Friday, February 21, 2014

When History Becomes A Little More Urgent

Post Number: 139
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily PPV Used/Left: 28/41 of 69 (Goal: 28/41)
     Pedometer Reading: 6540
     Meetings Attended: Overeaters Anonymous
     Exercise Completed: At the Y -
          Swam Laps (8 laps, 400 yards)
          Recumbent Elliptical Machine
               16 minutes & 2.55 miles @  7 resistance
     M-W's Word of the DaySmall Beer

Yesterday was a mixed blessing. I traveled. I swam. I conquered. I cannot say I was excited to be back at the Y yesterday morning. But I can say I was glad to be there. My exercise effort demonstrated three important facts for me:

  1. I haven't lost much ability at the time of the exercise. 
  2. The recuperation process has been extended.
  3. I'm not as over my head/chest congestion as I thought I was.

These were wonderful observations. Then I ate my breakfast. I was able to restore my eating success for breakfast. I was feeling very hungry, but that was okay. Breakfast was only two points more than usual. I felt I was well on my way to good day. And then the sabotaging started. Maybe sabotage is too strong a word. I was hungry enough that it was easy to make poor choices. They weren't astoundingly poor choices. A dozen pretzels, not a bag of chips. Four M&M's, not a Snickers bar. A piece of toast with margarine, not a Big Mac. But they are counter to the LCLF food selection I want to use until I have lost 100 pounds. Is it time to alter my food selection philosophy? Should I take a temporary break to enliven my desire to select the right foods? I've known from experience and research that LCLF is not a long term solution for me.

I also know from the experience of others and minute levels of research that the bill I received yesterday from the IRS is not to be ignored. It seems that a distant creditor, instead of merely signing away a long forgotten debt, chose to fire off one last parting shot. The creditor cancelled the debt and then reported it to the IRS. I wasn't surprised by this attitude. Instead, I was surprised by the tax rate: 22%. And that's the tax rate before the interest that has already accumulated. This is the first notice and I'm already being charged interest on top of unpaid taxes. I will pay it in full. I don't want to upset the IRS. But this actually brings to light another fear that has been in a dark, forgotten corner of my mind for quite some time. It reappears every once in awhile with the right reminder. Right now, I am making every payment required on my student loan under the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) plan. If I keep it up for 25 times 12 payments, the loan will be forgiven. And then, I will have to pay approximately $60,000 in taxes on that canceled debt. I fear that eventuality. But I don't see what else I can do at this stage. I have never made enough money to pay the standard repayment. And under ICR, I have never had to pay anywhere near how much interest accrues every month. I guess I will have to start working on my second million. I keep hearing how much easier it is to earn that second million. In spite of the humor, I feel trapped by the situation.

Fortunately, OA helps me feel better in any situation. It is a spiritual boost to any day. I just wish it wasn't so late at night when I have the Y the next morning. We discussed the opening of Chapter 5: How It Works (included in the P.P.S.) last night. When it was my turn, I discussed the difference to me between complete honesty and rigorous honesty. The primary difference for me being the work necessary to lift the honesty from admitting what was happening to admitting why it was happening. I hope that begins to make sense. Having only a few hours of sleep didn't really help this entry. Anyway, it is important to me to put the work into rigorous honesty.

One of the comments that I want to meditate on when I am rested is the statement made by a person that said, "What takes us out of OA is balking, resentment, or fear." The idea of balking comes from the chapter. Resentment and fear are understandable. I suspect there are other reasons, but I'll leave that discussion for another time. But then there is this curious idea that was expressed of reaching something labeled, "Recovery." This led to questions last night that are not with me this morning. And it also re-ignited the internal spiritual debate within me about the best way to bolster my strength. OA is definitely a spiritual booster. But it seems like a water drop compared to so many other oceanic experiences in my life. All of this is in need of mental cogitation.

There was something shared that I wanted to record. One person shared that working recovery in an alcohol or drug addiction is like fighting a tiger into a cage and then keeping it there. Working recovery in food addiction, the tiger needs to be let out of the cage three times a day.

And once a day, I need to get as much sleep as possible. That wasn't last night. And I need to ponder these things some more. Search, ponder and pray. Pray, pay, and obey. {Two LDS catch phrases.} In other words, let my Higher Power guide my path.

Yours in the cosmic search for truth, order, and beauty,


P.S.: Conversation while Lemur was using our Nook tablet with headphones.

Jaguar (bearing headphones): Can I listen?
Lemur: No. You touched.
Jaguar: I want to listen.
Lemur (nodding approval): You don't touch it.

{This seemed so much funnier last night when I wrote it down.}

Chapter 5
How It Works 

RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it—then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with [compulsive overeating]—cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power—that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon. 

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