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Topic for the week: powerlessness

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Old 01-02-2008, 09:51 PM   #16
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Hey Bikini- Glad you found us. You're in the right place.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:19 AM   #17
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Default powerless

I am completely powerless over food. Even just writing helps me this morning. I am so powerless that even thinking about just how powerless I am overwhelms me and makes me think I can never fully escape from the ravages of COE.

Which is why I need very badly to be constantly reminded of the slogan ONE DAY AT A TIME. That slows me down and gives balm and comfort when my head gets overwhelmed.

With your help, I can connect to my Higher Power and I can do this thing just for today. Tomorrow is not my problem. Thank you so much for the wisdom on this thread.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:16 AM   #18
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It certainly makes my life unmanageable! When I start hearing myself say "you" always or "you" did t hat I know I've gone over the bend again. It makes me feel very sorry for me. Everyone is out to get me!. Nobody loves me not even me!

This all leads to a life centered on "ME". and that makes "ME" and everyone around me very unhappy.

Just for today I can have a food plan, I can rely on my Higher Power and the people put in my life to make this an enjoyable day, I can take the focus off of me and it will be an enjoyable day.

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Old 01-07-2008, 09:05 PM   #19
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marny,

i am new to 3FC and the OA thread. i know i am powerless. i want to and am ready to join oa but there is no meeting in my area.

i just wanted to say that you are very encouraging and even though you have never replied to me directly (this is my FIRST ever post), you make me feel welcomed and encouraged to just do it...join...get on board and let God have it all...the good, the bad and the ugly.

i cry everytime i read the 12 steps. i checked out the recovery group website and read a quote about "let me love you until you can love yourself"...I started sobbing.

i look into my 5 year old twins eyes and I see hope. hope for a future...hope for a way out.

thanks for being a bright spot on my journey,

lisa l.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:41 AM   #20
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Hey Lisa-

Thank you sweetie-- you made me feel helpful and great with your post.

You are in the right place, and better yet, you are reaching out. Great job.

I sent you a private message. Let me know if you have trouble opening it.
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:06 PM   #21
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marny,

thanks for the private message...this probably isn't the best place to post this BUT I tried to send you a private reply but was not allowed as I did not have enough posts on 3FC yet...too new I guess!

thanks for the phone offer...might give it a try, although the time difference might take me awhile to figure out (i'm in ohio).

any suggestions on how to get info about local f2f meetings? i have emailed the local central ohio address with a request and the OA WSO but have received no replies.

also, i'll admit i'm a little gun-shy...i did try OA once before (about 10 years ago) I had recently found a lump in my breast and was waiting for lumpectomy surgery. This stress was a trigger that lead me to a very compulsive binge. I had already researched OA and felt this was the pivotal moment when i had to go. so i tried a meeting literally in my backyard (across the alley in a church basement). I did not feel welcome. I shared my story about the surgery and got nothing but blank stares from the 2 main women (the leader was absent). no one struck me as wanting to be a sponsor and the process of how to get one was not explained. I was never contacted and I never went back. I kept all the OA literature and finally put it in the trash a few years ago. I felt very betrayed because I had opened myself up, exposed some raw emotion and was basically just left to rot.

The reason I am looking to OA again is because 1) everyone (everything) deserves a second chance, 2) i am a different person than I was 10 years ago 3) the Lord (I am a Christian, please excuse my use of words if they offend you) has put it on my heart to give up sugar. it's the one thing I just cannot say no to...if it is there I will eat it. I have eaten sugar sandwiches when nothing else was available. I tried reading sugar busters (or some such book) and realized it is not about the food. it's about surrender. i have battled my weight all my life and every program fails because I cannot surrender. i cannot accept that I have no power over this...i think i'm finally there. it still feels like defeat right now to admit I am powerless...does that feeling go away?

