Friday, July 17, 2015

Five Minute Friday: "Free" [Extended Mix]

Our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Five Minute Friday is Kate over at Heading Home.  Hope you link up with us and join the fun.


That song was the first thing that came to mind when I read what the prompt was.  Kind of sums up my mood.  Now comes the "extended mix" part.
Tonight I received my seven year chip from Celebrate Recovery (CR).  Sigh.  Seven years of recovery and I'm still fat, addicted to food, and angry.  Seven years and I am still the worst example the program has ever seen.
What went wrong?
At first, CR was everything I needed.  Working through my past issues was necessary to my growth.  The freedom I experienced translated into a slimmer waistline...for a while.  Whenever I felt myself slipping back into old habits, I would seek counsel.  The answer was the same every time, "It works if you work it.  You just need to go back and work through the 12 steps again."  So, if there was one available, I'd sign up for a 12 step study, if not, I would ponder and answer the questions on my own.  I completed all four participant's guides at least six times...or was it seven.  I searched and dug and prayed and cried trying to get to the center of the maze of self-destructive behavior; each time thinking I'd found it.  I hadn't.
Earlier this year, I embarked yet another journey through the 12 steps.  I started on the first book.  The more questions I answered, the sicker I felt.  Oh God, not again.  The thought of digging up more dirt on myself and others made me feel like hurling.  I've already been back there more times that I can count.  I've rehashed every bad life experience that I could possibly think of.  I've opened up all the old wounds, felt the pain and depression again and again, forgiven and tried to put all that behind me, only to be told I need to uproot all that crap again in the name of "recovery."  Somebody tell me how this is helping again?  I shut off my word processing program.  That's it, I refuse to do this again.  All this is doing is forcing me to continue to live in a broken past that Jesus died to deliver me from.  All this is doing is triggering me to binge to punish myself for the bad things I did or for the bad things I allowed others to do to me. 
After seven years of this, none of my meals are based on present hunger, but on past pain.  Every bite is punishment or a pacifier.  Each laced with the phrase, "How dare you."  I don't know how to eat in the present.  I eat out of the mentality of a terrified nine year old, an angry teen, or a rejected adult. With each day, the pain grows deeper. The life that God designed for me--the life I see in my mind's eye--is still way out there somewhere out of my grasp.  I get to gaze upon what freedom looks like, but I do not get to experience it myself.  I'm still fighting, still working out, but it's only a matter of time.  I feel like a terminally ill patient who doesn't have to good sense to go on and die.
So, am I knocking the program?  How can I, when there are so many other people who have been set free.  After seven years of recovery, six (or seven) 12 step studies, 4 failed sponsors, 2 Summits, several one-day trainings, and countless hours of meetings, you would think that I would get it.  I haven't.  The program has not failed me, I have failed it. 
My time at the Journey training gave me a ray of hope.  As the miles between Tulsa and Weaver grew, the hope went with it.  I went back changed to a life that I cannot change alone.  But alone is what I am.  I have failed that program too.  How do I measure that failure?  I suppose when I'm told that I have a support system and when I share my heart, part of that support system tells me "So what?" then I have seriously failed.  My life is marked by "so what"-- you do not matter; you're feelings do not matter;  you are just not doing something enough.  Kind of like, "Get yourself together because we don't care."
I said I was done with this kind of life.  Apparently not. 
Freedom isn't free, but I've got to get some. 
All I can do is tell all the people at CR and Journey that I'm sorry.  I'm sorry for wasting your time and resources.  I'm sorry for being such a horrible example of you and to you.  I'm sorry for impinging on you lives and adding no value.  I'm sorry for failing you.  Until I can be a better representation I will keep silent and stay away.  Again, I'm sorry.


  1. bless your dear heart. please quit beating yourself up over this. God loves you just the way you are. you were created in His image, you are truly beautiful.

    1. Thanks Denise, but this is a mess I made, and I need to clean it up.

  2. I don't have an answer for you, Shannon, but I have seen how hard you have worked. You have made a lot of positive changes in your life. You are most decidedly and definitely a SUCCESS. Listen to your need for freedom and focus on the present. I have a feeling a new direction and new breakthrough is coming soon.

    1. Thanks, Sweetie. I believe my new job is a part of the breakthrough.

  3. Sorry you have been struggling so much my friend.
    Remember, it's not about what you do. In this way of thinking we live with the understandings, "be holy as Jesus is holy." And "get myself straight so I can have a healthy relationship with God."
    The better way is to live in the area of "live out of who God says I am" and trust him. The only way to get to this area is thru humility and surrender. When we live this better way, guess what, trusting Him, pleaded Him. Much better than trying to please Him to gain His acceptance.
    Don't fall into the trap of looking at what you have accomplished and begin making measurements based on what you are comparing to others: instead; focus on your gratitude for how far he has brought you.
    The word 'gratis' is the same word used for freedom. Meaning to be set free from something. So our gratitude, gratis, is about giving us 'freedom' from our past. We may not be where we want to be but aren't you glad you aren't where you were?
    What can you thank Him for today? Growth? Smallest of change? Give Him glory.
    You are a daughter of the King not measured by how you are doing but who you are.

    Celebrate who you are in Him. He has big plans for Him but you have to keep your eyes on Him and not the baggage in front of you. Some things will be a thorn in our side leaving us no choice but continued focus on Him who gives us strength. Read Psalm 119:96. David's words in Psalm 119:96 "to all perfection, I see a limit; but your commands are boundless" that is good news! There is a destination and finish line for me and you and that brings me hope.
    That means that when we live within the plan of God's divine and intended purpose for our life we can be completely content. I'm so glad the Father has boundaries set for us in life and remains faithful even when we try to push the lines for our own benefits.
    Sometimes I feel completely inadequate to do what God has called me to do. Sometimes I will wish I had others gifts. Sometimes I wish I no longer had weaknesses but it is those that show me His strength.
    I want to encourage you to take some time to focus on the Giver and less on the gift. When this happens, as it has in mine, your perspective will change and in the end the fruit you have been seeking will come to fruition in big ways according to His will.
    Bless you sister. Keep the fight. It's not about perfection but progress. You're doing great and not failing anyone. This is the very reason He died for you. Seek Him sister. Keep talking to Him. Keep seeking Him in His word. Keep working these steps not to receive the gift but to see the Giver.
    Praying now for you. Rodney Holmstrom

    1. I AM in the same spot I left off. I'm back to the same weight I started at when I started my recovery.

      I think you are missing my point completely.

      If my addiction was something else (alcohol, drugs) and not food, would you or anyone else at CR be saying the same things? Would you say I was "doing great"? Absolutely not. You would ask me to step back, and of course, do the steps again.

      You say that I need to keep my eyes of the baggage in front of me. The point is that as I struggle, I'm pointed to retake the 12 steps which keep pointing me to the baggage behind me. I'm NOT interested in continuing to relive that and continue to "use" to cope with it.