*edit* Maybe I ought to make mention that the reason I pray is because the aa program tells me to. Do I believe in God? Not really but I believe that it gets me out of my head. I just thought I ought to mention that.
I’ve finally updated my About page, with a picture finally… or as I like to refer to it:
My whole life outlined in one page… rather humbling, if you ask me.
Clearly I have been on a rather serious downward spiral. My medications have finally been adjusted and I’m back to a bipolar balance. My weight has been stabilized, and my capacity to exercise regained. I’ve cut back on meetings in order to give myself more downtime, rest, to manage the fibromyalgia and chronic pain. So what’s going on? Why have I not bounced back? Here’s what I stopped doing, I mean, stopped altogether:
- starting the morning praying
- reading my morning inspiration, thought provoking books
- writing letters, staying connected
- having fun, you know, to make all the work worthwhile
At first I stopped because I was in pain, then I was depressed, then I was discouraged. Now I’m not. My pain is minimal/manageable, I’m not depressed. Discouragement though only leaves when I’m actually actively doing something positive for recovery.
The anorexia was unleashed when my weight had increased, and then started to decrease. Friday I was not able to get my calories in because I wasn’t home for a long period of time, not because I didn’t want to. I was 300 or so low. I don’t, or rather can’t, eat right before bed since I primarily eat protein. Protein wakes me up. The thing which I find interesting, perhaps amazing, is that my thought wasn’t to continue, although that did float in a wee bit, but rather it was to do what my nutritionist and I agreed to a year or two ago: “if I don’t eat enough calories then I don’t exercise.” So even though Saturday morning was my exercise day I chose not to. I also ate my calories and even a wee bit more. I didn’t go about cleaning house and moving around to burn calories not considered exercise. That was one of the games I played in pre-AA recovery. I would say that I did chores and not mention I did it for an hour and a half! For me, this is yet one more piece of evidence that the 12 steps work. The 10th step promises:
And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone-even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality—safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.
Since working the steps, that is, doing them with willingness and complete honesty, I have found this to be the case. If that is the case, why the return of some anorexic type thinking? Notice the last line: …as long as we keep in fit spiritual condition. Am I fit? Absolutely not. Even if a part of my brain doesn’t believe in such a thing as a Higher Power, or God for short, I have faith that praying and acting accordingly, makes a big difference.
I used to share at meetings how much I liked the word Fit. Being a former athlete that means so much more to me, but I forgot… no, I got complacent and bored. Persistence is not one of my characteristics except when I’m in an anorexic mode. Then my persistence is gold medal worthy! A new friend of mine, Bryson, has been so amazingly helpful. He talked, at a meeting, about the concept of training and that when a person is faced with a traumatic event, whether from an inconsiderate driver, financial situation, physical catastrophe, and so forth, they default to whatever they are trained to do, good or bad. In the past my default was to restrict, over-exercise, or in the deep past, drink, use. Whatever the addiction, it was always to escape. In AA, the training is in Steps 10, 11, and 12. Basically to (10) do a daily inventory, for resentments, fears, self-pity, etc; (11) pray and meditate; (12) help others.
I am unfit and out of shape, so to speak, and the longer I stay this way, the easier it is to not care and continue doing it my way. Well, my way leads to disaster so I think I’ll go back and start training.
I created a morning prayer to read. It’s based on the 10, 11, & 12 in the big book starting at page 84 and really does set the tone of the day. It is:
God, help me to stay watchful all day. Am I being resentful, selfish, dishonest, afraid or feeling sorry for myself? Do I owe an apology? Am I keeping something to myself which should be discussed with another person at once? Am I being kind and loving toward all? What can I do better? Am I thinking of myself most of the time? Am I thinking of what I could do for others, with compassion and understanding? Please teach me corrective measures I can take for harms and wrongs throughout today.
Should I find myself agitated, doubtful or indecisive today, please give me inspiration, help me to trust intuitive thoughts and decisions about this problem I face. Teach me to take it easy and relax rather than struggle and try to do it my way. I will be mindful that you are running the show. Free me from my bondage of self. Your will be done always.
Having had a spiritual experience, I want to remember that “faith without works is dead.” Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from relapse as intensive work with people who are still trapped, still struggling. Please help me to carry this message to others! Provide me with the guidance and wisdom to share the message of recovery. Help me secure their confidence and remember that I was where they are now. Shine your light through me.
Highest blessings on those who are still sick and suffering, and especially: (immediate needs here)
I got up this morning, got on my knees and read this and you know what? I feel better, I feel more sane. Why the knees? For me it is a position of humility. When I am standing, I’m ready to “do” something so reading/praying would be a task to be done. When I’m sitting, I am in intellectual mode. Kneeling makes it personal. I don’t believe in a God in the religious sense, or any sense for that matter. It is undefined; something that is outside of myself, greater than me that gets me out of, well, me. Maybe it’s ego versus not-ego, who knows. I don’t really care because it works. Intellectualizing it will nullify it.
The other thing I did was read chapter 1 in the brand new Eating Disorder Anonymous big book. I do AA because it’s cut and dry about abstinence/sobriety and that’s what I need: accountability and boundaries. EDA doesn’t have that but maybe it would be good to have a support system relating directly to that? More so, maybe it is an avenue where I can be of service. I’ve gone on and on about having no clue as to how I can help. Maybe this is it…
Yesterday I decided I was never going to share at a meeting again because, in my mind, nothing I say is relevant and is worthless, no help to anyone. I feel like I take up time that people who “really” need to share should have. Two people actually told me yesterday that they get something whenever I do share and to please, please don’t stop sharing. That is God plain and simple. See, there’s just way too many things that happen like this to chalk it up to coincidence.
Today I’m going to a morning and evening meeting. I’ve cut down to one a day but I feel like I need to solidify my new effort today, the beginning (again) of my training.
Last night I met up with the ladies from my complex and we played cards, something called Hand and Foot. Once I figured it out it’s fun. I had fun… I kind of liked it.
If interested, the EDA big book is here, complete and free.