The Power of Acceptance: Embracing Change for a Brighter Future
My name is Shelly, and I am a food addict. I have decided to share my story for it plays a part in my recovery process. It has been a bumpy road. I have, however, gotten to a point where I feel the urge to give back what others have taught me. I have come to deeply cherish these lessons, and I want to pass them on.I never thought that I would be grateful for an eating disorder. I never thought that those days of shame and guilt and sorrow could be a positive experience. I was immersed in a black hole whose gravitational force was stronger than earth’s. It felt closer to some sort of magnetism actually. My addiction is food. Unhealthy behaviors around food. I made it my blessing, my curse, my passion and my despair, my lover, my enemy, my comforter, my Higher Power.I will start from the beginning and try to illustrate the early stages of my ongoing road to recovery.
We admitted we were powerless over food— that our lives had become unmanageable. ~ Overeaters Anonymous
Eating disorders, like all other addictions, are progressive. When or how does a person realize they have a problem? Most of the time, the person doesn’t even know its happening. In my case, I can say that for sure. My disease became readily apparent four years ago, though looking back I realize that my relationship with food has been troublesome from an early age. But that is a different story, perhaps for another blog article.
Over the years I had plenty of chances to admit I was powerless over food, but I only made the admission when I was ready. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I was determined to make the necessary changes to overcome my eating disorder or food addiction. I was already seeking professional help, and had tried every method I could think of with little success. I discovered Overeaters Anonymous (OA); I knew I had a problem with food, but knew nothing about the OA program. Click here to learn more about Overeaters Anonymous.
It is difficult to describe the feeling I had in the beginning. It was mostly anger. I was ok with admitting my eating disorder, but to call myself an addict? I still did not want to believe that I couldn't control my eating and behaviors around food. “I brought this disease upon me, I chose to get it and only I could stop it” I thought. I wanted to hold onto the power over food and leave the less behind. I associated willpower with inner strength and did not realize that the inner strength would grow out unconditional self acceptance.
At the beginning, I did not understand that I had no control over my food. I came to understand that my addiction did control me every second. Indeed my life was managed by my disease. Food was all I could think of. If I wasn't eating, I was anxious about when/what should I eat next. And, once I did I eat, I was compulsively unable to stop, which lead to purging and the cycle repeating itself all over again. Social outings were triggering and so was isolation. There was no safe ground. It was unmanageable.
The first step broke my resistance, taught me to step down from the ladder, to stop playing god in my own life. I do not have all the answers, otherwise this would not be my story. I still struggle with Step One. I choose to take it every day for it keeps me grounded and abstinent. I can’t do this on my own but I am not alone. There is an army of people willing to help if I let them. It may sound simple and rather obvious, but it is a difficult threshold to cross, and most certainly a humbling experience. It is actually a beautiful realization, and recovery is full of them. For those I am forever grateful.
Many treatment facilities that focus on eating disorders do just that: they focus on the eating disorder. At Serenity Vista Addiction Treatment Facility, we believe that addiction manifests itself in a myriad of ways for different people, in different times of their lives. We help people addicted to alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, heroin, gambling, sexual compulsions, and food. We do not focus on the manifestation of the disease, but rather on the solution. Addiction is always about control. In 12 Step Recovery, control is abandoned to a Higher Power. When people come to Serenity Vista for help with their food addictions or obsessions, we change the focus. The focus is on the 12 Steps and a holistic recovery. Serenity Vista offers holistic healing of all aspects of life, including culinary wholeness and health.
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