According to 12 step programs, Step 6 and 7 are all about identifying one’s character defects and asking God to remove them.
I love the 12 steps, yet character defects never sat well with me.
God doesn’t make junk and I don’t have defects.
Instead, I have transformed character defects into defense mechanisms because at one time they served me and kept me safe.
One of my “character defects” revolves around a heavy block of rock that sits on my shoulder. I tend to carry resentment for years and years.
The boy who called me an ugly dog in 7th grade? I remember your name and your exact features.
The police man that drives in my neighborhood; don’t you even think I forgot about what you did to me!
And that beautiful woman with the perfect body and appearance on Oprah because you are the real superwoman yet the cruelest and snobbiest woman in the STL: I know where you live…….
As the years went on and on, the chip on my shoulder got bigger and heavier and I had to gain weight just support it!
One day while working Steps 4 and 5 (searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself) I saw the light!
I didn’t control how they treated me but keeping that chip on my shoulder was slowly swallowing me alive.
The 7th grade boy, the policeman and the beautiful Oprah guest hurt because they are hurt.
I gave them to God; they are now his problem. I took the boulder off of my shoulder and danced a jig.
I was finally free! By carrying that boulder on my shoulder and being resentful; I was only hurting myself.
Enough people had hurt me; I don’t need to add myself on the list anymore.
I gave them a big karmic I Forgive You Shout Out!
Yet the other side of the forgiveness coin is asking for forgiveness.
In other words, saying I am Sorry.
When I took that boulder off my shoulder and kicked it off the cliff; it became very clear that I had to ask for forgiveness and that I didn’t have any control over whether the other person would forgive me.
Here comes step 9: Making amends to those I had harmed.
Yikes, I went to gravesites, I wrote letters, I facebook messaged old friends.
I also made living amends. Now this one is very embarassing: When someone gets on my nerves and rubs me the wrong way I felt like I have to share my feeling with EVERYONE except that person.
In other words, I gossip. ( I know you want to be my friend now, dont’ you?)
This gossiping ritual came from my own insecurities. Even though I felt a certain way I needed someone outside of me to validate it.
Even though this realization hurts me and is shameful; I am free.
I know why I do it and now when I do it; I have a special kvetching gal that keeps my secrets and I do the same for her. It is safe. I don’t provide names. I just get the kvetching out of my system (by the way kvetching is yiddish for complaining).
If you are anything like me, I bet you have some resentment and that others may be resenting you. By forgiving and asking for forgiveness, you hold the key to finally set yourself free.
My journey with food addiction is intertwined with my marriage to the boulder on my shoulder. When I walked through the fear of asking for forgiveness and forgiving others; the compulsion to binge left. When it comes back (which it does) I can stop and say: who is pissing me off today?
172 Days without a Binge and Splat it was all over in a second.
I didn’t want to believe I binged; after all I was hungry.
Yet, I did it; a whole f*cking sleeve of saltines.
Yes, those scare white crackers with the salt are my nemesis; but I forgot they were delicious!
How did I get my hands on these decadent, gluten-filled seduction of a cracker?
I had not even thought about them in years and then all of a sudden BAM I was crunching down a whole sleeve.
Last week, my husband was getting some testing done and I was a bit nervous.
Although I knew everything would be ok, you just never know right?
Well, he was told that he could only have soup and saltines for the rest of the day.
When I heard “SALTINES” my mouth started salivating.
As I drove to the store for them, I prayed to God asking him to keep them at bay.
As I bought them, memories of eating them while watching television and drowning out the hell that was happening around me sent shivers up and down my spine.
Then, I got hungry and I had nothing to eat except those crackers.
At first I took 6 and told myself that I was going to eat them slowly, savoring them.
The next thing I knew I was crumbling the wrapper and my stomach was bulging like I was 6 months pregnant.
I told myself; surely I didn’t binge, after all I was hungry!
Then I remember that I had a food addiction and even when hungry those trigger foods are my alcohol. I cannot have just one sip or one bite.
I was really disappointed and angry at myself.
“How can I binge still?” “I know better!”
Then I remember that I have a disease and even though it may seem like I am on top of it; it is strong and can tackle me in an instant.
I soothed myself with some water and laid my head down.
