Recovery from Food Insanity

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Morning Prayer for Peace August 10, 2010

Filed under: prayer and meditation — gohopchick @ 1:28 pm

“In the quiet of the morning hour I come to you for peace.

Give me the power to view the world today through love-filled eyes.

Help me be patient, gentle, wise;

To see beyond what seems to be;

O clothe me in your beauty, this I pray –

Give me the grace to do your will today.”

~ Lifeline Sampler p. 59



Filed under: Nurture and Comfort — gohopchick @ 1:22 pm

I miss my bathtub.

Several times in the last two weeks at the cottage, I’ve found myself longing to submerge in warm bubbly goodness.  There is something comforting, nurturing and enclosing about being underwater.  I suppose I could swim in the lake, but warm it ain’t, and somehow when I’m in the open water, the Jaws soundtrack niggles away in the back of my brain.  Northern Pike can get pretty big up here – better safe than sorry.

Overeating for me is often about nurture and comfort.  One of the skills I’m learning in this phase of my recovery is finding other ways to add sweetness to my life.  Water is zero calories, especially when used on the outside.

I love baths.  I love whirlpools and hottubs.  Submerging to my chin, hot water frothing and foaming.  Sinking into happy lassitude.  I love long hot showers.  One of my favorite perks of my gym membership is that I can shower as long as I want to without worrying about my gas bill.  I’ll do the requisite soaping and rinsing, and then stand there, sometimes slowly rotating, and feel strains and sorrows dissolve.

Images of water as healer abound in Wisdom Literature.   The Psalmist speaks of a river flowing from God’s presence, a stream that makes us glad.  He talks of drinking from the river of God’s delight, and all of God’s waves and breakers pouring over him.  Hydrotherapy is an ancient and spiritual practice, and one that enhances my program of recovery.


It Ain’t Rocket Science August 9, 2010

Filed under: prayer and meditation — gohopchick @ 2:23 pm

How is it that we always over complicate things?  I was angsting in my prayer and meditation time yesterday morning.  Fretting and fussing about my marriage.  Feeling overwhelmed by the complexities, and not able to see next steps.  Finally, I gave up in frustration (prayer, not being married) and took a day in town just for a change of scenery.

I stopped by a little church and participated in their Sunday service.  When I arrived, I was told was a children’s service, not their usual Sunday morning offering.  I nearly turned around to find some more sophisticated spiritual expression, but figured, what the heck?  Maybe God was talking to me about simplicity.  We grooved to some rockin’ kids tunes, wrote our worries on little whiffle balls and fired them out of the front door of the church (cool!).  “Marriage”, I wrote on my ball and hoped it wouldn’t get squished by cars on the highway outside (a bad omen!).  A handmade and somewhat wibbly poster on the front of the church proclaimed the virtues of “patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control.”

After the service, I meandered along the main street of town.  A sandwich board sign in front of a New Age Bookstore read “Personality differences gives you the opportunity to be kind.”  There it was again.  Kindness.  Be kind.

Refreshed by my outing, I came home to find Kirk puttering happily in the workroom, Motown crooners serenading him.  He came out to greet me.

Be kind. I gave him a hug and rubbed the back of his neck where he was sunburned and itchy.

Later we chatted over dinner and played with the birds.  Every time I looked at him or talked to him, the quiet voice inside reminded me.  Be kind.

I don’t have to figure things out.  I don’t have to fix things.  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  Doesn’t have to be rocket science.

Be kind. I can do that.


Good Girl ~ III August 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — gohopchick @ 3:21 pm

Friends  wondered if I was performance oriented – that I got significance from my job.  (With friends like these, who needs enemies?  No, really, I’m grateful to have people in my life who have the courage to tell me the truth about what they see)

I considered that for a bit.  But it didn’t seem to fit right – like the shoe was on the right foot but maybe I needed an extra wide, or something.

Upon reflection, I realized that it wasn’t my job that gave me a false sense of worth.  It was my work ethic.  I look pride in the fact that I was a hard worker – when things got rough, I hunkered down and did the right thing, no matter what.  In my job.  In my marriage.  In every aspect of my life.  I was noble.  Enduring.  Loyal.  I took care of things.  Self sacrificing.  (yeesh, make ya sick yet?)

I was a good girl.

Now don’t get me wrong, the attributes I mentioned above are positive.  Definite character assets.

