Dave announces: “I’m an addict and my problem is Dave!…ingesting excessive amounts of food and avoiding physical exercise are my drugs of choice!”

Group responds: “Hi Dave and welcome!”

Dave continues…

By the grace of God, who is GREATER than my limited understanding of Him, I am still “back on track” for my second consecutive day of recovery from my recent relapse. Overall yesterday went very well and today is going really good too!

Have I experienced “cravings” to OVEReat? Yes. Have I desired to AVOID exercise at all costs? Definitely. Yet God’s grace has kept me on track and given (quite literally) the ability to do (with His strength) what I could NOT do for myself.

\I’ve also been strengthened by my willingness to reach out to other addicts — this blog is one way I do that, phone calls and in person visits also help. Sure, fellow addicts can be a source of irritation (after all, we’re ALL SCREWED UP TO SOME DEGREE OR ANOTHER, RIGHT?), but many times I’ve found that the very issues that cause such irritatioin can be turned around so that they can actually help my recovery effort (e.g., what I usually find most irritating in other addicts is often the very same areas of brokenness that I need to deal with — NOTE that I did not say that I “want” to deal with!).

Yesterday I reached out to one addict in person, made one phone call and worked on this blog. Thus far today I’ve made one phone call and am working on this blog.

Other addicts may be able to experience recovery while in isolation from other addicts, but what I know is that my recovery effort is MUCH easier when I reach out for support.

A word about phone calls: When I get an addict’s answering machine or voicemail, my making the call AND leaving a message COUNTS toward what I consider to be my effort to reach out to other addicts. I’ve done my part and that is the important thing — since what I do (not what others do or don’t do) is what I can control. I mention all of this only because I used to not consider my attempts to reach out as being “good enough” unless the other person either answered their phone or returned my call.

Reaching out to God for support is even more important (than reaching out to others) to the success of my recovery effort. Yet God always leads me to reach out to other people. I definitely believe than “an addict alone is in bad company”.

What else is helping?  Prayer…Reading recovery-supportive literature…Listening to uplifting music…Remembering to “H.A.L.T.” before I get over-stressed with living “life on life’s terms”.  “H.A.L.T.” is a 12 Step reminder to STOP/HALT BEFORE I get “too…” Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (or really “too…” much of ANYthing that (like these four things) can set me up for relapse.

Today I’m (physically) feeling pretty rough. Between seasonal allergies (a/k/a “The Ohio Valley Creeping Crud”) and what I call “detox issues” caused by (healthy) changes in my food intake, coupled with the more intense emotions I feel when I’m not stuffing down my emotions with excess food, I’m pretty much “a basket case-waiting-to-happen” — Just For Today! 🙂

And when I’m feeling like a “a basket case-waiting-to-happen” thats all the MORE reason for me to practice the H.A.L.T. principle and remember that during my first 72 hours I really must “cut myself some slack” and remember to relax!