In the past I would have berated myself which would lead to more binging. This time, I just gave myself a nice belly rub and asked the magic question:
What the heck happened?
1. I was not prepared. Even though the test was early and I had worked out my husband had rushed me so I didn’t get to eat breakfast. WHAT I LEARNED: Know that he is going to rush me and for just that day it was ok; so be extra prepared.
2. I was scared. Lately my mind has been obsessing over fears of loss and I had allowed my head to take over my soul. So food was my only soother. WHAT I LEARNED: Take a time out and breathe. I know it sounds too simple, but it does work.
3. I forgot my trigger foods. I totally forgot that saltines trigger my binges. I love them; like fruit loops they put me into Lala land. WHAT I LEARNED: I didn’t have to get saltines. I could have purchased some crackers that I knew I wouldn’t binge on.
So, there you go I binged; I confessed!
How about you? Can you relate? Let me know in the comments section.
You have been sold a big ole bucket of lies:
Just fake it until you make it and you will make it.
If there was an olympic sport for faking it until you make it, I would have a gold medal.
I would be as famous as Bruce Jenner and his psychotically narcissistic family.
As a child, I was taught to always place a smile on my face; to never let anyone see you sad.
My mother swore that if you acted happy on the outside the happiness would happen on the inside.
Most people who meet me are drawn to me because I have a smile on my face. Even when I feel like I am miserable, I can fake it like an superstar.
Unfortunately, most of the time I was dying inside because the inside of me was yelling: You are a such a loser, a faker a phony.
No matter how I appeared on the outside; the inside was being eaten alive. I was just a scary, smiley Stepford Wife.
Until, I couldn’t take it anymore and then I just hibernated only leaving home when absolutely necessary.
As I began to recover from my food addiction, I kept hearing the same thing:
FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT.
ACT AS IF.
I truly believed that something was wrong with me, because faking it never worked.
Then I realized the missing piece:
FAKING UNTIL YOU MAKE IT ONLY WORKS WHEN YOU ARE DOING THE INNER WORK TO MAKE THE OUTER FACADE REAL.
Transformation is an inside out job. Most people avoid this inner work because it feels weak, weird and is freaking scary!
Facing the monsters within is terrifying.
That is why diets don’t work. Faking a new way of eating may work in the short term but it never lasts UNTIL you face the scary monsters.
Yet, the diet industry makes billions of dollars because it is banking on you to fake it until you make it.
Going within will save you a bunch of money and you can experience instant transformation and massive weight release.
Going within means that you are no longer tied to the scale, a size of clothing or waist circumference.
Yet, going within is scary, it is not easy and it will take courage.
AND IT IS SO WORTH IT!
Now, I am not saying to not fake it until you make it. I am NOT saying that you should walk around with a frown on your face and vomit negative energy.
In order to work out your insides; you will need a few ingredients:
1. Surrender: not giving up but surrender which means to be in partnership with God.
2. Faith: Expecting that the faking it you are so proficient at is moving you to that reason why you are faking it in the first place.
3. Eye of the Tiger: Focus on what you want and nothing more. Being 100% committed to doing EVERYTHING in your POWER to make this vision real.
EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE ALL POWERFUL AND THAT TAKES US BACK TO SURRENDER.
To Get Started:
- When surrendering: be clear on your part and on God’s part. God’s part are all those items that you don’t control. Yea, you don’t control everything; sorry.
- To Strengthen your faith: Be quiet, go within and feel what it is like to have your vision a reality. Then expect it. Repeat this mantra: ____________(insert your desire) is already here and today I choose to make work towards making it real. Once you get this into your neurons, you will no longer be faking it because you will be one happy lady or man.
- When looking into the eye of the tiger: Refuse to allow negative thoughts to rule you. Notice I didn’t say to refuse the negative thoughts. Those thoughts need to be addressed and they are happening to keep you safe. Loving rebut those thoughts with words of soothing security. For me, those thoughts are my 8 year old who is afraid of change. Instead of tellingh her she is stupid or ignoring her (which is how I was responded to as a child) I put her on my knee and soothe her. Yea, weird but it works a hell of a lot better than being a phony baloney.
In closing: FAKING IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT DOESN’T WORK UNLESS YOU ARE DOING THE INNER WORK.
Of course, I am only writing about my experience but I would love to know yours. Have you faked it until you made and made it?