Category Archives: Step 7

Other Addictive Behaviors

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I’m Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

As I typed that, I thought of how icky that statement makes me feel.  It seems so odd to identify myself that way all the time.  Yet I know that is part of what keeps me moving forward in my recovery.  There is no way I would stick with all of these life-style changes if I did not keep my disease constantly in the front of my mind.

In my reading of Drop the Rock, I came across this sentence on page 65: Where else in our lives are there addictive patterns?

                Does the desire to change myself count as an addictive behavior?  Because that has been at the forefront of my mind lately.  I’ve been changing my eating habits and my exercise habits.  The surgery I am planning will mean major changes for the appearance of my body, which will mean changing the clothing I wear.  Finally I will be able to wear cute clothes without fear that I am too fat for the current styles!  But I don’t know if being excited about the changes that are coming really counts as addictive.

I recently discovered Miche handbags.  LOVE those things!  In case you’ve never heard of them, they are purses with changeable outer shells.  There are three sizes.  I use the medium size, the Classic Bag, for everyday stuff and the larger Big Bag for carrying my computer and trips to the library (because I always get more than just one book and I need something carry them home in!)  As of this moment, I have six Classic shells and two Big Bag shells. The first party that I am hosting will be on May 17th, and I have made a wish-list of the shells that I would like to earn for free.  But that’s not an addiction, is it?  Obsession, maybe.  I don’t know.  I have always been a purse girl.  This bag allows me to be able to change the look of my purse without pulling everything out and transferring it to a different purse.

Hmm….  Another thing that we talked about at Monday night’s meeting was defending our actions.  I just tried to rationalize why the Miche bag is a good fit for me.  But if I have to defend my choice to carrying them and spend my money on new shells, perhaps it does point to a deeper issue.  Maybe not an addiction, but it could lead to it.  That just might be something that I need to examine a little bit closer.

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Happy, Serene, and Sane

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I’m Annie and I’m a compulsive overeater.

There is a small group within the OA group I belong to (is that the right term for it?) that is working on a study of the book Drop The Rock.  This is not specifically an OA book, but it is an in-depth look at steps 6 and 7 in the 12-step program. The section we read last night was on step seven.  One thing that really popped out at me was the author saying something about needing to act as if he wants to be happy, serene, and sane.  He didn’t say that he needs to act as if he already is happy, serene, and sane, but that he has to act as if he wants to be happy, serene, and sane.

That just really stuck in my head.  This whole acting “as if” thing is odd to me.  I’ve been real good at acting “as if” nothing is wrong and hiding my feelings behind food.  So I am not totally convinced that acting “as if” is the right thing to do.  But what really got to me about this issue was the idea of acting as if happiness, serenity, and sanity are things that I want in my life.  Don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t need to act like I want that stuff.  I KNOW that I want it!  It’s the getting it that I am having problems with.

Food certainly hasn’t been the answer.  I might feel happy and serene at the moment I am taking a bite of something.  But as soon as I put down the fork, the feeling I am left with is anything other than sane.  And the surgery that I am planning isn’t going to bring happiness.  Health, now that is what I am shooting for there.  And I suppose I am hoping that being healthy will lead to a happier me.  But I am not expecting surgery to bring the happiness I want.

So I suppose knowing that I want to be happy, I might as well “act as if” I am already happy.  I don’t see that it will hurt.  In a way, it seems like a lie, though, to pretend something I don’t feel.  But if acting happy can “trick” my mind into believing I am happy, I might as well give it a shot.