Gone are the days of sitting depressed in my flat, unable to function when all I could do was sit and eat, frozen with fear.
I am amazed how some days seem so light and easy. Then that energy disappears and the next moment or 24 hours seem dark and heavy. I’m pleased to report that today was light and easy. Since earlier in the week, I put off writing an email, assessing paperwork, updating documents, finding suitable accommodation for a visiting friend and changing the bed linen! But today, I completed all those tasks with a sense of joy, lightness and ease. I paused throughout each activity and thanked whatever power there is in the universe for that energy and the ease of getting through the tasks effortlessly. The motto, “less effort, maximum benefit” that I heard recently sounded in my heart.
This morning helped me realise the old adage, “this too shall pass!” and the complete practical sense of other slogans I’ve learned in the programme. Another example is, “don’t take yourself too seriously!” I’m appreciating how everything ebbs and flows; one’s energy, the moonlight, the tide on the beach rise and fall, like the sun.
I’m in awe of how it’s possible for a hopeless addict, like me, to not eat addictively - even when some days I feel overwhelmed with chores, people and things, or a feeling of darkness surfaces (and it really is just a feeling). Thankfully, everything passes and, as I mature in sobriety, I really know with all my heart how to keep going.
Food obsession, anxiety and mental illness
I understand how the busyness of life, and the heavy feeling that there are too many things to do, could cause the “mental obsession for food, and the craving to eat,” to raise its ugly head and force me to the refrigerator over and over again. I have compassion for that old way of managing life, that old self who anaesthetised anxiety by getting drunk on food to get tasks done. I needed food, large amounts of cake, bags of sweets and other junk food just to manage my work and home life.
So today, I remembered to relax and take it easy. I started the day with a few items to complete and I gave myself permission to do a minimum of two. Only if I had enough energy would I possibly complete the other five tasks that weren’t urgent, including the admin that could be put off for another week. I began to realise that maybe it wasn’t procrastination and maybe I was just tired. For the past month, we’ve had visitors and a heavy work schedule and maybe, in my own way, I had already prioritised. You see, the voice in my head always wants me to think negatively about what I do when I do it, and how it’s done The voice in the head - the same mental illness that drove me to eat addictively - also wants me to feel bad. So when I stop and pause today, I recognise it’s just been a very busy few weeks. And maybe my intuitive spirit had been guiding me all along, until today when I had fewer demands and more energy to stay home and complete everything peacefully, one task at a time.
The Twelve Steps of Addictive Eaters Anonymous have freed me from the depressive eating, binge eating and procrastination
I am so grateful for the Fellowship of Addictive Eaters Anonymous which has enabled me to stop eating abusively, to eat only what is good for me, no matter what the day brings and to practice a new way of life. I make daily use of the principles set out in the program. I call my sponsor, I make daily contact with a Power greater than me and I pass on the message of recovery to another person as often as I can every day. Deep within, I know I have a responsibility to carry this message of freedom from binge eating, starving and purging.
What a wonderful gift it is to be a member of a fellowship where no money changes hands and where I freely give away everything I’m freely given, not because I’m a goody-two-shoes but because I’m desperate to stay sober from the awful disease of addiction and obsession with food. The heavy moods of depression have been removed. They have never returned and the programme of AEA has lifted me from the darkness of bingeing and given me a solution that works.