a close friend of mine died last year. she was 38 (i'm 38) she was obese (i'm obese) she had young children (i have young children). i helped lift her from her office chair where she collapsed. it took three of us. i watched the medics rip her clothes and bra off. i saw them struggle to do CPR on her large chest. i saw them almost drop her as they lifted her to the ambulance through the freight loading dock. i felt like i was watching myself. her autopsy revealed an unknown heart condition...the same condition i was diagnosed with when my twins were born. the same disease i live with everyday...

this wake up call was just too close to home. since then i have been searching my heart and trying yet another plan (a Christian based food/exercise plan) with zero results. i believe the plan (like almost any sensible food plan) is a livable, helpful program...if you do the program...if you surrender first.

how does one decide what abstinence means for them? i don't know if (how) it's possible to give up sugar all together...seems like it is in everything. and that brings me to another question: i fear that i will transfer my compulsive behavior of eating to a compulsive behavior of weighing, measuring, counting, etc. i've been known to do that. perfectionism and procrastination are my two best friends...if i can't do it perfectly, i will just put it off until i can...hense the woman you see before you today. i could never get it right so i just kept putting it off until i now weigh 358.

i hope i haven't scared you off by blabbering on too long. i really need someone by my side. i read a post on 3FC where someone mentioned a sponsor that reviewed her (the author's) food plan/intake for the day...everyday. this sounds so good to me! i was so excited! someone who i can turn to in the thick of it all and someone who has been there. i guess that's what a sponsor is for...last question: where do I find one?

thanks for all your help...truly you have been a light in my darkness.

blessings,
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:58 PM   #22
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Hey there Lisa-

While looking for face to face meetings did you try looking through the oa website? They have a search by state and city. I found my meeting in the local newspaper under "meetings".

I don't blame you for being gun shy. The blank looks could have been the other folks just listening and not cross talking. We don't speak directly to anyone during the meetings-- so I can see how you could have perceived it as disinterest. I'm proud of you for being willing to give it another shot.

The folks in the meeting can only share their own experience strength and hope. If they don't have a lot of recovery, then they may not have a lot to give. These are regular people-- some of them will talk too much, some will think they know all the answers, some will give you advice that you didn't ask for, some will be silent. So, I recommend that you go in with an open heart and open mind ready to listen, learn, and grow. It won't all happen in one meeting. It takes time to understand the program and to get to know people. Remember that these are people like you and me-- they're addicts, feel rotten about themselves, carry a lot of shame, and may doubt that you would want to talk to them.
Try to stick around after the meeting for a few minutes. You can ask how to help clean up. Talk to someone. Reach out and make contact if even for only a minute.

Yep, it's about surrender. It's about powerlessness. The sooner we can admit defeat, the sooner we can move on and allow God to be the power that we cannot. There is incredible freedom in admitting our powerlessness. It means that we no longer have to kick ourselves for not being successful. We no longer have to try and try and try again to accomplish something that we don't have the power to do. We can't, but God can. We only have to let him. Yes, it gets easier-- it actually starts to feel fantastic. Instead of feeling incapable, I feel cared for and protected.

You ask some great questions about abstinence. It's different for everyone. Typically, folks work it out with their sponsor based on what their trigger foods are and what they are willing to try to give up. Abstinence definitions can change over time and usually do.

The sugar thing is very personal. Some people look at the sugar grams in stuff and only eat it if it's under a certain number. Some people look at where the word sugar is on the ingredients list. Some people only avoid certain kinds of foods that have sugar. For instance, I don't eat desserts-- they trigger me, even sugar free ones. However, I eat bread and spaghetti sauce and those have sugar in them. But, they don't trigger me. Everyone is different.

Yes, the thought of not eating sugar seems impossible. That's because it's a drug that you have been using and are addicted to. There are a good 2 weeks of withdrawl that really suck. But, after that your body will begin to adjust and actually feel better. It's almost impossible to give up sugar without the help of program. You need all the tools-- sponsor, meetings, books, prayer, phone calls. I called my sponsor everyday, sometimes more. I prayed every time I wanted to eat. I took my books every where and read them when I needed to quiet my mind.

