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?
Again and again, I experience mountain tops with God where I’m so happy, joyous and free!
But then, the valleys roll in, periods of being blocked which feel more like a clogged emotional drain pipe. How do I get back to the high places? Is it just Prayer that gets me there? What happens if my prayers are blocked? What if it’s hard to pray? Why is it hard to go to God and tell Him what’s bothering me, give Him my struggles? Is it my ego? Is it my self-reliance? I hate that I need God, You or anybody! I feel vulnerable in admitting “need” as apposed to pulling up my boot straps!
Dear Paul and Leslie Spell of Northern Alabama,
In response to your contest and a place to live my dream, I submit this explanation of why turning your home and life work over to me and my family would be a worthy act of kindness to many! As the 12 step recovery page on the website, sallyatari.com, explains, I have had a life long struggle with obesity and more honestly, an eating disorder. Three years ago I learned about a spiritual solution and God has done for me what I could never do for myself.
I never liked my name! I’m sorry to say this out loud, Dad, as I know I was named after you, ‘Salvatore’. There were so many Uncle Sal’s in my family and in my childhood. Of course, there were sweet Sally’s like Charlie Browns’ sister, Sally. And then there is my favorite children’s’ book, “Blueberries for Sal”. (I don’t remember “Silly Sally…”, a book many friends like to bring up! Do you remember the readers we learned to read from, the stories of Dick and Jane and Sally? What a privilege to see my name in writing as a child. Now, what are the odds that my name is also in the AA Big Book? “As ex-problem drinkers, we smile at such a Sally. We know our friend is like a boy whistling in the dark.” (BB Pg.152) And your point is? I must pause here to say, I do like the expression: “Sally Forth!” That makes me smile.
How is it that I have lived on this planet for over 50 years and never knew that Otters were so cute, that they go to sleep holding hands with another otter because they sleep on their backs and float around in water and so that they don’t lose their loved one, they sleep holding hands with each other. I knew that wild horses were beautiful, that penguins can be shy and stand facing away from crowds with their face up as if sun bathing, that whales bang on the water to call the fish to the surface so that they can dive down into the water and come up to the surface and scoop the fish up in their mouths. But I never knew that otters were so adorable! This has led to an important question, ‘What else don’t I know?’ Clearly, there is much to learn about animals and nature and I know a great place to start; The library! I’ve been a big fan of the library since my kids were little. Documentaries are a great way to learn.
And did you know that raccoons could dance and tumble? Or that they could be a pet? I always thought they were dangerous and carried rabies (and they can be and if infected, do carry rabies!) And did you know that President Coolidge and his wife had a pet raccoon named ‘Rebecca’? Or that raccoons can run up to 15 mph and that they can be aggressive (unless sick) during mating season? Their fingers are so ‘nimble’ they can untie shoe laces and unlatch a gate or refrigerator and pick up a thin dime. Raccoons are so smart! – They have a large array of vocalizations. They purr, whistle, growl, hiss, scream and even whinny. I’m surprised by these facts because I have always been afraid of raccoons and seeing a presidents wife holding her pet raccoon, Rebecca, and seeing this family (please watch the video) laughing and enjoying their pet raccoon opens my eyes to all the possibilities.
Did you know that scorpions can hold their breath for up to six days? And that grizzly bears can run as fast as a horse? Did you know that there are pink dolphins in the ocean?