From ‘addictive-thinking’ to recovery, through the 12 Steps of Addictive Eaters Anonymous.

Despite the time that I’ve had practicing the 12 Steps of Addictive Eaters Anonymous, I find that my mind quickly falls into negativity or self-centered thinking. I had a great example of this ‘addictive-thinking’ today. A beautiful day, which started with a relaxed walk on the beach. When I got back to the car, I picked up a text message from my sister-in-law. She texted to let me know about a friend of ours who would be staying in town this weekend…at their place.

My addict brain quickly left behind the beautiful relaxing beach walk, and switched to, “Why wouldn’t he stay with us? He likes them more than us. Why? It must be because of me.” Self, self, self!

Addictive Eaters Anonymous and the practice of the 12 Steps taught me that this ‘addictive-thinking’ is simply my disease, or dis-ease, if you like. It’ll keep me sick. Self-centered thinking was the root cause of my addictive eating. Though I’m not eating addictively today, I can still think addictively!

So this morning, what did living in recovery look like? I do have to admit, I lingered a little longer with the thinking, telling myself that this friend was very likely thinking about taking pressure off our busy family, or was quite possibly, not thinking of us at all, but simply looking for a bed for the night. Then, I refocused on hanging out the washing and getting on with my day.

Trust God, clean house and help another—this, for me, is essential for my sobriety.

Today, I prioritized writing this blog, even though there are other tasks that seem more important (like the vacuuming). However, I was recently reminded that putting my recovery first is an essential part of keeping what I was given. Again and again, I hear the message that recovery is simple: Trust God – Clean House – Help Another. (Clean House here refers not to the spotless home that I’d like to be living in, but to the way I live my life).

As I make the active choice to move my attention off my ‘addictive-thinking’ and off me (trusting that God will deal with that in His time and His way), I can simply go about my day, doing the best with what I’ve been given. I am grateful, as a mother of a busy family, to be able to see each little task around the home as an opportunity to serve—to make someone else’s day a little better.

I choose to live in the solution.

For years, my ‘addictive-thinking’ had me trying to fix my eating problem—the food obsession that had enslaved my mind. It had me controlling my family and demanding from them, as I tried to ease the discomfort I always felt inside. For 10 years, the problem had me sitting in counsellors’ chairs, reading self-help books, doing university studies, as I tried to solve the problem that was my thinking.

Today, and for a number of days now, I have chosen to surrender my food to a Higher Power. I attend regular Addictive Eaters Anonymous meetings and keep in close contact with my sponsor.

One day at a time, by the grace of God and through these actions, I am moving further and further away from the problem. I believe the ‘addictive-thinking’ will always be there in one form or another, but the extreme self-centeredness has softened. As a result of these actions, the food no longer enslaves my mind. I have loving and tender relationships, in which I can both give and receive. Solutions to my problems can be found in the message that I hear in the rooms of Addictive Eaters Anonymous and in practicing the 12 Steps as a way of life.

-Member, Addictive Eaters Anonymous

For more information about Addictive Eater’s Anonymous (AEA), visit www.addictiveeatersanonymous.org or call (657) 999-3303.

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