Monday will mark my third week of Overeaters Anonymous. That’s right, kids, I’m in a 12 step programme. Whilst therapy and my doctors have helped me make huge strides in my recovery over the last year, I felt there was still something missing. So I am currently going to online meetings, talking with my sponsor and working the steps to break free from this “spiritual malady.”
Spirituality is a hard concept for me to swallow. A self confessed atheist for about 8 years, it was this part of the program that I knew would cause me the most trouble.
I don’t know when this changed exactly, there was no “eureka” moment per se. But I feel there is something there. And I am finally start to trust in whatever that is.
I used to be afraid of God because of my fear and disdain for religion. When my morals clashed with that of the Catholic church, I believed that there was no place for me. And since I could only do what I felt is right, I cut myself away completely and depended solely on philosophy and science. My family is not strict Christian at all (my mom is a liberal Christian and my dad is agnostic) so I was always taught to be open minded and accepting of everyone. But like every other child in Ireland, religion and catechism is part of your school curriculum until you enter third level education. And the older I got, the more I found myself disagreeing with some of the principals of the Church (I particularly hate the homophobic nature of some Christians, as well as not seeing eye to eye about things like contraception, abortion, feminism, insert more liberal beliefs here….) It was all very black and white to me: I either was a catholic or I wasn’t. So I chose to not be.
I may not have been content in some areas of my life – my issues with relationships, my friendship problems, my self hatred and harm, my ED – but this was one thing I was certain about. Surely science would not fail me, even when it felt like everything else had.
Recently, my friend (full of alcohol and honesty) worried the hell out of me with some of her personal revelations, but instead of dwelling on it and trying to change her (which I know from past experience does not work) I put my trust that there was a reason for all this, that there was a bigger picture – yes, even that God will take care of what I am unable to. It is difficult to see your friend in distress and say no more than I love and support you. But I trust that that was all I, just one little girl in a big bad universe, could do.
I have no desire to return to my old church, and maybe I will never return to organised religion. But that does not mean I have to be without God. If I am meant to find a religion, God will guide me there. As regards my current confusion towards morality and sexuality, God will guide me. I know if I want to recover, I have to have this willingness.
I don’t know what I believe – or the where, how, why, who, when, of anything. All I know is that I am changing as a person. And that that is not necessarily a bad thing.