Good is the Enemy of the best!
The holidays are here and for many, as it was for me in past years, the focus will be on their struggle with food instead of time with family. I remember a morning, sitting on the rug in my bedroom, worrying about the coming holidays. The worry was not about money or emotional expectations. It was about how much damage I might do with the food and my weight before this holiday season was over. It was Halloween morning, I was thirty-something. I sat thinking,’Tonight is Halloween and I have a decision to make. Will I begin a two month binge tonight with candy, as I have done on many other Halloweens? It won’t stop, the feeding frenzy, until some time after the new year. In fact, it might not stop untill after Valentines day. I could gain a lot of weight.’ I sat there thinking, I could go on a fast instead and loose the 30 pounds I need to lose. Or, I could take myself back to my twelve step program and do it with group support and a program of one day at a time. I didn’t know about the power of the AA Big Book at that time, or the real significance of the steps and how they would lead me to a right relationship with and a healthy dependence on God. I made the right choice. That night, I went to a meeting. That was ‘day one’ of a five-year abstinence from Sugar and flour and some respite from the disease of compulsive over eating.
Good is the Enemy of the best. Precarious sobriety vs Entire Abstinence is like that. While I have not had any sugar or flour for two and half years, for the last few months, I have felt more and more that I am walking on the edge, the tip of the edge of a cliff, balancing to not fall off. I’m speaking of my abstinence. It’s not that sugar or flour are any kind of temptation. I’m neutral where they are concerned, thank God! For two and a half years, no ketchup, no ice-cream, no pizza and a resounding ‘No!’ to many other things. I don’t miss it! I’m free and it feels good. But I have friends who have wound up back in the food after years of abstaining from sugar and flour and they seem to be lost as to how it actually happened. Is it because they had a precarious sobriety (Pg. 21 of AA 12 &12) and they were not entirely abstinent (Pg. xxx, AA Big Book)? Yes, abstinent from food they know they can’t handle like sugar and flour, but sloppy with regard to other things. Can you identify with what I’m saying?
Throughout history, there have been many very bright men and women who call them-selves atheists or agnostics. Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Feuerbach, Bertrand Russell; these are just a few of the noted authors, poets, and intellects. The definition of an atheist, in short is: “A” (with-out) + “Theos” (God)= He doesn’t exist! Then there are agnostics: “A” without +Gnostic (to know)= to doubt the existence of God or as some would say, ‘They just don’t know’. Some believe that science and reason have supplanted religion and superstition. Darwin, is one example. He went from being a strong believer, raised Anglican and steeped in Unitarianism to an evolutionist. He was at various times and ways, exposed to strong bible believing Christians, including his mother and his boss for five years, the captain of a ship upon which Darwin, a ‘naturalist’, studied science. I have no intention of discussing creation vs evolution or Darwin at length, but I do wonder, in light of Darwin’s background, are the most committed atheists men who were, at one time, raised among committed Christians and in some way, damaged? If so, are they all blocked?
What do you believe? THE PROBLEM:
For many years, I considered myself a believer, A Christian. I went through all kinds of motions: early morning prayer, off to church on Sunday, read and study the bible alone and with groups of people, I even left literature in the bathroom at the conservatory I attended. I was just eighteen years old and was subsequently called into the Dean’s office (I was delighted that they knew it was me as I was so vocal about my love for God!)
Since the age of 14, I had struggled with a binge disorder that included episodes of fasting, binging and bulimia, all at the same time that I was pulled into that Deans office for leaving literature in the bathroom. Why didn’t it dawn on me to bring this problem to God? In fact, I would live like that for another five years until I was twenty-two years old and the mother of two tiny people (age 2 years and 8 days old). I finally cried out to God, “Help me, I’m like an alcoholic only it’s the food! I can’t control this! Help me!” I wasn’t trying to be dramatic; I was alone, it was late morning, the children were napping and I was laying on my kitchen floor, face down and arms out stretched as if my kitchen windows were facing God! Why did I wait so long to bring the problem to God?