One Day At A Time
Over and over again I heard, "Read page 449 in the Big Book.” I read it every day as a constant reminder to let go of my anger, my defiance and my attempts to control everything and everybody—I needed to “let go and let God.”
“Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism [food addiction], I could not stay sober [abstinent]; unless I accept life on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 449)
Paul proclaims a similar message in his letter to the Philippians:
“…I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.” (Philippians 4:ll, Amplified Bible)
Practicing the program was not always easy; it was “progress, not perfection.” Serenity comes through never-ending acceptance and surrender—eyes on God with absolute dependence on His ability.
“God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:l, New International Version)
The first few months were disheartening—my predisposition needed a complete overhaul. People say that it takes twenty-one days to break a habit. For me, it took eons to sever the tightly braided cords that held me captive to my compulsive and obsessive nature. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time, I walked towards the light…sometimes I crawled on my knees with barely enough strength to go on. It was tough. God never promised me a rose garden.
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning….” (Lamentations 3:21-23, New International Version)
God helped me endure whatever temptations I faced. I sat on my hands some days. I went to bed some days. Talking on the telephone to other food addicts, going to a meeting or talking to my counselor revived my spirit and renewed my strength. Talking to God in casual conversations or more intimately on my knees, I did whatever I had to do to stay abstinent. It was the most important thing without exception. My old nature withered as the seeds of my new life blossomed. Celebrations, holidays and special days played havoc with my peace of mind. In God’s time, the fanfare died, the hoopla ended, and I didn’t overeat one day at a time.