Saturday, November 26, 2016

OA- I'm Not in Charge of the World - Thank Goodness

Step two - Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step three - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

I've been listening to a podcast step study and reading the AA Big Book to solidify my recommitment to the program.  In the Chapter called "How it Works" I found myself:

"..any life run on self-will can hardly be a success."

That sounds reasonable.  Not too many people hold up selfishness as a positive attribute.   Not many of us claim to be selfish, but...

"Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show... if only people would do as he wished, the show would be great.  Everybody, including himself, would be pleased.  Life would be wonderful... "

 Ouch - how many of us think life would be better if only people would listen to us?

"What usually happens? The show doesn't come off very well.  He begins to think life does not treat him right."

That sounds like my favorite complaint - It's not fair!!!

 "He decides to exert himself more."

  Me - I just have to work harder.

"He becomes... more demanding or gracious... Still the play does not suit him... He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying... a producer of confusion rather than harmony...sure all would be Utopia if the rest of the world would only behave..."

So - yeah that pretty much sounds like my pity-party depression episodes. =(

So the real problem is "self-will run riot, though he usually does not think so."

I have been so busy trying to keep things running smoothly at work and at church that I did not realize the "I" was the problem.  I'm not responsible or capable to run the world.  I don't get to hold the reigns unless I want to crash. (and I have been crashing) 

So - what is the solution? 

"Above everything, we alcoholics (Me- dare I say, we humans) must be rid of this selfishness..."

How?

"God makes that possible... we had to quit playing God... in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director... He is the Father and we are His children.."

So when I am tied up in knots trying to please everyone and do everything that needs doing, I am trying to be in control  I am the director of my play.  It's about what I want.  I'm being selfish.  Big ouch.

Does that mean I don't do anything?  Nope - "We had a new Employer.  Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well."  My job is to stay close to the creator and do His will and His work, not mine.  Not my "little plans and designs" but instead "contribute to life". 

Giving my will and my plans over to God is the "triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom". 

So - I can have freedom and peace and purpose.  All I have to do is resign as the Queen of  the World? 

 I'm in -God, teach me to surrender each and every situation to you.  Help me to do your will and let go of the results.  Help me to remember You are in charge of the world.  I am only a servant - thank goodness.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

OA - Starting Over

Step 1 - We admitted we were powerless over our addictions - that our lives had become unmanageable.

I recently came to a place where I needed to ask some hard questions about what did and did not belong in my life.  I was running too fast and trying to 'fix' everything.  Of course, it wasn't working out too well.  Depression was taking over and I was having other stress-related health problems. 

On advice from my counselor, I cleared my schedule and spent some time alone to decide what was really important to me.  I cut back on some of my commitments at work and at church.  I decided to focus more on my family and listening to God. 

During this time, I began to question my relationship with food.  I was avoiding certain foods and going to meetings but still starting to gain weight.  It just wasn't working for me anymore so I decided to quit.  I didn't know what to do so I abandoned my food rules.  It was not an emotional giving in to cravings, it was a calm decision to go back.  Maybe I was not an addict.  Maybe this was no longer the plan for me.  I had to find out.

Well, it only took a few days before I was eating handfuls of candy every time I walked through the kitchen, half a bag of cookies for snack, and two sundaes a day.  I also had a constant stomach ache and continual cravings for more.  OK maybe I did have the allergy of the body and the compulsion of the mind.  Maybe I really was an addict. 

I began to think about if and when I would be ready to 'quit'.  Realizing that I could not control food was step one but returning to the program would be a full commitment.  About that time a friend/mentor texted me to see if I would be coming back to the recovery meeting that week.  I told him what was going on with me.  He asked me what I had learned and what I was going to do about it.  That was what I needed at that moment - not a shoulder to cry on but someone to ask the tough question and help me face reality.  That night I had one last bowl of ice cream and the next morning I began a new day one.  I still felt sick and draggy.  I had no desire for food (totally strange for me)  It was almost my own version of a hang over.  I'm pretty sure my friend was praying for me. 

Four days later I returned to my weekly recovery meeting.  (It's a Christian 12-step group for people with various addictions.)  I told them my story.  They gave me love, support, and advice.  I like the person I am when I am there and I am honored to have such amazing people in my life to share my journey.  It's good to be home.