I often say at meetings that what keeps me coming back is all these character defects. I am never going to get over them, and I need to use all the tools every day to manage them. But I’ve learned that’s not entirely true. I keep coming back because in our fellowship is where I have hope. Every day, going to meetings, picking up our literature, developing my food plan, doing my nightly inventory--these are the things my hope is derived from. I know now that if I do today what I did yesterday I will continue to stay abstinent and continue to like myself. Abstinence is the root of my recovery. Without it, I am running on self-will run riot. I am miserable and afraid and hopeless.
I keep coming back because I have hope to keep getting better. I have hope to NOT rely on those nasty character defects to get me through situations, but to rely fully on a power greater than myself to get me through everything. And if I need an audible connection, I have hope that I’ll make a reach-out call and allow my Higher Power to speak through you, one of my amazing fellows.
Hope has inspired me to be of service. Carrying the message of recovery, working with rescue dogs and their organizations, and volunteering to help protect our public lands and waters is very rewarding, uplifting and energizing. You could say that being of service has built up my self-esteem. Being of service, believe it or not, has also taught me self-care. Or was that my Higher Power...? 😊
Being kind and tolerant of those I don’t agree with is a miracle of our program. I have experience and hope that when I work with my Higher Power, I can accept people, places and things I could never have imagined. It feels good to be kind in those difficult moments. I have hope that I will grow in those moments! All I need to do is to rely on a power greater than myself.
One of my favorite things I've learned recently is that if I stay in the hope, I stay out of the fear. Much in the same way that if I stay in the gratitude, I stay out of the negative thoughts. I have hope that I can choose recovery. And when I am weak, I have you all, always. You are all just a phone call or text away. I know you will listen. I have hope you’ll understand. I am amazed at the love and peace I can find in our program and in our fellowship.
This hope isn’t a flimsy reed. From the Big Book (page 28) “What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, 'a design for living' that really works.”
I am willing to go to any lengths to keep this hope, my abstinence and sanity. Oh gosh, the sanity, that’s a whole other blog! My recovery gives me hope and let that be the message I carry today and always. There is hope for the still suffering compulsive overeater. It works, if we work it, and we’re worth it!
Thanks for reading and allowing me to be of service. Much love to you.
Laurie A. - Region One