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.