~ Hope ~

Dear Friends on our Journey ~ ~ ~

My name is Mari and I have an addiction. An addiction to food. I am in a recovery program with Overeaters Anonymous. The basis of this program is the Twelve Steps of OA and without it, I am certain that I would be as hopeless and I was when I first found it.

""Hope" is the thing with feathers ...
That perches in the soul ...
And sings the tune without the words ...
And never stop ... at all ...
.............Emily Dickinson

A CO friend once wrote that he was struggling with his abstinence. And then he stopped .... and said that wasn't true. He said he was more than just struggling ... that he had not had an abstinent day in a very long time. He went on to say that he had heard someone say they really didn't *want* to be abstinent ... that they just didn't want to be fat and they wanted to be able to eat as much as they wanted to and stay thin.

This compulsive overeater continued to explain that he had lost a lot of weight before but had gained it back. And that today was scaring him because he remembered all of the pain before his relapse and didn't want to be like that again.

My heart went out to my friend ... he's a lovely man ... a spiritual man and, like many of us, knows that this program .... this program of recovery that we find ourselves in is a "one day at a time" program ... and there's really no other way to work it.

My friend ended his letter by saying "I guess it all starts with just knowing where you are today so that it is possible to get to where you would like to be tomorrow. He also asked for feedback ... and this was my reply to him.

My precious friend,

Your letters always make me think. You go right down to the nitty-gritty of this disease and rarely have I heard you go into an analysis of why it works as it does. When I first began to approach why I was overweight and began probing into WHY I was the way I was, I spent much time on trying to determine that. I think that many of us go through a stage like that ... some as even as long as a lifetime spending more time on WHY we are that way rather than how we can do something about it. We focus on the cause of the problem rather than the solution to the problem.

I believe doing this can be counter-productive. As I continue my life and live with this disease on a daily basis the one thing that becomes clearer and clearer to me is that analyzing it doesn't make it go away. Dieting doesn't make it away. NOTHING makes it go away. It is an incurable disease. A disease with many symptons and side effects. And it stays with us forever.

When I reached that stage of recovery that I simply accepted my disease for what it is and that I was powerless to do anything about it, something akin to magic happened to me. All of the theories, all of the questions, every single one of the whys were suddenly unimportant to me. They became moot. And what they were replaced with was the most important word I have in my vocabulary which relates to my disease ..... and that word is HOPE.

When we quit analyzing and we just say to God ... "Here we are" .... our abstinence will come. We can't beg, borrow or steal it. It must be given to us and you and I know that. And that is why I believe your letters always generate a certain calmness. But that word HOPE seems to be ever-present in both of us. And I don't know about you, dear one .... but there were a lot of years between analysis and powerlessness that this simple four-letter word didn't exist. And now, because it does, my whole life is better. Hope to one who had been hopeless as long as I had been is the second greatest gift God has given me. The first is abstinence.

Thank you for sharing. I'm glad you're on this journey to recovery with us.

Dear God,
Give all of us the
gift of abstinence.
If we don't yet have it,
let us get it soon; and if
we have it, dear God ... please
let us keep it.

The Recovery Group

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