Dear Friends on our Journey,

My name is Mari. I am a compulsive person, a diseased person and an addicted person. I also am a grateful person and am in recovery. This is an excerpt from my journal and I appreciate your letting me share it with you. I am glad you are on this Journey to Recovery with me.

"The lust for comfort, that stealthy
thing that enters the house a guest,
then becomes a host,
and then a master."

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

Compulsion is self-will gone berserk. For those of us with this disease our compulsions have taken us for enough rides and around more blocks for several lifetimes. For many of us, compulsions have become our master!

Food Addiction, Relationship Addiction, Love and Sex Addiction, Co-Dependency are just a few of the manifestations of this disease. Far more troublesome are the other more insidious forms it takes. It takes a person whom God has made perfectly imperfect and it heaps on us characteristics that are not us. We awaken one morning not the authentic person we were created to be but a person who begins to wonder who they really are.

This disease of compulsive over-eating is especially seductive. When we were first becoming COs all we knew is that when we ate something and enough of it we began to feel better. Better than better .... we began to feel good. So what did we do? If one is good, two will be better ... and three will be even better than two ... and we learned how to binge. And that first binge told us something. It told us that if we stuffed ourselves enough it would block our pain. That binge seduced us and made us think that we wanted to do that again ... that we "deserved" that emotional "block" that the binge allowed us to put on our feelings.

We loved how we had learned a new technique to "take care" of all our problems. We wake up in the morning and have a job to go to that we don't want to go to ... and we stuff ourselves. We drag ourselves to our job and we get through the day and say to ourselves ... "I have worked hard today ... it's time for ME now" .... and to the refrigerator we go. FOOD. And then we begin. And we continue. And with each bite, we become less of our real self and our authenticity once more slips into that hazy self that is our disease. And we make it through another night.

We reach a point in our life that our disease had developed so gradually as to be well established before becoming apparent. In other words, while we've been going along our merry way of life, our disease has been doing push-ups, just waiting for opportunities for us to become vulnerable. The insidiousness of this disease is scary. There is no "test" we can take for propensity. There is no "shot" we can take for immunity. We just wake up one morning ... probably while we're reading program material .... or when we attend our first meeting ... or we talk to someone who is another CO .... or maybe we've bottomed out and finally reach out .... we wake up that morning and scream silently to ourselves ..... WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?

The OA program has helped to make me an authentic person. It has enabled me to see who I really am and what really hurts me and what really makes me happy. It has also made me feel feelings that I didn't want to feel and to acknowledge truths that I didn't want to acknowledge. It has enabled me to see in others things that I had not seen before! Some of the things I liked ... but some of the things were merely illusions.

The OA program is notorious for making us shatter illusions. For helping us to discern the authentic from the unauthentic. And doing so can be painful ... and makes us want to head back to that safe world of food. And to relapse. When an illusion is shattered, we have to question ourselves. What was it about us ... what defect did we have .... what were we lacking to make us have an illusion in the first place? And, if we can't stuff it, how do we deal with it?

Hard questions.

No easy answers.

Dear God,
The brief moments of comfort
I get from being compulsive made
my life miserable. Please help me
not to go back to that.

The Recovery Group

Copyright © 1998, The RECOVERY Group