In my quest to ‘discover’ what foods are driving my eating disorder, in other words, to clarify what foods are leading me back to the cliffs (seeCliff walking), that place where I reach a threshold and binge, I was asked to make my list of Red-light foods: the foods I know to be binge foods, Green light-foods, the ones “I’m positive” (Note to self: Really? Are you sure?) I can handle, and my Yellow-light foods, the ones we identify as “I’m not sure they are a problem.” These foods are the ones I have held onto with a vengeance!
That about sums it up. “Get back in there: I can control this, and I’m NOT GIVING IT UP, It’s Mine, Mine Mine!” It wasn’t till I joined a 12 step recovery group that I started to identify ‘what exactly is the problem,’ calling them, “MY” (MINE, MINE, MINE!!!) ‘Red-Light, Green-light and Yellow-light foods.’ After 33 years in this program, I have finally learned, if they are ‘Yellow-light foods’, they are, most likely, ‘red-light’ foods you are holding onto. I had heard this before from one woman, but she said it in such a ‘matter of fact’ way, I dismissed her as being ‘nuts’, ‘wrong’, and gave it the old, “Thanks for the information” (Pg. 39, Anonymous), ‘See ya!’.
For so many months, I struggled to find a web master to help give birth to this site. Over a year ago, some one started working on this for a chunk of money. It was really in bad shape and the “under construction” signs were beginning to be more like wishful thinking! I spent a lot of time praying and worrying about this. Praying and worrying has been my way of getting things done for a long time. Here’s what it looks like. I go to God’s throne room and throw the doors open and then drag a big cinder block into the large hall and right up to God. I tell Him what He already knows and then I beg Him to do something, Please! Then, I pick up the cinder block and leave with it and rack my brain to figure out how I can find a web master that I can afford so I can fix this problem!
One day, a man emailed me and told me he was a friend from my past and long story short, he mentioned, he knew how to fix a website. I began to think, this might be answered prayer and that help was on the way. We started to work on the website and in truth, we don’t know the first thing about setting up a web site. I don’t and he, while he is an extremely computer savvy person and certainly sincerely wanted to be helpful, it was a case of the blind leading the blind every time we got together on the phone. Nothing was getting accomplished and hours were spent trying. It was a Sunday evening at about 5pm. I remember because I had reached the end of self. Here’s what that looks like.
After exchanging phone calls and letters with a dear jewish friend, I was left thinking about her words. She shared her frustration with prayer and in trying to reach God. She cries buckets of tears. In her words, ‘if she doesn’t weep and wail and ‘stand on her head and spit nickels,’ nothing happens.’ I started to wonder, is this true? What does the bible say about prayer and specifically, about crying out to God. The thought crossed my mind, ‘a contrite heart’. Where did that come from and what does ‘a contrite heart’ even mean?
According to the bible dictionary, “A contrite heart is one in which the natural pride and self-sufficiency have been completely humbled by the consciousness of guilt.” The Hebrew and Greek words translated for ‘contrite’ actually means “crushed, crippled, or broken”.
When crying out to God, something I do frequently so I feel I’m practically an expert on this subject,
Miracles are so much fun! A few weeks ago, I had a car accident. Like most people, when I first moved to the right and hit another car, my first thought was, “Ugh!”. But I’m living ‘a new way, a new manner , a new plan of living’, as the Big Book puts it. And so, my second thought was, “Thank you, Lord.” If ‘nothing happens in God’s world by mistake’ (Pg. 417 BB), then God knew it would happen and God knew all the ramifications. So The first thing I did when I hit that woman’s car was to say, “Thank you, Lord, for this car accident and what I’m about to learn from it.”
I pulled my car over to the side of the road. The woman in the black maxima got out of her car and started screaming at me. I listened and said nothing. It seemed fair that she should be upset. I hit her! When she said, “DIDN”T YOU SEE ME? Didn’t you see my car?” I felt sorry for her. Her car, her day, her schedule was being run a muck. I calmly said, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you. I wouldn’t have moved into your lane if I had seen you. Let me call the police and get this over with. I know it was my fault.”
I was sick for a few days and really wasn’t myself that day. It was the very end of my day and I was tired and lazy about looking over my right shoulder to check my blind spot. Her car was low and not in my mirrors. I went back to my car and climbed into the driver’s seat so I could use my phone and the blue tooth. She came over to my car door and as she listened with my window open, she said, ‘We don’t call the police in Pennsylvania’. I hung up. Then she said, ‘Just go. I’ll take care of my car. You take care of yours. You have more damage anyway. My husband will fix my car.
I was very grateful. How nice of her. I received that as the first blessing from this accident. No insurance company involvement! Yay, my record is clean and I’m thrilled to keep it that way. She was so very kind to let me off the hook. So I drove home and as I crossed the bridge to New Jersey, I ruminated over her statement. “My husband will take care of my car.” It was like a marble in my mind just rolling around. How annoying; I don’t have a husband to rescue me.
“Hey, Uncle Bob, I know you used to be an alcoholic, but how ’bout you man the bar?” Holiday expectations are sometimes nonsensical. Upon my arrival to Thanks Giving, my four-year old grand-daughter, with joy and excitement, asked me to make a ginger-bread house with her. I listened with no response thinking, “I don’t think so.”
Ginger bread house
Three days later, with the back drop of Pandora Internet Radio, playing ‘Italian Traditional’ music, as I prepared the icing, I was lost in thought. First, I lied to myself. “This isn’t confectioners sugar, it’s Elmer’s glue!” I wasn’t tempted at all, but it didn’t seem wise to play with sugar. I also remembered a conversation I had with my litigator daughter; Who can win with her? Growing up, I called her the cruise director, always Charles in charge. So when she explained”I’ll vacuum while you help the kids make the ginger bread house!” I, of course, said, “How is that my job? I’m the one with the eating disorder! How about I vacuum, you make the ginger bread house?” She laughed with a guilty look.