Where things got mixed up was when I clothed myself in those attributes, found my identity in them.  I was playing a role, hiding behind what the Catholics call a “false self”, rather than living authentically.

I was bowing to the altar of self, rather than responding in love to God’s initiatives.  It’s subtle deviation from the lifegiving road, but one that was leading me further and further astray the longer I walked on it.

But the alternatives?  I didn’t want to be a bad girl (ok, so sometimes I do).

I want to be His girl. Loved by God and ok, no matter what.  Free to fail and to be weak.  Taken care of.  Cherished.  Beloved.


Good Girl ~ Part II ~ Clipped August 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — gohopchick @ 4:21 pm

“That’s it!  I’m tired of being pooped on!” Kirk grabbed a disinfectant wipe, and tried to scoop the bird plop off the back of his shoulder.  “Time for Solomon to be potty trained!”

I was skeptical that a cockatiel with the brain the size of a chick pea could learn to poop in appropriate places, but Kirk had already taught him to fetch, do card tricks and give you five with his little claw.  I prepared myself to be amazed.

However, Solomon himself was unconvinced, flying away whenever Kirk tried to move him to the pooping perch.

“We’re going to have to clip his wings so he can’t escape the training,”  Kirk was sad, “I hate to take away his flight, but otherwise he’ll never learn.”

So a couple days ago we wrapped Solomon up in a towel, spread out his wings, and clipped the tips off his flight feathers.  After a couple failed attempts at flight, he gathered his dignity and began to re-acquaint himself with the low road.

I’m feeling clipped myself these days.  Formerly able to flit freely from one task to another, I feel like I’m just creeping, struggling to make my way.   I’m confined by my own weakness, but is it because there is a critical lesson that needs learning, one that I would fly away from if I was able?

Solomon and I are both feeling a little disgruntled.  A little vulnerable.  Missing our former freedom.  But maybe we’ll both learn and make fewer messes.


Good Girl ~ Part 1 August 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — gohopchick @ 2:26 pm

I’ve always been a hard worker.  Reliable.  Dependable.

Friends called me driven.

Driven?  No, you must be mistaken, I’m just hard working.  Disciplined.

And I was.  Up at four.  Prayer and meditation.  At the gym for a six am workout most days.  Couple hours in the gym.  Full day at work.  Taking care of my family and managing my home.  Self improvement reading.  Fitting in my OA meetings and phone calls.  Bluetooth for the car so I could use driving time productively.

I had my day planned in fifteen minute increments.

“I could never do what you do,” one of my friends said.

I swelled with pride and accomplishment.  I had it all together.  Overcoming adversity.  I was making it happen.  With God’s help, of course.

Somewhere around last September I began to fray around the edges.  And then in March of this year my little Energizer Bunny stopped chugging along.  Stalled in mid hop.  I caved in on myself and collapsed.

“I don’t know why this happened!” I complained to my pastor.  “I was doing all the self care I knew how to do.  Eating right, exercise, support groups.  I did everything that God told me to do that I’m aware of.  I don’t understand why I fell apart despite doing everything right!” (notice my exceptional humility)


This Too Will Pass August 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — gohopchick @ 2:18 pm

I’m so grateful for OA literature.  I especially love the Lifeline Sampler.  When I hit the one year mark of abstinence, I longed to hear the voices of the Old Timers – those who had successfully navigated the waters of maintenance, those who had found a way to stay abstinent and relatively sane over the long haul.  I found them in the Sampler.  Here is an exerpt from today’s reading. (p. 21)

Stranger ~ I’ve got a terrific deal for you!  How would you like to have people who love and accept you; closeness to a Higher Power; freedom from compulsive overeating; serenity; improved relationships; greater self-awareness, self acceptance and self -confidence; a slim, healthy body; purpose, hope and direction; and progress in every area of your life…

Me ~ Wait a minute!  If I merely endure some fleeting discomfort now and then, will I get everything you mentioned?”

“Stranger ~ Yes, and more!”

I’m having some lovely moments at the cottage: sitting at the edge of the dock, being caressed by sun and wind, having lively and lovely discussions with my daughter about life and spirituality; quiet mornings with my little bird snoozing snugly in my lap; laughing with my family over silly movies and sharing our favorite songs together.

Sure, there are some fleeting moments of discomfort – every single one of them seemingly caused by tangles in my psyche.  I have a little too much time to myself to think up here, and can get lost in some of my dark nooks and crannies.  But those moments pass – if I let go of them.


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