Friday, February 21, 2014

just go with the worst one first

so i have been experiencing some big blocks lately. mostly they deal with the fact that i am focusing on where i have fallen short. or at least where i perceive that i have fallen short. i was contacting my sponsor the other day and we were discussing how hard this time has been for me. i was able to work on my primary addiction and finally be able to have choice and feel the spirit again as i worked to not cope with that. with knowing where i was and where i am going my sponsor relayed an experience to me, when she works with other addicts who say things like i want this gone and that gone she say just go with the worst one first. 

i have worked on the worst one first, the one that kept me from the temple. now i can work on the other. i can be open to the healing and greater vigilance with this one. it takes a lot more conscious effort for me. it takes more trust and reliance on the Lord and His assistance in my moments of weakness and lack of strength. it takes listening to inspiration when i need greater assistance to reach out to a new friend who knows the pain and struggle of obsessive thoughts and compulsions. 

the hand of the Lord is so present in all of this. however i get down on myself and doubt my faith and abilities. gotta make it through with the atonement by my side. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

just a thought

I haven't had much to say the past few days. However, I came across this today in my step work:

"Addiction has the capacity to disconnect the human will and nullify moral agency. It can rob one of the power to decide" President Boyd K Packer (in Conference Report, Oct. 1989, 16; of Ensign, Nov. 1989, 14). 

So how do you regain the power to decide against your addiction? Submit your addiction to Christ. Turn your will to Him. Regain the freedom to choose by surrendering to your Higher Power. It's possible. I'm working on it right now, one moment at a time.



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

abide with me


This reminds me of so many things. But I will stick with the most important thoughts in my heart. There are so many times in life where things are so challenging. We may be in a field where people take from us emotionally, physically and spiritually. We may be in a field where we give so much of our spirits and all that is in us. We may do work that requires us to see and study scenes like the ones portrayed in this video clip. How do we get through it? How do we get through the times where so much of us is gone and expended for others? How do we make it to the next moment?

I can't speak for anyone but myself. I have gone through many phases of figuring out how I get through things. At this time in my life I am striving to turn to the Lord. I strive to make Him a part of each day and decision. I strive to see others with love and openness. Not openness in the way the world defines it, but openness meaning open to their spirit. I try to care for those around me in the way that I know how. I open my heart in prayer to God to express my soul exhaustion and pray for strength to get to the next moment in patience for those I am with. I open and read some from my scriptures. I journal. I seek improvement through serving. I seek improvement by trying to be proactive when I know I am about to follow a path that won't lead to joy.

There are many things that happen in the world that can harden us. Just a few weeks ago I was experiencing moments of this. But in the end, this scripture in Alma came to me while in the temple pondering the darkness and heaviness in my heart.

"3. And now, O my son Helaman, behold, though art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.
5. Now, behold, I say unto you, if I had not been born of God I should not have known these things; but God has, by the mouth of his holy angel, made these things known unto me, not of any worthiness of myself;"

Saturday, February 15, 2014

making it. truly one day at a time.

okay! so i know it has been a few days. really, i know. but i went to a place of...i have to successfully make it through a weekend and i didn't know if i could. fear drives some addictions friends. isolation and secrecy is a friend to addiction and acting out. not wanting to feel what you may feel so deeply is a triggering event, for me at least.

i can happily and proudly say that i made it through valentines day without a slip, without compulsive eating, without a binge. i realize i have said that another day this week...but on all days, especially VALENTINES DAY! that is a huge win for me. this holiday was always about indulging in chocolates and cakes and junk...tasty but killing me too. i ended up at some constructive outings with some friends and made it through, abstaining.

today i can happily say the same. i have felt more of my Savior's love this day as well. i have felt His presence when at the cheesecake factory, every cell in my body wanted a piece. but i felt a calm arm shepherd me away.

i am coming to feel the difference in the two hungers. one hunger comes in my stomach, that is when i know i am really hungry. the deep hunger is when i feel the actual desire for food. the other hunger is more in my throat. that hunger is more when something sounds good and i may just crave it and it could make my mouth water. but this hunger is almost always accompanied by an acidic feeling in my throat and mouth. that is when i know that listening to it could lead to a binge. this has been huge this week as i have been trying to figure my body sensations out.

a few things have helped keep me accountable (step 10) since i last posted. one is going to oa meetings whether they are in person or on the phone they are great. another is considering trying to break through automatic actions and feel what i am feeling. one is definitely my post-its! everything within me wants to be able to cross-off a day at the end of each day. the last is requesting a sponsor. we have communicated a few times and knowing the commitment she is seeking for 90 days is helping me. she is LDS as well and that helps me. we will utilize the 12 steps in the arp manual. we will use scriptures, journaling, prayers and reflection. i am so grateful for the tools the church provides.

