Hi, I'm [Anonymous] and I'm a compulsive overeater. My abstinence is 3 weighed and measured meals a day off of the Greysheet and I write my food out, call my sponsor, commit my food and weigh and measure without exception. As a result of these actions I've been abstinent from compulsive overeating since Feb. 15, 1990, and abstinence is the most important practice that I do in my life today, one day at a time. What does DENMW mean? *I* can't not eat compulsively. Left to my own power I eat no matter what. So why do I say DENMW! This familiar phrase is a reminder of the priority that I must place on the actions which I take to support my abstinence. Truly, if *I* could "not eat NMW", if I could do this truly by myself alone, by my determination and will power, born from the desire to eat in a fashion which would leave my life free from ill effects, then I would not have to be here to address this problem of compulsive overeating. But alone I cannot do this. I can, however take action which make it possible for me to accept God's grace and abstain from the behavior of compulsively overeating.
First, however, it is essential that I admit that don't have the power to abstain from this behavior. Next, I am able to look else where for the power to abstain. I'll not elaborate on Step 2 here, but it too is essential so that I'm able to act with conviction on Step 3. Having admitted that I have a problem which is insolvable by myself, and believing that there is a power which can help me then I'm able to decide to avail myself of the power of that assistance to address this problem. At this point I have attained abstinence, but though my actions have not confirmed this to myself yet. Like preparing to strike a chime which I may have heard before, I know what it has sounded like in the past when others or myself have struck it. The sound may ring in my mind, but the true sound current of abstinence does not yet actually vibrate in my body. Now I must strike the chime. Without striking the chime with the hammer of action, abstinence is theoretical, without cause and without effect. And the paradox is that I alone have the power to swing the hammer. Swinging the hammer is essential to feeling the true sound of abstinence. No one can strike the chime for me. It is necessary for me to strike the chime every day so that this sound actually vibrates and I can truly feel it rather than only hearing it in my mind. The sound must vibrate every day. There is more than one way to swing the hammer. How I hold it, the direction and power of the stroke can vary and that may affect the sound of the chime. How do I swing the hammer?
I swing the hammer every time I call my sponsor.
I swing the hammer every time I commit my food.
I swing the hammer every time I weigh and measure my food.
I swing the hammer every time I plan time in my day for meals and food prep.
I swing the hammer every time I attend a meeting.
I swing the hammer every time I make an outreach call.
I swing the hammer every time I stand to sponsor.
I swing the hammer every time I take a food call.
I swing the hammer every time I read about a Step.
I swing the hammer every time I pray.
I swing the hammer every time I meditate.
I swing the hammer every time I speak to the positive picture of abstinence.
I swing the hammer every time I take the time to help another CO.
These are only a few ways, there are others. None of these actions comprise abstinence in and of themselves, but I must do enough of them so that I keep the sound of abstinence vibrating in my heart not just in my mind. Thinking of abstinence will not do it, I must think of how I swing the hammer. I must swing the hammer no matter what. NMW is the priority that I must place on the actions which I take to support my abstinence. If I don't swing the hammer, I don't feel the sound of abstinence. Thus, "Don't Eat No Matter What" is an affirmation of how I have come to live because of swinging the hammer, it is a statement which urges others to do the same, and it is a reminder to keep the sound of abstinence vibrating in every part of my life. DENMW
Anonymous, July 3, 2005