Whole Recovery

“Recovery is the most important thing in my life.” This was my motto for twenty-five years. I couldn’t understand why people struggled with abstinence. We knew what foods we were “allergic” to: refined carbs! I was grateful for those twenty-five years of recovery, but on that anniversary, something happened to my abstinence that sent me back to Steps One, Two, and Three.

“I can’t, he can, I’ll let him.” This is my new motto, along with ODAT (one day at a time), HALT (not getting too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired) and “just for today.” Sharing with my groups how hard it has been to get back on track has been a humbling experience.

Recovery includes all three aspects of my being: physical, emotional, and spiritual, each as important as the other. When I read about delayed gratification on page 72 of Voices of Recovery, I realize I must spend more time on emotional and spiritual growth and learn to take people, places, and things as they are and not as I wish them to be. I should have learned that by now, but I’m finding by taking Steps Four and Five that more is revealed about my character defects. When I focus on the freedom to change my perspective, the strength to let things be, and the continuation of my spiritual journey, I am free.

I’ve turned over my weight loss to my Higher Power; my job is to stay in touch and ask for help throughout the day. My relapse has brought a renewed sense of dependence on my Higher Power and a clearer look at myself and the issues I must address. If I don’t work each day on all three areas—what I put in my mouth, what I feel, and how I ask for spiritual direction—the potential for relapse is high.

When I practice all the Steps, I have whole recovery. They show me a way to live without eating compulsively, as do the slogans stuck to my mirror and in my car.

The OA program is forcing me to grow up and stop using food to soothe myself. Instead, I seek emotional and spiritual growth with the support of my Higher Power, sponsor and fellow OA members.

Reprinted from Lifeline magazine