**my friend over at this blog who is also writing about his recovery process brought the idea about a sponsor to my attention and it felt like the right thing to do.

each day is so different in my world. but taking it truly one day at a time and having the Lord on my side things are a bit brighter.

Friday, February 14, 2014

sleep

sometimes i get scared to go to sleep. i made it through another day without food issues. but i don't want to dream about food or other things. that anxiety keeps me up sometimes, usually it isn't that often but lately its been 1-2 nights a week. like right now its 3:15 am. ridiculous...time to try to head to sleep again.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

my own peace of mind in some crazy

made it through yesterday virtually unscathed. i ended up eating one extra serving of a veggie and of the healthy fat i had with my meal. but i think i said this before, i rather have a moment of that than have crazy time like i dealt with the past two weekends.

last night i hit up two of my recovery meetings. one them is centered in the gospel. it really helps me to remember the transformative power of the atonement. it helps to recall the real ways that God and the Savior impact my recovery. it helps to remember His grace in all that happens. it helps to see His grace as i reach out to serve and connect with another person. grace is real. i have felt it come into my person and change me time and again over the past 15 months. i feel it working now as i am struggling with food issues on a different plane than ever before.

my other recovery meeting is another 12-step meeting that i get to online. it is fantastic to meet with others in recovery. whatever stage we are at and meeting from all over the world. the ability to connect and touch another's life, that is always something to do.

now being on here, right now...writing about how well yesterday went is to help me not go off the deep end right now. i feel the crazy in my mind and it is definitely, directly related to my stress level. this stretch in evening has been one of the hardest for me the past few days. i'll probably head to my scriptures or back to data analysis.

right now, in this moment i am grateful for the gospel. i am grateful for the atonement. i am grateful for friends and my work.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

heard this in a meeting tonight:

just as addiction is a progressive disease. recovery and healing is a progressive solution.

cross off a day

yesterday was great. great in that i made it through 100% abstaining from a binge, or a compulsive eating moment or something that tied me to food in an unhealthy way. i was 100% true to my food plan. i felt great when i went to bed. a woman's journey that i have been following said it best one day, better to have a dirty dish in her room than one more trip to the kitchen. that was very true for me. but i felt great overcoming my first day.

let me offer some of my feelings of hope for why yesterday was different. sunday as i pulled myself out of my shutdown and went to oa and pulled my arp manual back out, i knew i needed to keep Christ with me. He provides the integral ability for change. the strength of the Lord meets me in the moments when i don't have enough on my own. in oa they refer to their Higher Power, whatever that may look like to them. i know that for me, my Higher Power is Jesus Christ. i have a testimony and knowledge of the the atonement of Christ and the transformative power of the gospel. i know that that testimony and strength came through messy times and it was hard to find. it took 15 years the first time and i guess i am still trying to fully trust it since i didn't turn to it for this. but yesterday i invited Christ along to help. today i have done the same.

we'll see how it goes. but i have faith to be able to cross off another day.

Monday, February 10, 2014

a few days

wow. the reality of following that faster scale is real. and by following i mean, DON'T! :) if you find yourself going down it, find something real to hold on to. i had to sunday afternoon. i literally had to reach out and hold onto something to draw the line between reality and what was happening in my mind.

friday and saturday were really hard for me. i got stuck. emotions, stress, rigid thinking, desperation, self-will, denial, ego...all of it was there to differing degrees. the trigger kicked off with a tremendous amount of stress. it left me staring at the wall. then i actually needed to go to the store. but, don't ever go to the store if you have a food addiction and are in the midst of a free fall. saturday was only worse in different ways. i hit my rock bottom on saturday night. i ended up crying myself to sleep and all because i didn't stay authentic to my emotions and live them. i numbed them in the way i used to for years.

