Just for Today

Fat Hobo** So I have decided to limit my posting to Sunday night/ Monday morning, instead of twice a week. Writing has followed the path of sobriety; so much awesomenesses have come out of this post that it hard to set aside time to post anymore. For those of you who like Lydia, I have been working on her storyline. I will start posting parts of her story or simply adding new chunks under her and Henry’s pages around the beginning of June. I’ll keep you updated.**


I do not know what it is about me that is never once satisfied with the suggested serving size of anything. Two Advil. One glass of red wine. One piece of dark chocolate. Driving home last night, I was thinking about 4oz of protein. The size of a deck of cards. What is that? If I ordered a steak at a restaurant and they brought me a steak the size of a deck of cards, I wouldn’t know what to make of it.

Hence, my problem.

This week, I came to a bottom. A food bottom. I was gonna say, “a new bottom,” but I have reached this particular bottom before. So, it is not so much new as, “Ahoy, I didn’t see you lurking there,” kinda food bottom. Argh!

The thing that should not be surprising, and yet surprised me none-the-less, has been how this recent admission of surrender has brought forth all the same emotions as when I first got sober. Not to the same degree, I admit. I am not trying to stop a cycle of addiction while battling homelessness and unemployment. The physical destruction of my addiction is fairly minimal. But what I am feeling, the emotional part of the decision to address my food issues, feels very familiar.

Yesterday, I was walking down the sidewalk of my apartment complex. My stomach was growling, and just like that, a torrent of thoughts and justifications flooded my brain in a milli-second’s time. Maybe I could have just a little. I could start again tomorrow. It is awkward to think about how easily these thoughts came. And a little scary. It was a reminder of the alcoholic obsession I come from and how quickly I could return.

But as quickly as these thoughts came, other thoughts followed. “One day at a time, one minute at a time.” “All right already.” And the ever irritating, “Keep coming back.”

Y’know, then I walked into the rooms of AA, I never thought it would work. I thought the steps and spirituality and all of it was just too esoteric and not concrete enough to offer anything like a real solution. But it did work. Working the steps worked. And being around other addicts worked. Talking worked and service worked. And I know, when I live my life in the spiritual realm instead of the physical realm, that works too. It doesn’t matter if it is food or drugs or alcohol. I know when I apply the steps in my life, things are bound to get better. I just have to hang on long enough for the recovery to set in.

Today, I have the gift of second thought. AA has taught me that. I do not have to act on my first impulse. I can pause long enough to remember there is a solution. And just because I want to eat or drink, does not mean I have to. Just for today.


Will Write for Food

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Dealing with Death in Sobriety: Part Two

Piscine Mourning*** I will be out of pocket this week. In my place, one of my favorite AAs has stepped in with her own two part story of perseverance and healing. The honesty of this piece rings true. I hope you pass this piece on to anyone in sobriety that is currently suffering from loss. I will be back on Thursday.***

As I ran my key down the left side of a stranger’s vehicle, watching the white streak make a line in the blue paint, I knew I was in trouble. I did it anyway despite knowing that my actions were wrong. I also justified this situation in my mind and publicly. I’m an alcoholic I can justify just about anything. I could continue my spiral of insanity or I could deal with the issue underlining my rage: grief regarding my grandmother’s death 30 days prior.

I have been shopping. That obsessive-compulsive-I-am-trying-not-to-feel-shopping. My binge list included: 7 ottomans, clothes, My Little Pony blankets, dust ruffles, throws, art work, and more. It started the day of my Grandmother’s memorial where I was in charge of the food. I went to the grocery store and purchased 10 cooked chickens, a bag of salad, and dressing. I showed up and announced, “I have chickens.” I lined them up on the counter and walked away. My aunt came over to me and quietly whispered, “Mija, what are you doing with the chickens, are you going to cut them?” I couldn’t. All I could do that day was show up with chickens.

I was continuing my compulsive shopping the day I keyed that vehicle. I had shopped and like the other times, felt empty and angry afterwards. I left crying for no reason which was common these days and someone had parked so close to my car, I couldn’t open my door. I felt the rage rise up like red, hot, bile from my soul and proceeded to the thing that I never could understand that people do. Destroy someone’s property.

I emailed my therapist that night and told her I needed an emergency appointment to talk about my rage. I’m sitting on the couch and speed talking about the 5 stages of grief and how I’m only feel 5 stages of anger. How everyone in my life is going to either die or leave at some point and I might as well prepare for it now. This appointment turned out to be the catalyst for me to begin healing.

My sponsor assures me that shopping is better than drinking because I can return every item I purchased, but I cannot return a drink once I have taken it. Slowly I notice I am crying less and peace is replacing the anger. Acceptance is replacing fear, love is replacing hate, and time is healing my wounds. I do the next right thing. I have a spiritual experience that is indescribable. I laugh a little more. I return some of the wreckage of my shopping binge.

My hope is that anyone who is grieving a lost relationship, friendship, past life, pet, family member, or friend remembers this: there is absolutely no experience that will be made better by a drink. Not one. Not even grief.