Building Spiritual Muscle

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Jul 12th, 2016
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Building Spiritual Muscle

I promised myself I would not write another post this week.  That I would pour all my writing energy into the book excerpt I’m preparing to send to a potential editor/book doctor.  It’s promised for Friday but I’d love to send it sooner than that.  You know, to experience the relief of getting it out of my hands and into the hands of fate.


But it’s 3pm on Tuesday of that endeavor and I am fried. I got nothing left at the moment.  What to do?  Hmmmm.  No surprise, my first thought was, “What can I eat?”  Out of the blue, eating something crunchy and salty, followed by something smooth and sweet sounded uber-appealing.  Or maybe crunchy and sweet!


How annoying to be 30 days into a re-commitment to forego recreational food!  And besides, I’ve safety-proofed my kitchen to protect myself from fleeting moments of the delusion that eating is remedy for any and all feelings.  Just the other day I had to throw away a perfectly good box of Cheerios that my boyfriend thought he had hidden before he left.  Really?  Like he doesn’t know I occasionally reach deep into that cupboard to grab a can of my only remaining vice, Diet Coke?  It’s all I have left after giving up Splenda in my coffee.  I’m still sad about giving up those cheerfully bright yellow packets. But the first bitter sip each morning reminds me that life can be bitter at times and you just gotta deal with it head on.


And back to the Cheerios…how sad is it that I am powerless over tiny baked rings of oats?  How utterly ridiculous that I once used cereal like some people use alcohol or drugs? (I feel sure drunks and drug addicts had a lot more fun than I did before they got clean.) But the truth for me was that eating the better part of a box of cereal worked as well as Ambien.  No, now that I think about it, better than Ambien.  I tried Ambien just once, as a test prior to taking a super-long flight to Indonesia.  I’d been told you should take it sitting on the edge of your bed, because it could knock you out just that fast.  But even after I took it, I was awake for hours, reading.  Trust me, a Cheerios-fest trumps Ambien when I want to go into a coma.


But today I’m choosing to let the anxiety and exhaustion just hang out.  I walked to the library in the sun and heat to return a book.  Chatted up a couple of neighbors along the way.  Texted a friend I’ve not connected with for a long time.  Closed up the house and am writing this with the air conditioner blasting.  If I take long enough to find an image to accompany this post, it will almost be time to make dinner.


I’m walking to a nearby church tonight with a friend to see a documentary about Black History, post-MLK, hosted live and in person by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. himself.  Gotta love the Vineyard, gotta love being able to walk to everything here.


After that, a good night’s sleep, no Ambien, no Cheerios necessary.  And tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up fresh and go back to work on the book .






  • Ellen

    Thanks Kathryn! Ellen

  • Margy

    My guess is that “throwing them away” involved a little more that lifting the lid on the trash or opening the garbage drawer. As a true compulsive eater, I know it is very possible to retrieve them unless they are covered with Comet or a noxious liquid. Your spiritual muscle must have been strengthened by all of those meetings!

    • Kathryn

      Yes, it was more complicated. I’ve got a disposal in my sink at home but not here. I wish I’d thought of pouring something noxious on them in the garbage, that would have been easier than filling the bag with water. Oh, the insanity of not being able to even have some foods in the house! It reminds me of the Stephen King story…Before he got sober he would buy a case of beer and start writing…if at the end of the night two of the twenty-four beers were left, he’d have to pour them down the sink. He couldn’t sleep if beer was in the house. It’s hard for people who are blessed with no addictions to understand, I’m sure.
      Yes, a daily meeting for 30 days has made a huge difference. Maybe if I went for 365 in a row I could live comfortably with a box of Cheerios on the counter.

  • Linda

    Yes, that fried feeling is precisely when I am tempted to overeat. Glad that you took positive action to remain abstinent!

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