i didn't have my inner mediator turned on. whatever in me shut down the past few days just left. i vaguely recall hearing it try to peek through a few times but i was shut down. deadening. i've been there. i've never shared this in such a public format. but i am a recovering pornography addict - 15 months of sobriety/abstinence! this was not going to happen to me again. i have too much to live for. i have too many people to live for. my life is to serve God, not my emotions and self-will.

sunday - pulling myself out of it was tough. i needed to get back to my plan, but strengthen it. after church i got a blessing that had the words in it i really needed. then i headed to an OA meeting - yep Overeaters Anonymous. food addiction/emotional eating/compulsive eating/binge eating its a real issue people deal with and it has much more to deal with than a simple, just control yourself comment. took a long walk home to work through some of my emotions and ended up still somewhat shut down when i got home. i just prayed. i knelt and prayed and then e-mailed a few friends. i put 90 post-its on my wall to visualize some steps for the coming days. 90 days of serving and connecting with a new person. 90 days of abstinence from food addiction behaviors. 90 days of scripture reading. 90 days of prayers. visually i pray it helps me stay mindful of the task at hand. i can touch it and know it is a reality. 90 days to rewire my brain.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

from faa.org

Food Addicts Anonymous Twelve Steps 
1. We admitted we were powerless over our food addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to food addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Definition of Abstinence
We ask for help from our Higher Power to abstain from those substances we find ourselves craving, ever mindful of our addiction to sugar, flour and wheat. Feeding our bodies with a plan of sound nutrition will allow us freedom from the insanity of this disease. With honesty, an open mind, and willingness to share our experience, strength and hope, we can recover from this disease-ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Friday, February 7, 2014

4 of 28

So yesterday again was SO much easier in so many ways. But in ways that really mattered it was so hard. I was tempted and my soul hurt and felt heavy and tense and stressed and then we went to the temple. Right, peaceful place? Usually is and I find strength there on many occasion. But I just felt cold and sick and heavy (all in my soul, not physically). Not a great place to be when you are trying to abstain from emotional eating. Haha yep.

What got my mind off of it was meeting up with my cousin who was in town for dinner. Yay! Family! I love family. Especially since we haven't seen each other in over a year. She is pretty amazing and it helped me remove my soul from the trials it was experiencing.

It really lends reality to what I have been learning, the more we connect with others in meaningful ways and serve them, we forget ourselves. And that connection is great, quite beautiful and marvelous. I appreciate the opportunity to connect when I am attuned to another's needs.

All in all for food, yesterday was hard and I stuck it out and white-knuckled through some really hard times. Hope today turns out better.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

faster scale

i want to keep this in a place i can refer to quickly

Get back to:
Restoration – (Accepting life on God’s terms, with trust, grace, mercy, vulnerability and gratitude.) No current secrets; working to resolve problems, identifying fears and feelings; keeping commitments to meetings, prayer, family, church, people, goals, self; being open and honest, making eye contact; increasing in relationships with God and others; true accountability. *** don't need to be offended. There is more than you know. More for you to do. Let yourself be more happy.
 
