I try to express thanksgiving to God every day of my life, and this season is a great reminder to offer forth even more gratitude. It goes without saying, I'm thankful for my wife, my kids, my home, my salvation... but this year I am particularly thankful for my recovery around food addiction and overeating.
It was nearly 12 months ago I walked into a room at the local hospital that was hosting a Overeaters Anonymous meeting. I was ready to admit somewhat publicly that I was broken around food. Thus began a roller coaster experience of struggling with surrender, submitting to my sponsor, falling off the wagon, and fighting and losing battles against the powerful entities known as flour and sugar.
During one binge, I was holding a snack food in my hand, and I felt like it was controlling me. Before recovery, I thought I was the one with the power of choice, but in this moment, I realized how out of control I really was. It was a scary and palpable moment. Food had been controlling me for years.
I have been sober (no sugar, no flour) since July. The other night, however, my wife brought home leftover doughnuts from her psychopathology class that she teaches at the local seminary. She buys the students the wares of a San Jose doughnut shop called Psycho Donuts. I'll give you a moment to make the connection. The kids were excited to indulge, but I looked in that box and saw my nemesis looking back at me. Truly, it felt like these round, glazed and frosted pastries were glaring at me. It was a stand off. They were waiting to see what I was going to do, silently challenging me.
The next morning, there was the box, minus a couple doughnuts after my kids enjoyed a few but still plenty left over, and I realized I did not want these in my house. So, like Darth Vader as he lifted the Emperor to throw him into the abyss, I picked up that box of Psycho Donuts, carried it to the outside trash can, lifted the lid and tossed it in. I then piled more garbage on top to ensure that it would not try to call to me from the grave.
I wasn't really tempted to eat one at this stage in the game, but it was like having someone you can't stand as an overnight house guest. Why would I let them spend the night? It took me forty five years, but I am finally more powerful than a Psycho Donut. Thankful.