As I discussed my recovery with my mother the other day, I was reminded how far back I have lived with this addiction. My mother told me that at as early as 2 years old I was grabbing for foods high in sugar. As I am in the process of writing my book, I am seeing more clearly the pivotal moments in my life that affected how I felt about myself and about those around me. I was only 7-8 when I remember consciously eating to cover my feelings of inadequacies.
See I came from a family of over achievers. Most of my older siblings didn't have this overwhelming need like I did to have attention or to be accepted. I went through life wondering if I was born into the wrong family. They were homecoming kings, ASB presidents, leads in plays and overall liked by many. Then there was me that took a back seat to people wanting to be around me since I was so difficult to manage.
I look back now and so much of my heartache I created myself but at the time I didn't have the tools necessary to deal with all the many emotions going on inside of me so I turned to food as my comfort. From an early age, I began to eat away my emotions. Somehow the food gave me the needed relief from feeling rejected by those around me and thus started this enormous unhealthy association with food. It wasn't long after that time that I started to put on weight which separated me even more from my thin, healthy siblings.
Emotionally I began isolating myself. I didn't want to let anyone in for fear of further rejection. If they really knew my true feelings, I would NEVER be accepted. See from a young age I took on some very unhealthy faulty core belief systems, like.. 'I am stupid,' and 'I am not worthy of being loved or accepted,' and 'Who I am, is NOT ok,' and 'If I open up and share my true feelings, no one will want me.' It was no wonder, no matter what anyone said that was positive could never penetrate through these beliefs I had. My emotional walls were too thick for anything to get through. I held these beliefs up until these last couple of years. You can imagine how this would create some interesting experiences in life.
I wonder how many of us have similar beliefs that we picked up from a very young age and still carry with us and then wonder why we have the unhealthy relationships we do. I believe that we manifest what we believe and if we believe we are not worthy of something we will find people in our lives who will support those unhealthy core beliefs. This creates a heck of a lot of frustration. We question ourselves and often find ourselves asking the question.. 'Why does this keep happening to me?' I know I did many times.
As I went on every diet out there, trying to "Fix" the problem, I kept running myself in circles because I wasn't getting to the core of the problem. At the core of it all, were these faulty core beliefs I had picked up soo many years ago. As I have gotten into "recovery" and taken the spiritual journey I have, I am learning how to get to those core faulty beliefs and release them and then replace them with healthy beliefs. This has completely changed my life.
I can't change what I don't acknowledge. A quote that came to me about a month ago is "Living a life intentionally takes effort and dedication." It's not easy to be conscious of our thoughts and our actions. It takes not reacting but rather pondering and listening for guidance within ourselves as to what feels right and then making decisions on those impressions.
I am learning that when I am feeling uneasy about something, I need to pay attention to it and not just eat it away and ignore it. I am learning to trust my gut and to take action.
If you would have asked me a couple of years ago if I would be where I am today, I would have laughed at you and told you I had absolutely NO discipline and I couldn’t possibly be able to be where I am today. I didn't have any discipline whatsoever. I always looked at my sister who was so good at that and wondered what was wrong with me. What I didn't realize was I was full of an addiction that had a strong hold on me and had been apart of my life my entire life. Once I acknowledged it, I could then take action to cleaning it up. Just because I have addiction present in my life doesn't mean that I am a bad person. A better way of seeing addiction is it’s the "natural man" or our weaknesses. I believe God gave us weaknesses in order to teach us to rely on Him.
It has taken a lot of practice on my part.. "One day at a time" to be in recovery. I do my best to take responsibility for my actions and my thoughts. I know I am not perfect and I slip at times but the most important thing I try and remember is to get back on the horse and keep going. NEVER QUIT. Living our lives is NOT about beating ourselves up. God would NEVER want us to do that. He is a loving God who wants so badly for you to feel his unconditional love for you. He is the one constant and as I have learned to turn to him and be willing to allow him into my life, he has created a miracle out of my life. I could NOT have done this on my own. I know I tried for sooo many years and told myself that I was bad because I didn’t have the willpower. I have learned it has NOTHING to do with willpower… it’s all about my “willingness.” My willingness to get up everyday and turn my will over to God’s and allow Him to carry me. My willingness to work the program the way it is written.
I love what someone told me the other day, “God can’t drive a parked car.” As I mentioned that to someone last night in a meeting she added to it by saying, “God can’t drive a parked car especially when you have the emergency brake on and the keys not in the ignition.” So dang true. For me I had to be “WILLING” to start the car and get into action and move so that God could create the miracle. I love what someone said the other day too.. “Don’t give up before the miracle happens.” How many times in life do we give up right before the miracle happens? How many miracles don’t happen because of our lack of Faith? Never give up. Let go and let God. These are things I tell myself all the time as I hit tough times and want to give up. For me, I don’t allow much space in my thoughts for negativity. My whole life has been full of negative thinking and I am working very hard to rid myself of those thoughts. When I find myself going there in my thoughts, I quickly redirect my thoughts to positive messages about who I am and what I stand for. It helps to keep me grounded.
I can't say it has been easy and at the same time I wouldn't change one thing when it comes to my experiences in life. I know now that I was born in the absolute perfect family for me. I am blessed to have a family who loves each other and are "GOOD" people striving to make a difference in other people's lives.
It's not about the perfect family.. or the perfect upbringing. Some of you out there have experienced things I would NEVER wish upon anyone in this lifetime and at the same time I challenge you to just consider that whatever it is that you are have experienced is absolutely "PERFECT" for you and your journey. Accepting what is.. IS VITAL to your recovery. You can't change what is.. or what has happened to you but you can choose to grow from it or continue to allow it to hold you hostage.
Hang in there and know that I am just one of your fellow strugglers on the journey to recovery.