Somebody brought in a plate of goodies and plopped it on the table in the break room. I am pleasantly surprised to find myself able to walk away, but I’m still obsessing a little bit in my head. Part of my thinks, “Oh. Cookies. That’s interesting.” Another part of me thinks, “Hmm, I wonder how they taste?” Still another part of me rationalizes, “I should eat one because I might not get another chance.” The devil on my shoulder says, “Take one or two. It won’t matter.” The angel on my other shoulder says, “Take care of yourself. You don’t need cookies today.” And my inner beast says, “OMFG, COOOOOOOOKIESSS!!!”
Here’s the truth: Glad as I am that I’m not stuffing myself with cookies (because, you know, I might never get to taste a cookie ever again in my entire life), the crazy is still there inside of me.
In the program, we talk a lot about miracles. Miracles come in all sizes and shapes. Today the miracle is that I’m not physically crazy for cookies even though I’m fighting a few battles in my head. I’m not a person who really believes in miracles because the ones that happen to me often don’t seem as spectacular as I think anything called a miracle should be. Inasmuch as I’m grateful for today’s little miracle, I want the big one. I want it now.
Here’s some more truth: I rarely want anything in a small way. Whether it’s cookies or recovery, I want it BIG. I want it to be MAGNIFICENT. I want it to be INSPIRING and I want it to go viral. A lot of that is ego. A lot of the desire for the BIG miracle is because the feeling of wanting to eat junk food is overwhelming at times, but the lack of desire is *meh.*
Imagine this: You’re in your house, maybe watching TV, and suddenly there are fire alarms going off. You don’t just sit on the sofa and say to yourself, “Oh, fire alarms.” No. You jump up and you run to the door. Well, that’s how it feels inside me most of the time when I’m craving something to eat (usually junk food). It’s like there is a fire and I physically need to get up and run to the food for safety, for calmness, for satisfaction, for relief from the tension.
And here’s the God’s-honest-truth: Recovery really isn’t spectacular. It’s having to deal with the inner demons that come out to play as soon as I don’t give in to food cravings. On a good day, it’s just calmness (i.e., a lack of the drama that has been part of my life for longer than I can remember).
So, maybe in time I will find joy in the quietness. Maybe in time I will realize that freedom from the addiction is a magnificent gift even if it’s not celebrated with fireworks and rainbows. Until that release finally comes, I’ve got friends and I’ve got a program and I’m going to take this just one day at a time.