Think of it this way. How far do you think a crack addict would get with quitting crack on her own without any help? It's the same thing.

The best place to find a sponsor is at your local meeting. Look for someone who has what you want-- and ask them if they would be willing to sponsor you. It's also possible to find one online.

I'm here if you need help.
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:00 AM   #23
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Default OA meetings in Ohio

I don't know what city you are in, but here is just the first page of meetings listed for Ohio from the www.oa.org site



AKRON OH USA Friday 6:00PM SUMMIT MASONIC COMPLEX
AKRON OH USA Monday 6:00PM PACKARD INST INC
AKRON OH USA Saturday 10:30AM ST THOMAS MEDICAL CENTER
AKRON OH USA Sunday 10:30AM R A M A R OFFICES
AKRON OH USA Wednesday 5:45PM SOUTH ARLINGTON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
AKRON OH USA Wednesday 7:30PM CHRIST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
ALLIANCE OH USA Thursday 6:00PM ALLIANCE ARID CLUB
AMHERST OH USA Tuesday 7:30PM HERITAGE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
ASHLAND OH USA Wednesday 11:30AM ASHLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY
ASHTABULA OH USA Monday 7:00PM EASTSIDE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
ATHENS OH USA Tuesday 5:30PM OBLENNES HOSPITAL
BAINBRIDGE OH USA Thursday 7:30PM LORD OF LIFE LUTHERAN CHURCH
BAY VILLAGE OH USA Tuesday 7:30PM BAY VILLAGE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
BEDFORD OH USA Saturday 10:00AM UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
BLUFFTON OH USA Tuesday 9:00AM ST MARY'S CHURCH
BRECKSVILLE OH USA Tuesday 4:45PM BRECKSVILLE VA HOSPITAL
BRUNSWICK OH USA Tuesday 10:00AM BRUNSWICK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
BYRAN OH USA Wednesday 5:30PM RECOVERY CENTER OF NORTHWEST OHIO
CAMBRIDGE OH USA Monday 5:30PM SALVATION ARMY
CAMBRIDGE OH USA Thursday 7:00PM LOCATION
CANTON OH USA Friday 10:00AM TRINITY UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
CANTON OH USA Monday 10:00AM 1ST BAPTIST CHURCH
CANTON OH USA Saturday 10:00AM REEDURBAN UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
CANTON OH USA Thursday 7:00PM REEDURBAN UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
CANTON OH USA Tuesday 7:00PM TIMKIN MERCY HOSPITAL
CANTON OH USA Wednesday 10:00AM 1ST BAPTIST CHURCH
CHESAPEAK OH USA Thursday 7:00PM ST ANN CATHOLIC CHURCH
CHESTERLAND OH USA Monday 7:30PM MAYFIELD CHURCH
CINCINNATI OH USA Friday 10:00AM HYDE PARK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
CINCINNATI OH USA Monday 10:00AM HYDE PARK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:35 PM   #24
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I am very powerless to food it controls my life. I’m hoping to change all that. I never knew there was OA It sounds great. May I ask what being abstinent from food means?
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:40 AM   #25
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Hey there sunshinegirl. Welcome!

Being abstinent means that we refrain from compulsive overeating. Abstinence is different for each person. My definition of abstinence is that I only eat at planned meal times and not any other time, and I don't eat my trigger foods which are desserts.

Each person figures out what they need to abstain from in order to not compulsively overeat. Most people figure this out with the help of a sponsor (mentor).

I recommend that you visit www.oa.org to find out more information about oa.
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:55 PM   #26
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Powerlessness means that even though I know that my life and my unborn baby's life and health depended on sticking to a limited carb diet due to insulin-dependent gestational diabetes, I overate anyway. As much as I loved my unborn babies, I ate tons of desserts throughout my pregnancies... even when I saw my blood sugars reach higher and higher. I could not stop. (Only by the grace of the HP were all of my kids born healthy.)

