.com)To:you (Bcc) Details
“I learn more of that foundation stone of character, which is honesty. I learn that when we act upon the highest conception of honesty that is given us, our sense of honesty becomes more acute.”
     –Alcoholics Anonymous, fourth edition, page 218, “Our Southern Friend”
At the end of December, I sent out a recovery reflection sharing about a recent spiritual awakening.  A member who I have know for years invited me to read from the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 56-57 and then “Our Southern Friend” on pages 208-218 of the fourth edition.  Gratefully I did as she suggested.  First, I realized that the man referenced at the end of “We Agnostics” is also “Our Southern Friend.”  And as I was finishing the reading I had the awareness that my selfishness leads to distorted thinking. Interesting!
I invite you to read or re-read these pages, with new eyes.  Feel free to share with me what you find!
Grateful that I am not traveling this path alone.
Atiya M.
Raleigh-Durham, NC
(919) 302-1030 (no text messages, please)
Feb 9, 2020
Atiya Mosley (myserenitymypeace@hotmail.com)To:you (Bcc) Details
“[F]or after all, God gave us brains to use.”

     –Alcoholics Anonymous, fourth edition, Into Action, page 86

When I first heard this phrase, my interpretation was that God gave me a brain for me to use (thus, to think). Later on I had a spiritual awakening and understood another interpretation: that God gave me a brain for God’s use (my thoughts serving as spiritual guidance). This new understanding was revolutionary for me because I spent so much time before (and during) recovery finding fault with my thinking.  I would demonize my thinking if it were not “perfect.“ Due to the spiritual work around my thinking, mainly through working the steps, I began to trust myself and my thinking.

This was not an overnight matter. Yet eventually I came to accept my thinking as being a part of me and responding to unhealthy thoughts with gentleness (instead of condemnation).  This new attitude towards my thinking has been especially important for me over the past two weeks as I have experienced severe mental health challenges.  I was able to respond to even the most pain thoughts with compassion.  I was able to continuously take the next indicated action.  Gratefully I came through the dark and painful days and have reached the shore once again. I am still mentally fragile, so I continue to treat myself and my thoughts with gentleness and kindness.

Thank you for all who have shown me the way and been by my side through it all.  May we all be well together.

Hugs,
Atiya M.
Raleigh-Durham, NC
919-302-1030 (no text messages, please)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Hope everyone had great and positive holidays and if not I hope some positive days are coming. I was abstinent for the first time during the holidays. A unique experience. As one of my friends says “it’s easier to stay abstinent than to get abstinent”.  She’s very right about that. I have more abstinence now than I’ve ever had through the grace of my higher power. I never thought I could do it but I have been going to meetings, reading, meditating and praying and eventually it all fell into place. I also call my sponsor at least once a week or when I think I’m going to be in a sticky situation. Anyway, just feeling really grateful right now. Some words of wisdom from Atiya:
Sun, Dec 29, 2019 12:58 pm
Atiya Mosley (myserenitymypeace@hotmail.com)To:you (Bcc) Details
Having had a(nother) spiritual awakening . . .

     -Step Twelve, paraphrased

On Monday after a night of insomnia (preceded by an emotional conflict with my partner), I had a spiritual experience.

After some of my spiritual practices that morning (meditation, calling into a telephone meeting and two recovery phone calls), I had a spiritual awareness:  Could I simply choose to believe in God?  Is belief simply a choice?  

After my cardio workout, I went to do my sit-ups and an old, familiar song (Whatta Man by Salt ’N’ Pepa) came streaming through while I was still on the telephone meeting (something which had not been technologically possible in the past): “OK!”  I said to a higher power.  “Yes I believe!”   I then (while simultaneously listening to the telephone meeting and this song about a good man) had the awareness of my part in the conflict with my partner: “I am the one who is expecting perfection and not accepting.  I need to reflect the mirror back on me.”  I also had the awareness that perhaps I could go without in person meetings for the week, while out of town, to accommodate the schedules of others.  “Yes I can trust!

I left the gym and drove home, choosing to sit with the spiritual awareness (turning off the radio; not making a telephone call).  Being with it. Noticing the silence.  Recognizing it.  Hearing inside: The stillness is within.  Continuing to be aware and awake spiritually (though barely physically, I chuckled to myself, with only 3 hours of sleep).  Love, lightness & laughter are the answer!

Let’s see where this goes. Trusting more will be revealed (it always is).  Thanks for serving as loving witnesses.

Atiya M.

Durham-Raleigh, NC

919-302-1030 (no text messages please)

myserenitymypeace@hotmail.com