Let’s stick together

My name is *** and I am an addict.

In my experience, when life has thrown a challenge my way, it has effected my motivation to do the next right thing. Suggestions can become lackadaisical, I can start to think about the steps rather than act upon them, meetings can become a chore and my priorities can get turned on their head.

But why? Surely in difficult times it is even more necessary to work a solid program? I know it works if I work it, so why in tough times can I take my foot off the pedal? Truly baffling I can be.

When I do not put in the daily diligent effort I can very easily become resentful and/or fearful. Selfish and dishonest behaviours aren’t far behind. A perilous way for an addict to live.

I am as much an addict as I ever was. This will never not be the case. NEVER. The 20 questions still apply to me now and always will. ALWAYS.

Why am I sharing this now? Because, we are all being challenged in one way or another right now and it appears to be set to last for a considerable amount of time.

It is my belief, that like it or not, us addicts find ourselves in a potentially vulnerable position. Vulnerable to relapse. Vulnerable to causing further harm and destruction to ourselves and our loved ones. BUT only if we allow it too. It DOES NOT have to be that way.

Please consider the following:

– Keep in constant contact with fellows. Reach out to someone who will appreciate your call. Be of service to the fellowships that have done so much for us.

– Attend (in person or online) as many meetings per week. Get things off your chest. Talk about your feelings. Give service by listening to and sharing the message of experience, strength and hope.

– SMASH the suggestions to pieces! Do two gratitude lists if you have to! Mediate three times a day if it helps! Call ten fellows and not just two! Smash them all.

– Pray, pray, pray, pray and pray again to your higher power. If you do not have your own concept of God, choose someone in your life you believe has faith and pray to theirs.

– Do not delay the steps. If it is impossible for you to physically meet with your sponsor, don’t waste any time. We are blessed with technology which allows calls and video calls. Use them.

– If you are interested in sponsorship and willing to go to any lengths then start now! Do not wait, sponsorship has proven it can work from country to country. We are blessed to have many available sponsors who can be (somewhat) flexible in their delivery.

– Be selfless. Think of others less fortunate than you, that includes the elderly, the homeless, our families and everyone not in a fellowship (in my opinion). Even if it’s to listen to them share their feelings and get things off there chest, let’s do what we can.

– Put the effort in on a daily basis. 6 days per week is not enough.

By keeping our foot flat out on the pedal we will improve our chances of being abstinent and reduce the chance of harming others and leaving destruction on our paths. Through God or the simple higher power of the fellowship, we can be the best version of ourselves and of best use to the people around us.

Grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, Courage to change the things we can and the Wisdom to know the difference.

Another coin has dropped!!

50 days ago another coin dropped. There was no planning. No bolt of lightning moment. The only way I can describe it is: the time was right. I had been through what I needed to and went with the flow when the opportunity presented itself.

As a result I am 50 day’s free from chocolate, biscuits, cakes, pastries, fried chicken, Greggs, McDonalds and those salty ribs I get from the local chip shop. All of which can trigger me into compulsive eating and has done so for the last three decades.

Make no mistake – this a miracle!!

What’s more is, for the first time in my life I don’t want to relapse. A strange thing for someone to say when that someone has struggled with food for as long as he can remember, someone who has been on countless diets and whose weight has continued to go up and down like a yoyo. For a few years now, I have been aware of the insanity around my thinking but I continued to test the water, to put the feelers out and try again. Oh, the great obsession to be a normal eater.

But I have finally accepted my powerlessness over certain foods. Through bitter experience I know where that first bite will take me. It maybe instant, it may take a few days or a few weeks, but what’s certain is I will reach the point of no return. I will cross that invisible line into compulsive eating and the self-pity, self-delusion, self-loathing and dishonesty that comes with it.

So how did I get to this rather serene place? First of all my sponsor suggested I did 90 meetings in 90 days. Thankfully, I quickly committed before my ego got the better of me. And of course, the more meetings I went to, the more shares of experience, strength and hope I heard, the more service I got to do, the more literature I read, the more serenity prayers I said and the more fellows I got to know.

Unlike my other fellowship, I had to grow into this one. The magic wasn’t instant. I had to do the basics and ‘keep coming back’.

I am so grateful for this abstinence. If I take notice, miracles are happening to me on a daily basis – I can turn down a donut when they’re brought into the office, I am not weighing myself numerous times a day, I can leave food on my plate if I feel full, I can attend a buffet and not sample everything, and Christmas is not an inevitable binge.

Today I feel so much better about my relationship with food. I can enjoy what I eat without fear and that’s a blessing.

It’s like a game of ‘whack-a-mole’! What’s next? Bring it on!

“Can we have a chat later?”

This morning I was greeted with that dreaded question…

“Can we have a chat later?”

This is never good news, is it?

Based on personal experience, no, it is not good news. What have I done wrong now? What faults are she going to bring up? What situations can I bring to the table to counter hers? These are just a few of the questions that would be spinning around my head in the meantime. That is if I allowed it to be delayed till ‘later’. Normally, I would insist that she said what she needed to say immediately. Why should I be made to wait and suffer?

