By "full circle," I mean that I am once again eating white sugar and flour. This most likely has something to do with the recurrence of my depression, yet I feel stuck in my "patterns" this Christmas season. I also don't feel very "Christmas-y" this year, and this sentiment has been echoed by various friends and even their children. The re-eating started at Halloween as I succumbed to Peeps and started bringing white flour and sugar into the house, eating it, and not tracking it. However, I've gained only 2 pounds since the "official" start of the Christmas season, i.e., Thanksgiving. My lost weight has not been easily won, so I now am back to tracking and realizing if I just stay away (again!) from the foods that cause me so much trouble, life can be good.
Despite having come back to the place from which I stated this blog and experiment, I do so with new and strengthened awareness and insight, tools, and initiation of carrying out what I feel is God's will for me, namely, starting the Al-Anon and recovery Bible study group.
Awareness and Insight
- I really do want to do God's will for me. It's not and "I should do it" but an "I'm excited to do it" awareness. I am thoroughly convinced, despite my intellectual masturbation to the contrary, that carrying out God's will for me is the only way I will ever be truly happy. I am willing to surrender myself to it.
- Eating white sugar and flour does really increase the level of pain in my body. I now think it may also contribute to my preexisting depression. It will be hard to get back to that abstinence stage, but I did it once and I can do it again with God's help. Maybe re-reading portions of my own blog will help me to get back on track.
- Spending more time in prayer and meditation has enabled me to better discern my Higher Power's will for me and has empowered me to carry it out, much to my surprise.
- Eating white flour and sugar does block up the channel in my body through which God and I communicate. I can feel it having gone downhill since I resumed eating white sugar and flour, and it seems to be keeping me stuck there, too. I know that the hibernating season has something to do with my state of mind and will, but the food enemies do as well. My gut tells me so.
- Self-talk: I talk to myself differently now. I know that beating myself up for having a slip will not get me back into abstinence faster. It will only make me fall deeper into the black hole inside me.
- De-isolating: Isolating is not really an option for me anymore. Staying by myself and eating myself into a stupor that cancels out my feelings doesn't work, and I know it. I've done more self-numbing in the past month or so than I've done all year, but being a deacon and starting the Al-Anon meeting and the recovery Bible study have gotten me out of the house and with fellow humans, which has kept me from going off the deep end.
- Meditation: I'm still experimenting with resuming my twice-per-day transcendental meditation practice, but it's been a struggle. I do recognize that it connects me with the home inside myself, where my Higher Power also abides, but my mind keeps talking me out of doing it by telling that I have so much "other" stuff to do. I hope my gut wins out on this one because I think this could be a very good tool for me going forward.
- Deaconship: I learned that I did not like being a deacon! That's a very valuable awareness for me. I affirmed that I don't like being "required" to connect with people mainly through small talk. I resented having to send chatty notes to people (usually elderly people with whom I have difficulty connecting anyway) or having to make chatty visits. I liked the "honor" of being a deacon but not the nuts and bolts. I'm really learning to honor my introversion and respect what that particular set of gifts can lead me to do.
- Al-Anon group: Although starting this group has been stressful in terms of having to communicate a lot with a lot of people and worrying about it, the worrying part was my choice, not a given. I had a hard time detaching from the worry, but now that the group is taking off (we have 15 to 25 members each week) and we just elected all the group officers and every position is filled, I'm starting to relax and enjoy the group :-)
- Recovery Bible study: Even though this group is still very small, I feel that this is where I really shine at being used by a tool of God. I am an extremely good, non-judgmental listener, and I love serving as a witness to, and possible helper for, people's personal stories of pain, addiction, loneliness, and shame. I truly believe that I have a lot to offer because I have journeyed through my own hell and back; nothing surprises me, so there is nothing to be judgmental about. Every time we have a meeting, I come away feeling like I made a difference in someone's life, even if that was never expressed. And I allow myself to be moved by others as well. I feel at home doing this and hope that the group gets off the ground. I finally spent some time marketing the study yesterday and today, specifically for the New Year, and I pray that we get good results :-)
All in all, although I'm disappointed I did not keep up with the daily posting I promised myself I would do, this ending feels organic to me, and that's the most important thing. Better I should end with God's will in mind than to carry out a hollow promise based on what I "think I should do" because Lord knows my mind often leads me in the wrong direction! I can't say that I will never post here again because it may help me to do so sometime in the future. But this blog will be fairly inactive as far as I can see. I'm not going to take it down, though, because I'm proud of how well it worked at accomplishing my ends, plus I never throw out my journals, even if they are electronic :-)
Here's to a happy and solid recovery to you, no matter what your addiction or idolatry!