FASTER Scale 
  • Forgetting Priorities – (Start believing the present circumstances and move away from trusting God. Denial, Flight, A change in what’s important, How you spend your time, energy, and thoughts.) Secrets; less time/energy for God, meetings, church; avoiding support and accountability people; superficial conversations; sarcasm; isolating; changes in priorities and goals; obsessed with relationships you perceive meet needs; breaking promises & commitments; neglecting family; preoccupation with material things, T.V., computers, entertainment; procrastination; lying; over-confidence; bored; hiding money.
  • Anxiety – (A growing background noise of undefined fear; getting energy from emotions.) Worry; using profanity; being fearful;being resentful; replaying old, negative thoughts; perfectionism; judging other’s motives; making goals and lists that you can’t complete; mind reading; fantasy, co-dependent rescuing; sleep problems; trouble concentrating; seeking/creating drama; gossip; using over-the-counter medication for pain, sleep or weight control; flirting; masturbation; pornography; poor planning 
  • Speeding Up – (Trying to outrun the anxiety which is usually the first sign of depression.) Super busy and always in a hurry (finding good reason to justify the work), workaholic, can’t relax; avoiding slowing down; feeling driven; can’t turn off thoughts; skipping meals; binge eating (usually at night); overspending; can’t identify own feelings/needs; repetitive negative thoughts; irritable; dramatic mood swings; too much caffeine; over exercising; nervousness; difficulty being alone and/or with people; difficulty listening to others; making excuses for having to “do it all”; avoiding support; lust 
  • Ticked Off – (Getting adrenaline high on anger and aggression.) Procrastination causing crisis in money, work, and relationships; increased sarcasm; black and white (all or nothing) thinking; feeling alone; nobody understands; overreacting, road rage; constant resentments; pushing others away; increasing isolation; blaming; arguing; irrational thinking; can’t take criticism; defensive; people avoiding you; needing to be right; digestive problems; headaches; obsessive (stuck) thoughts; can’t forgive; feeling superior; using intimidation. 
  • Exhausted – (Loss of physical and emotional energy; coming off the adrenaline high and the onset of depression.) Depressed; panicked; confused; hopelessness; sleeping too much or too little; can’t cope; overwhelmed; crying for “no reason”; can’t think; forgetful; pessimistic; helpless; tired; numb; wanting to run; constant cravings for old coping behaviors; thinking of using sex, drugs, or alcohol; seeking old unhealthy people & places; really isolating; people angry with you; self abuse; suicidal thoughts; spontaneous crying; no goals; survival mode; not returning phone calls; missing work, irritability; no appetite
  • Relapse – (Returning to the place you swore you would never go again.) Giving up and giving in; out of control; lost in your addiction; lying to yourself and others; feeling you just can’t manage without your coping behaviors, at least for now. The result is the reinforcement of shame, guilt and condemnation, and feelings of abandonment and being alone.

3 of 28

This day was a little harder for some reason. Even though Tuesday night I attended to meetings, Wednesday was hard. Follows so closely with the thoughts that the harder one tries at being and doing 'good', the harder things get. But the more I work to make healthy habits stick more in my compulsive eating addicted to food brain, the easier some of this will be. Or at least more automatic. Sometimes automaticity is good when it helps.

So I got all of my meals in which is good. I had a few extras of a condiment which looking back, yeah wasn't so great but I'd rather that than a full of binge. I take my victories where I can and I call that a full on victory!

I got in my exercise for the day. 30 minutes of yoga and then about an hour of snow shoveling later in the day. That is pretty intense stuff, the snow shoveling at least. Yoga I am coming to love more and more every time because it helps to bring me back to center.

Remembering my yoga, meditation and my prayers, journaling and scripture reading or my 'dailies' as one recovery meeting calls it; all really helps. But everyday I don't remember everything. So I do my best in each moment. Hurrah for an overall positive day

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

28 Days.

The next 28 Days (26 now), I am going to use my blog as a journal recording thoughts, challenges and triumphs for the current health challenge I am a part of. This is to help me with writing through my issues and feelings related to my food addiction/compulsive eating issues.

Food addiction is a really interesting thing. It is different than anything I have ever experienced before. Though I fully realize now that I have had issues with this for a very long time. I used food and abused food for a long time. I used it to not confront issues and emotional stressors are the biggest trigger for a binge.

Also, this is inspired from a few other sources. A woman I know of is on a similar journey with her husband and has a similar forum that she is facing her trials in. And I hope that reporting here to whomever may be reading this will provide an additional layer of processing in my corner.

So the first two days (today is day two), I have made it through! ...so far. Monday was great. Temptations were everywhere to binge, to mindlessly eat food that I didn't really want but I said a prayer yesterday morning that went with me throughout the whole day and it worked. I slowed down my pace, took things in and really tried to listen. Listen to where hunger was really coming from. Listen to the voice in my heart and head, was is real or negative? Was the voice reinforcing or destructive? It is a blessing on the days when I can be present with myself.

Today I have had a good day as well. No binging. It has been hard. My mind has been obsessively thinking about food, the next time I can get to the store and buy junk and eat it all so fast before anyone sees. What? That's the way my brain works a lot of the time for both food and other things. Food addiction is interesting.

What I ended up doing was getting on a support call meeting this evening for my primary recovery. Then, the way the time differences are I was able to be apart of two recovery meetings. These things are such great blessings! Though right now my mind is actively obsessing over food and what I can eat and buy and binge tomorrow...I have been strengthened. In the Lord, in the strength and hope of others recovering from various addictions, in the beauty of brokenness and trying.

Here's to tomorrow, one moment at a time.