Blog 2020

May 26

Hello fellow OA’ers. I’m missing seeing you face to face in meetings but thank God for Zoom. It’s really helped me get through this pandemic. I hope you all are safe from this thing. I’ve heard lots of great things in meetings and wanted to share. An OA’er mentioned that in the old newsletter there was a feature about things heard in meetings. I’ll be adding an extra spot on the website just for that soon. Of course,  if you would like to contribute you can respond on the website to me (LadyE316@aol) or to Sandy B.

Wisdom from Atiyah:

Sat, May 23, 2020 10:07 am
Atiya Mosley (myserenitymypeace@hotmail.com)To:you (Bcc) Details
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
     -Step Five
I was out walking this morning and had an opportunity to share on an OA meeting focused on relationships about the order in this step and how following that order (in my day and in my life) has enabled all of my relationships to become healthier.
It is in the spirit of healthy relationships that I am keeping this short today.  My priority today is my partner, and being present for him and for us.  In order to do so, I first needed to take care of my spiritual practices – which includes the responsibility of this writing.  I will then be free to spend the day with him, loving on him and appreciating him and his presence in my life.
Thank you all for teaching me how to show up (and how to act when I do).
May we all be well today!
Hugs and love,
Atiya M.
Raleigh/Durham, NC
(919) 302-1030 (calls anytime; no text messages, please)
Sat, May 9, 2020 6:38 pm
Atiya Mosley (myserenitymypeace@hotmail.com)To:you (Bcc) Details
I was out walking this morning, listening to an OA meeting and thinking about my recovery reflection for the day.  I had one topic in mind, then, as often happens when I am thinking about something else, I received the inspiration to write about PPP.  In the midst of the pandemic, many of us have probably become familiar with PPE (personal protection equipment).  PPP is my personal protection from the destructions of compulsive eating.  What is it? PPP stands for Power, Principles & Practice.
Power.  Like many people, I spent most of my life in church, receiving religious instruction and learning about God.  I also had a very strong belief in God.  Yet, what I lacked was the Power (or ability) to apply what I knew to my behavior.  Despite my beliefs, I lived most of my life as though God did not exist or as if God “could not see” my actions.  It was not until I came into recovery, surrendered my food and began to work the steps that I began to access the power that eluded me when I was seeking it in food.  Through working the steps, I suddenly had spiritual power which enabled me to act (and later think) differently.
Principles.  It is the spiritual principles of the 12 Steps that I need to apply to each situation in my life.  Years ago, I settled on the principles of Love & Kindness.  I have found that by acting loving and kind (by asking myself, “What would Love do?”), I am able to live a value-aligned life.
Practice.  Studying the steps would be a theoretical pursuit only if I was not actually applying spiritual principles in my life through practice. This is where the Tools come in for me.  The 9 Tools allow me to practice.  For example, calling my sponsor daily – even when I don’t want to or don’t feel like it – is the practice of surrender.  Taking a call from a fellow at an inconvenient time enables me to practice selflessness.  Listening to a sponsee share about something mundane allows me to practice patience and compassion.
Although these days it is important to have PPE, when the dangers of Covid-19 pass (as they will, eventually), having PPP is even more important.  PPP enables me to stay mentally and emotionally safe and protected!
Thank you for allowing me to share.
Atiya M.
Sheltering-in place (with my Beloved) in Durham, NC
919-302-1030 (no text messages please)

April 30

Someone sent me a blog entry: Thanks:

I come to the meetings…
It has been almost 2 years since I first walked into one of these rooms. I remember that feeling of fear and skepticism as I parked in the parking lot. I’d been to an AA meeting a couple times as a visitor but I’ve never thought I’d be coming to a meeting for myself.

In these last 23 months so much has transpired. I got abstinent, got pregnant, relapsed, started working a 12 step workshop, had a baby and then got abstinent again. This time I’ve stayed abstinent by some miracle. I’m thankful for the opportunity to even write about it.

Someone recently asked me how I define abstinence and as replied, “well, for me abstinence is….” and they interrupted me with a seemingly sarcastic giggle. As if to say—“Here we go again. Can someone PLEASE give me the cure-all?” That’s the essence of what I heard in their voice. It shook me a little bit. Isn’t that what I wanted? To be cured from this? Tell me what to do, I’ll do it! Don’t tell me your way, tell me THE WAY.