Powerlessness means that even though I had bariatric surgery, it didn't stop me from overeating... from hiding food... from planning my binges for when my family was asleep... for buying food with the thought it's for the kids, yet knowing I would eat all or most of it.

Powerless means that the food is in control, not me. It has been since the time I was 11 or 12 and used to hide six-packs of Snickers bars in the bathroom. It was the time I ate a pastry out of the garbage can that I had thrown away because I didn't even like it. It still is... 27 years later.
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Old 01-14-2008, 07:15 PM   #27
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Yep, that's powerlessness. You aren't alone.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:19 PM   #28
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Marnie, Lisa, SunShine and others - I'm glad I found you all. I began doing OA about five yrs ago and lost over 90#s. Couple of yrs later I thought I had all the answers and stopped going to meetings... totally relapsed, and gained back nearly all of it.

Oh well. Time to start all over again, from scratch. Maybe this time I will understand that I really am powerless over food. Maybe now I'll finally recognize what's obvious and stop thinking that I'm in control of what and how I eat.

I live in a very rural part of Vermont, and meetings are not easy to get to. I'm glad I found this chat group as an alternative for when I just can't get to f2f. Still, I plan to do my very best to get to at least one meeting each week.

A recent example of powerlessness for me was when I found myself getting increasingly grumpy (downright mean) towards my much beloved boyfriend. I wanted him to LEAVE... couldn't wait for him to go away... cuz there was stuff in the house that demanded eating. I'm very much a closet eater, so of course I wouldn't consider eating a bunch of junk in his presence. Instead of enjoying the company of this sweet, gentle man, I counted the minutes till he left and his seat was barely cold before I began pigging out. Ugh!

But hey... that's why I'm here.

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Old 01-15-2008, 11:46 PM   #29
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Birgit,

i'm glad you found us too! i'm new (as i'm sure you figured you from reading my posts) but i KNOW oa is the place for me. I commend you for coming out in the open about your closet eating...the darkness only goes away when we let in the light! i have met some great people here and on other oa sites...there is such a peace to know i am not alone...that the thoughts i have are in someone else's head too (okay that could be a little scary) but you get my drift...there is a freedom in admitting powerlessness...this is so paradoxically amazing!

hope to see you around,

lisa l.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:59 AM   #30
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Hi Lisa (and everyone else),

You're right - OA is the right place for you (and for me, as well). I hope that you find a f2f meeting (or two, or several) that works for you. In my experience, every meeting has a different "feel" to it. If you don't feel comfortable with the vibes in one room (meeting), try another. For those of us who are a bit shy, that can be a very scary prospect - but trust me, it's well worth it. Once you find a meeting(s) that feels comfortable, you will feel loved and embraced - and no longer alone.

And in the meantime, you have us!!

And before you congratulate me too much on my "coming out" about my closet eating - well, in the interest of honesty, I have to admit that I have a long way to go on that subject. It's one thing to tell you all about it... first of all, you understand because you have "been there" yourselves, and secondly, I can't see the look on your faces. But it's quite another to tell others about my closet bingeing. I've talked about it a little with my boyfriend, but (although he's very kind and supportive about it) he totally does not "get it." He's the kind of guy who eats simply to fuel his body. He has no other "stuff" attached to food. The concept of eating in response to an emotion is completely foreign to him, so that makes it hard for me to talk with him about this. Kinda like him trying to talk to me about the mechanical systems in a high-rise (he's an architect). The other person I might want to "come out" to about my closet eating might be my mother. But, OMG - that's a WHOLE other subject...

Fab - I forgot to respond to you yesterday. You wrote so eloquently and from your heart about your feelings of powerlessness, and I can totally relate. Sometimes I feel positively insane, knowing that I am wrecking my health by continuing to do what I'm doing - and yet I feel completely unable to stop myself. Yes, yes, yes, "they" say that overeating is a "choice." Frankly, I have no idea whether that's true or not. All I know is that there are times when I simply feel unable to make the "right" choice - and that's powerlessness.

Best wishes to all of you,
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