January 9, 2021
New blog post from Atiyah:
“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
This week I was sharing with an OA member about some of my recent spiritual experiences. When my partner and I stopped living together about two months ago, I began to do step work with a friend who is in OA and AA. I have been having “deep and effective spiritual experiences” as the result. When speaking with this OA member this week, she expressed gratitude that I shared with her that, 14 years into recovery, I was still working the steps. She said that she sometimes thinks she will reach a point when step work is not necessary. My understanding is that step work is always optional. I can be as insane (and fat) as I want to be!
I was working on automating my distribution list during my vacation and planned to send out the prior reflection that way. However, I did not finish. Instead, today you get two shares.
Saturday, December 26, 2020 – Through is the Way
On Christmas Eve, I was at the grocery store as an act service. While there, I purchased dinner for my partner and I. I purchased something that I have eaten many times in recovery, but not from this particular store. As I was eating my meal, something tasted sweet. I noticed the taste and finished eating my meal. Nothing came of it until the next morning. After my meditation, while on my elliptical, I called a friend in OA and my dinner from the night before came to mind. So, I shared with my friend about tasting something sweet during my meal. After we hung up, I had the first “sense memory” (a term I recently learned from my sponsor). It was of a food item that we had in our kitchen, which I had no plans to eat. I then felt a wave of shame and fear; shame that I was thinking about a food and fear that I triggered something by my dinner the night before.
I then called a second person in OA. While the phone was ringing, I realized that I was likely feeling vulnerable (which led to the shame and fear) from sharing with my friend and from acknowledging my humanness. I have learned that sharing is an antidote to shame. After I shared the above on this second friend’s voicemail, I had my second sense memory. This time it was of a beverage that we have in the fridge, which I have no plans of drinking. I then called my sponsor and left all of this on her voicemail. During the voicemail message to my sponsor, I affirmed my commitment to abstinence and stated that I have a plan of eating which I intend to follow. I then remembered that I have an HP now (following a spiritual experience on Monday) that I can turn to. I ended the call to my sponsor and had a heartfelt connection with my HP (Healthy Presence). Part of that connection involved me recognizing that I went through (the feelings of fear and shame). And that is my message to myself and to all of you. The only way that I choose to go today is through! Whether it be painful thoughts, feelings or memories; whether it be my own actions and behaviors, today I choose to face my truth and go through it, no matter what. I thank you all for going through it with me!
I am grateful that my Christmas day was filled with love, joy, peace and most importantly physical, mental and emotional abstinence! I hope the same for each of you!
OA love and hugs,
Atiya M.Raleigh, NC, USA919-302-1030 (no text messages please)email@example.com
January 4, 2021
Yay! It’s a new year. Time to put the past in the past. Anyway. I did not have a great start to this year. I had over 200 days of abstinence and I had a couple of slips. So. What is going on? I have several explanations.
One starts with a show I like to watch called Blue Bloods. One of the main things that drew me to the show was the sense of family. Every Sunday the family that is highlighted comes to Sunday dinner. It’s not just the food but the conversations and sharing, even if everyone is in a bad mood. On one particular episode, the discussion was “how did I fail this week”? The older members of the family were really gung ho about the whole thing. One member told of how she lost a case (she’s a lawyer). Another member told how he misjudged someone. However, the younger members were like “Awww do I have to? Why can’t we discuss something I at which I succeed?” So finally one of the older family members explained that it’s succeeding or winning is great but it doesn’t teach you anything. When you screw up you learn from your failures.
On that note how did I fail? There are several reasons but I think the number one reason is I let up on my spiritual program. And as we know:
It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. “How can I best serve Thee – Thy will (not mine) be done.” (Big Book p 85)