It really had me thinking….then suddenly a lightbulb went off. I got it! There is THE WAY. The steps. The program. That is the only way. Abstinence is our word for sobriety. It does not matter how we get there so long as we get there—any length. Just as we are all made uniquely and amazingly different—abstinence can be unique and different. What works for me may not work for you. I may not be able to touch a certain ingredient and you may have no issues with the same one.

The reason I believe I have this clarity and understanding is because I never quit coming to meetings or working my program of recovery. It doesn’t mean I’m cured or that the food doesn’t talk to me. I’m working hard to keep the talking to a whisper or quiet it for today. Most days it is silent and others it sneaks up on me. Those are usually the days when things don’t go as planned or life is hard.  Those days the food starts to whisper in my ear—have one bite. Come on, just one. As soon as I hear it start to mumble I call a fellow. I make sure I can make it to the next possible meeting, I call my sponsor, I pray to my Higher Power. I am not helpless. I am worth it and I deserve freedom from this obsession.

These zoom meetings have been a saving grace for me. I’m so thankful for them and I’m thankful to be able to connect to my fellows still.

Coming to meetings, even in relapse, elbows deep in a bag of junk, even saying out loud—I’M IN THE FOOD—not one person turned their hugs and love away. I was embraced, encouraged, and loved even in the mess. That’s what gave me hope. Initially, I didn’t want to come to them for fear of being rejected or disappointing people with my woes of being in relapse. “Look at them, they will judge me.” Who was I to try to imagine the outcome!?!?

When I worked steps 4-9 it was glaringly clear that perfectionism, and expectations were 2 of my top character defects. I predicted how people would see me and already made up their minds about me before even thinking about seeing them. When I started to have a spiritual change those defects were lessened and lessened. I do not fear not judge my fellows. We are in this together.

I’m forever grateful for the meetings being alive and well, even in this chaos. I’m thankful I can talk to my fellows. They all help keep me abstinent. I hope I can be there for others, too.

Thanks for letting me share: Tami M.

April 13th

Hello fellow OA’ers

Sorry this been so long in coming. It’s amazing to me that I can find time to write this blog when I’m working full time but give me lots of time and I get nothing done. I’ve stayed pretty abstinent until Easter weekend. I guess my feelings were hurt a little because my mom didn’t want me to come over. My head understands: she is a diabetic and she 75. Both factors put her at risk for getting the coronavirus. My feelings and my heart don’t understand. Usually I spend time with both parents on most holidays. Easter is usually spent with my partner and me visiting with my parents and one or both of my siblings visiting also. I’m very close to my family so for me to spend Easter at home felt strange and lonely. If it were up to my dad everything would have gone on as usual. He is still working his part time so life for him is close to being normal. Anyway, thanks to the Zoom meetings, I’ve been getting in more meetings than normal. If you haven’t gone to any Zoom meetings they are very user friendly. You can call or go online to join. Thanks for the oa’ers that have given service to set this up and to lead meetings.

Speaking of service, the topic has come up in several meetings I have attended. Service can be helpful to keep this fellowship going. Service as in taking the key to a meeting can make sure you go to that meeting. Service can be large or small. Service can be helping to put away chairs, leading a meeting, contributing to a topic. For me, service helps me understand OA on a deeper meaning. What do you think about service? Several oa’ers have said that their sponsor has been asking them to do service.

