I chose the porridge

Gratitude List 12/01/2019

Today I am grateful I chose the porridge.

You’ll have to excuse me today. Trust me, there’s a point behind what follows, hopefully I’m able to put it into words and make some sense. In short, the other day, I went to McDonalds with my son and ordered porridge. I do struggle with what I eat and my powerlessness over food highly resembles the lack of power I have over gambling – so this was a big success for me.

A previous reaction I only know too well would have gone something like this:

– I would have accepted, before it even happened, that me eating junk food was inevitable. As far as I was concerned the deed was done and it was pointless trying to fight it.

– I would have convinved myself that this would be my treat for the day and for the rest of the day I would eat healthy and make up for it. ‘I am a normal eater,’ I would have told myself.

– I would have told myself to keep it sensible and try to be semi-healthy. Then at the vital moment (at the counter) I would order whatever I craved and even something extra, something sweet. Along came the first thoughts of ‘what am I doing?!’

– I would then sit down and not even enjoy it. I’m sure I scoff down junk food because I subconsciously know it tastes awful.

– I would then ponder the questions ‘Where was the fight? What happened to the promises I made to myself? Did I even have a choice?’

– I would then leave and as I did the following thought would have suddenly popped into my head ‘ah crap! I could’ve ordered the porridge!’ A good idea but too late now. If only I had thought of that earlier.

– I would then, with a degree of certainty, have carried on eating in the same way for the rest of the day. I had already hit that f**k it button so what’s the point. The day was ruined anyway.

As I write this, the similarities between my powerlessness over food and gambling are clearly highlighted. The spiritual malady is exactly the same.

Today I am grateful my day didn’t pan out how it has done so many times before.

Today I am grateful for my few days of abstinence. Abstinence that gave me a bit of strength.

Today I am grateful for the action I’m putting in. Going to the gym, recording what food I am eating and sharing my food compulsion stories with another like minded fellow. I can still do more.

Today I am mostly grateful for my recent efforts to improve my conscious contact with God through meditation and prayer. It’s this improved spiritual connection that fought (and won) against the spiritual malady. I genuinely believe that’s why I made the logical, rationale and sane choice. I believe its why I had a choice in the first place. I believe it’s why that choice came at the right time. And I believe it’s exactly the same spiritual connection and its power that will stop me putting on that first bet.

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3 years ago

Gratitude List 11/01/2019

Three years ago my girlfriend and I were preparing to move in together for the first time. I was also knee… no neck deep in a relapse. What should have been an exciting prospect was stressful, extremely fearful and zero fun. Three years on and my now fiancĂ©e and I are on the move again.

Today I am grateful that this time coincides with abstinence and recovery.

Today I am grateful I am not sweating over the credit checks and where the deposit money will come from.

Today I am grateful there’s no need to intercept the postman with the final gas, electricity, water and council tax bills.

Today I am grateful I have nothing to hide. I get to enjoy this move. I’m genuinely excited about it.

Today I am grateful for the fellowship and how it opened up possibilities like this.

Today I am grateful for the recovery program that made these dreams reality.

Today I am grateful I put my recovery ahead of my dreams.

Today I am grateful for the hope recovery gives me. For a good two decades I did my best to ruin the rest of my life. In a little over two years recovery has given my life back. I don’t want my addiction to steal it back so I’m more than happy to put in the required effort for the rest of my life. Its easy for me to see recovery in others but examples like this prove to me how far I’ve come.

Most of all I am grateful that I go into this move with no fear for our relationship. I do not fear her unhappiness, I do not fear mine, I do not fear letting her down, I do not fear us arguing all the time, I do not fear wrecking her life, I do not fear her leaving me, I do not fear me leaving her, I do not fear for our future. Through recovery my relationships have become stronger, closer and more loving.