Well today, I am grateful to have not reacted this way. How I’ve reacted goes to show how far recovery has taken me.

These are just a few of my thoughts…

– This is probably an opportunity for her to get things off her chest and share how she is feeling. Something I am blessed to do several times a week at meetings.

– This could be an opportunity for me to listen and learn from whatever she has to say. Another chance to progress.

– This could be an opportunity for me to practice strengths of character like tolerance, patience, consideration, love and humility.

– This could be another opportunity for me to make amends if I have caused any harm.

– This is an opportunity for me to use the ‘meantime’ to pray and meditate and prepare myself spiritually, rather than acting on impulse (self).

– This could be an opportunity for her to bear witness to my difficulties being removed and see God’s power shine through.

– This is another opportunity for me to accept the things I cannot change and have the courage to change the things I can.

– This is another opportunity for me to let go and live life on life’s terms.

There is nothing for me to fear. Furthermore, when reality plays out, there is rarely anything to fear in the first place.

In any case, wish me luck 😉

Gratitude List 29/06/2019

Gratitude List 29/06/2019

Today I am grateful for the English weather. Sometimes cold, sometimes hot, sometimes wet, sometimes dry and highly possible to experience all four seasons in one day. But it’s rarely severe to the point lives are lost.

Today I am grateful to be up with the birds and on my way to better myself with some recovery work. An early morning spiritual gym workout!

Today I am grateful my willingness to put in diligent effort is as strong as it was when I started my spiritual journey two and a bit years ago.

Today I am grateful to be able to close my eyes wherever I am (currently on a bus) and improve my conscious contact with God through prayer and meditation.

Today I am grateful for how much God has been speaking to me (through God’s conscience – gut instinct) and for how much I have been listening to him.

Today I am grateful for recently witnessing how recovery has helped people come through some very difficult times. It’s absolutely miraculous.

Today I am grateful for who I am. For my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. My outlook upon my self has completely changed.

Today I am grateful that despite with being happy with who I am, I will not stop working. For two reasons, one I can still progress further – I am no saint, and two if I stop I will surely degress.

Today I am grateful that one thought of recovery and all of a sudden my gratitude list goes off on another spiritual tangen. I started with the weather! Can’t help it! I have so much gratitude for it.

Today I am grateful for all the poeple in my life who have helped shape me into the person I am today. Good or bad experiences, I have learnt from you all.

Gratitude List 28/06/2019

Gratitude List 28/06/2019

Addiction demanded so much of me. It demanded my time, my money, my thoughts, my sanity, my happiness. It demanded dishonesty, selfishness, fear and resentment. It demanded me to break relationships, lose trust and isolate. It demands I get nothing in return. Nothing.

Recovery made no such demands of me, in fact it made suggestions.

Today I am grateful recovery suggests I attend meetings regularly.

Today I am grateful recovery suggests I share how I am feeling.

Today I am grateful recovery suggests I do service at the meetings.

Today I am grateful recovery suggests I work through the 12 steps.

Today I am grateful recovery suggests I do so with a sponsor.

Today I am grateful recovery suggests I carry the message to another.

Today I am grateful recovery suggests I am honest, open-minded and willing.

Today I am grateful recovery suggests I believe in a power greater than myself.

Today I am grateful recovery suggests I am loving, caring and forgiving.

Today I am grateful recovery suggests I complete a simple set of suggestions.

In comparison, these suggestions are far less taxing than the demands gambling made. Truthfully, they’re not taxing at all. They aren’t chores. They are blessed opportunities. Unlike addiction, I get an abundance in return – I get serenity, happiness, hope, humility, trust, maturity, faith, self-esteem, emotional security, purpose, tolerance, love, etc etc etc.

If only these suggestions were demands 😉

👍🏻💪🏻❤😊🙏🏻

Gratitude List 27/06/2019

Gratitude List 27/06/2019

Today I am grateful I took my car in for it’s MOT before it expired!! Woop woop! Responsible me! Haha!

Today I am grateful that not a lot of work needed to be done. I don’t know how. I should really make amends to my car, I’ve caused a lot of harm through neglect over the years.

Today I am grateful I agreed to get the brake pads replaced even if it would have passed the MOT anyway. No way I would’ve done this in the past, I would’ve run the risk!

Today I am grateful for the school run this morning with my daughter. Always has been one of my favourite parts of my day. Saying goodbye always tugs at the heart strings.

Today I am grateful my son is comfortable in our new home. He was more than happy to stay in bed, have a lie in and then make his way home a bit later.

Today I am grateful for the lovely evening we had last night. After dinner we went outside in the garden and just talked. No TV, no phones, just interaction.

Today I am grateful to reach day 4 in my food related abstinence. The obsession is not there at the moment and when it is, I am able to surrender to God’s will.

Today I am grateful for the day ahead of me. If all goes to plan, I’ll finish work mid afternoon and follow it up with several hours of service, recovery and unity.

Today I am grateful for this opportunity. For this void in my day to do this suggestion. I’m grateful I haven’t filled it with something not so positive.

Today I am grateful for the smile on my face, the serenity in my mind and the bounce in my step. It really does work if I work it.