Losses and New Understandings in Recovery

St. LouisThis last week has been one of loss and new insights.  Our house in Memphis was broken into for the second time in three years.  Nothing was taken because we don’t have the electronics, jewelry and guns that the typical burglars are after.  Then, a couple of days later, my bicycle was stolen from the place I had locked it up in the French Quarter of New Orleans where I had ridden to take my regular couple hour stroll.  Nevermind the bike was 15 years old, been wrecked a couple of times and had definitely seen its better days.  I kept the bike specifically for urban transportation because I knew it would get stolen someday.

So, without my wheels, I then had (chose) to walk the 50 plus blocks home.  Besides just the physical exercise, there are lots of benefits to doing a long walk like that.  It gives you a lot of time to think and observe.  When I am walking along the same city streets I usually ride on my bike, I more notice and engage folks I pass by; I stop and look at the menus posted on the windows of restaurants and go into small shops I have only ridden past on my bike; more thoroughly enjoy sitting and having a coffee about 2/3 of the way home; and I was just truly grateful that at the age of 63, a five-mile unplanned walk is not a big deal, physically.

I thought too about what I have gotten out of these thefts.  I have been very pleased that in both instances, I very intentionally thought “and bingeing on food is not going to make this any better.”  On further reflection, I thought that perhaps some 30 years ago when I was new in sobriety, I would have thought “and going out and getting drunk is not going to make this any better.”

Food sobriety as a compulsive overeater is a new process for me.  I relate very much to the idea that bingeing on sugar, salt, grease as the answer to all life’s problems, celebrations, and anything in between.  I am pleased to be getting to the understanding that I have used food in the same way I used alcohol and drugs to escape living life on life’s terms.

Recovery is truly a process and not an event.

4 thoughts on “Losses and New Understandings in Recovery

    • Josie,

      Thanks as always for your kind words. I really am pleased that as the saying goes “it works if you work it” when it comes to realizing that I don’t have to drink or eat my problems away, but just face up to them.

  1. I feel sad about the bike. Have to imagine a bike you’ve had that long held memories. Alas, it’s just an object, but sorry you had it taken away. I love how you spent the 5 miles and the way you wrote about it here. Beautiful.

    • Thanks so much for your thoughts on this. In fact, I went up to the bike store and saw something that looked very much like the one stolen, only a present day model – likely will buy it for myself as a birthday present next time down.

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