God, grant me the Serenity To accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
Change. There’s that pesky word again. As your average run of the mill addict, I have always viewed change as the enemy. It is scary, unpredictable, and usually involves a lot of work. As my recovery deepened, change became to become something I associated with excitement, newness, and satisfaction……that was until this last year when CHANGE took on a whole new form!
Change landed with a THUD in my life beginning about a year and a half ago. This was the taboo kind of change that my grandmother and mother used to talk about in hushed whispers around the kitchen table when I was a kid. The kind of change that comes with forgetting where I put my phone a million times a day, finding every undone chore by my teenager even more irritating than usual, and living with my very own personal summer regardless of the temperature outside.
You guessed it – that wonderful time of a women’s life called Menopause. Why would I choose menopause as my topic for the Region One Overeaters Anonymous blog? I guess its because if I ignore this change and pretend it doesn’t impact my recovery, then I leave the door open for my disease to hold a coup.
Menopause is a natural stage of life, but for a person like me with an addiction, it’s a recipe for disaster. Even though my food plan hadn’t changed in five years my body. My emotional ups and downs, as a result of hormone fluctuations, made me feel like I was on the Matterhorn at Disneyland. Prior to recovery, food was my comfort in times of stress, depression, and anxiety. How would I cope now that my stress, depression, and anxiety were all at a level 10 and ready for take off?
I oscillated between pushing back and fighting it like crazy and ignoring it completely and pretending it wasn’t happening. Both solutions had me in the driver seat! Like so many other things in my life, I like to be in control, which frequently interferes with deepening my relationship with my HP. As my Sponsor frequently reminds me, this is a spiritual program with a spiritual solution.
My way wasn’t working, but was I really going to apply the 12 steps to Menopause…. YES I WAS!
And so, I did. I started by finding a quiet spot (hard to do with a teenager), closing my eyes, and truly admitting to myself that I could not manage this on my own, that HP could and would if I let them. Once I opened myself up to the HP and the steps, the miracles came.
The next day on my way to work, a Menopause researcher/advocate was being interviewed on the morning news. I learned several tips on how to support myself and my body, as well as resources I could look up. I then made an appointment with my nutritionist to adjust my meal plan to better support my changing body and added additional time in my day for reading OA approved literature when I experience those emotional changes. I have also been taking the time in my morning and evening time with my HP to give those troubling things to HP to carry for me.
When I remember to give it over every day, and remain open for the assistance, I experience greater serenity during this CHANGE. I guess I’m thankful for Menopause…yes, I said thankful...it has given me another opportunity to strengthen my recovery and my relationship with HP, which is the most important relationship I have. As for my relationship with my teenager…HP suggested boarding school….…Just kidding! 😊