A fellow oa’er shared the slipping and sliding tool. It’s something that’s been around but she thought it would be relatable in these times where we have to quarantine in place. The link is right here:

Https://oa.org/app/uploads/2019/12/Been-Slipping-and-Sliding.pdf

She also shared this picture and named it Spiritual Powerwashing:

IMG-4791

I know I’m behind because I have 3 blogs of Atiyah’s to post:

Atiya Mosley (myserenitymypeace@hotmail.com)To:you (Bcc) Details
“Alone. Together.”
I have been in recovery for over 13 years.  I have shared many times that if I had designed the “perfect” recovery program for myself, it would have been one that did not involve other people, that could be done from my home behind a computer screen (essentially allowing me to continue isolating).  Fortunately this was not in the cards for me (nor is it the way recovery works I found).  Early in my recovery I learned that I needed people (I still do).  I also learned how to identify in; to find commonalities instead of differences.  And I learned the difference between being alone and feeling lonely.
I recently saw “Alone. Together.” in a public service announcement around the coronavirus.  It reminded me that I am not really alone; that although I cannot see them there are millions of people throughout the world who are having similar experiences and feelings.  This awareness helps me feel connected.  Also I have gotten in the habit of walking each morning (working from home has given me more time).  I practice social distancing while walking, yet say “hello” or “good morning” to others I encounter; it helps me to remember that we are all in this together.  And I do trust that together we will get through this!
As I shared with my cousin this week, if I don’t do the things I need to do each day to take care of myself, then I will feel lonely. Taking care of myself is my responsibility.  Practicing connection is one aspect of my self-care.
 
Thank you for showing up with me, and reminding me that no matter what happens (in my life or in my world) I am never truly alone!  May we all continue to be healthy and well together.
Atiya M.
Sheltering in place in Durham, NC
919-302-1030 (no text messages please)
P.S. Please join me at the workshop tomorrow (flyer attached).
 Note: I realize that I posted this too late for us to attend the workshop. I have emailed Atiyah to see if she recorded it.
Sat, Mar 28, 2020 3:42 pm
Atiya Mosley (myserenitymypeace@hotmail.com)To:you (Bcc) Details
A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs.

     -Alcoholics Anonymous, fourth edition, There Is A Solution, page 19.

When my employer announced about 2 weeks ago that we would begin working remotely three days a week, my partner was on a business trip in Death Valley, California. I missed him and was sad that I would be working from home and he would not be there to hang out with me. Fortunately, he returned from his trip a week early (taking the last flight out of Sacramento before the city shut down) and we are now sheltering in place together.

Although “acceptance” has been a frequent topic of writings and meetings recently, I am grateful for a meeting earlier today on gratitude and wonder.  I don’t simply want to accept my partner; I want to be (and am) grateful for him. So far, we have enjoyed our time together.  Gratitude and appreciation are necessary practices for me so that we continue to enjoy this time.

Despite (or because of) everything that is occurring in the world, by continuing to apply spiritual principles at home I can leave this experience with even stronger relationships and deeper intimacy (with him, with myself and with a higher presence).

Thank you for being with me as we go though this together.
“virtual” hugs,
Atiya M.
Durham, NC
919-302-1030 (no texts please)
Sat, Mar 14, 2020 3:24 pm
Atiya Mosley (myserenitymypeace@hotmail.com)To:you (Bcc) Details
This morning I read another member’s online share about having the willingness to do something that she did not want to do.  On my recovery journey, I have learned the difference between willingness and what I call “wantingness.”  The literature has multiple reference to willingness as a key to recovery; it is the substance of action.  I can take steps without having the wantingness; waiting for wantingness is a barrier to recovery.

One tool I learned early in recovery is the “15 minute rule.”  I set a timer and do something I don’t want to do for 15 minutes only; and then I STOP!  It can be tempting to continue after the 15 minutes however with my ingrained binge habits I would allow the 15 minutes to turn into hours, feel overwhelmed and exhausted and might not have the willingness to do that particular task again.  Instead with the 15 minute rule I am taking action; in moderate increments; getting tasks done over time and learning discipline in manageable segments.Least you think that I am sharing a theory and not my application I was inspired to write on this topic as I contemplated tasks in my apartment that I wanted done; I simply didn’t want to do them!  The 15 minute rule, which aids in combating procrastination, came to mind.  Instead of waiting until “someday” or even some time later in the day, I set my timer when I returned from working out (another area where the 15 minute rule can be applied) and worked on sorting my bookcase.

A lot can be accomplished in 15 minutes of concentrated action.  Thank you for teaching me how to live life on life’s terms, 15 minutes at a time!

Hugs,
Atiya M.
Raleigh-Durham, NC
919-302-1030 (no text messages please)

Untitled

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