Avoiding Avoidance

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I’m at a conference today about Binge Eating Disorder at Ruffled Feathers golf club in Lemont, IL. I spoke, along with other team members, about Binge Eating Disorder and Food Addiction.

This place has profound meaning to me. The very first sponsor I summoned up the courage to do a 5th step (Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs) with lived on the golf course here; we did my 5th step at her house.

It took me about 7 sponsors in my first year and a half of trying to get abstinent before I finally picked a sponsor that could help me. I avoided connecting with a sponsor for a while. I was crafty about my avoidance because I was asking people to sponsor me–namely, the unavailable people!

I became willing to ask someone who lived well and seemed very peaceful. Then I became willing to share my fears, my hurts, and my resentments with her in a 5th step. That experience changed me. It marked the end of the isolation that was as old as my secrets. Those started in childhood for me, as they had for hundreds of women I have been blessed to help professionally.

It was the end of a fragmented living experience for me — and the beginning of my becoming whole: having integrity, being the same person no matter where I was or who I was with.

Why did I avoid that for so long? Why do people avoid the Help? One of the primary reasons was shame. I was unfamiliar with the concept of an authority figure who could not only accept me, but help me with problems. I was sure authority figures would tell me how bad I was for having a problem, or having a need. It’s the same reason I avoided doctors and dentists for the years I suffered with bulimia. I was sure they would shame me and tell me how bad I was.

What are you avoiding in your life today? What are the ways, subtle or not, that you’re depriving yourself of the abundance in life that is your birthright? What small step can you take towards that life today, whatever that looks like given your present circumstances?

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