Thy name is healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope, and love for Thee is my companion. Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor both in this world and the world to come. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-wise.
– Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words
In January, I was the recipient of a healing so incredibly deep that I will never, ever be the same.
I don’t know the exact moment. Despite my thinking that healing was a singular moment where the proverbial magic wand is waved over someone’s head and all the hurt and pain was taken away (which, in a way, is exactly how I feel), there was no specific moment for it. At least not one that I can pinpoint.
Considering it was junk I had been holding onto, clinging to, really, for almost half my life, the fact that I don’t remember the moment when I felt released or realized that it was gone amazes me.
It was simply there until it wasn’t. It wasn’t until I went to eat something (non-specific because I really don’t remember) or do something that was part of old habits, and I just sort of said to myself, “I don’t have to do this anymore.”
I had been going to Overeater Anonymous meetings since November. I knew why I had been overweight. I just couldn’t figure out why I still was. Because I thought I was “through it,” or “over it,” or , whatever people are supposed to “get” when something bad happens.
From where I sit now, that idea is rather funny because this thing that I had “gotten over” and “gotten through” was impacting every single facet of my life. Every. Single. Facet.
In the interest of being non-coy, I’ll go ahead and mention it because, chances are, I won’t mention it again on the blog because it is no longer how I identify myself. I was raped when I was 17.
I am now almost 34.
The funny thing is that I had forgiven him — truly forgiven him — years ago. Years and years ago, really.
I won’t take responsibility for the 30 minutes or so of the actual encounter (and that’s the wide-side of time. I really have no idea, but then again, it was almost 2 decades ago), but I will take responsibility for the 17 years that followed it.
That’s what’s truly ironic. His abuse lasted, what, half an hour? My self-abuse lasted almost 17 years. I can’t help but see mine as far more damaging and life inhibiting, and, therefore criminal.
But I didn’t feel that way about my own criminality, until January. Before then, I was adamantly denying that I had a problem even though it literally permeated every facet of my being.
In January, I was still struggling with the first step:
We admitted we were powerless over food–that our lives had become unmanageable.
Now, I had a big, big problem with this step because, well, I’m an uppity bitch who is totally, completely, and utterly about free will. Free will is what God gave us, and it’s part of that whole personal power thing.
And then there’s that whole Bible verse that tells me that nothing is impossible:
Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
So I came to the conclusion that while I had been powerless, I no longer had to be. I simply had to seek God’s power to be my fulcrum. As an All-Loving God (which I believe God to be), His power had been available all along. But I had to claim it in order to allow it to manifest.
And a strange thing happened. I had tried for over a year to quit smoking. Trying, falling back into it, obsessing about it all the time. I had begun taking Chantix in December getting ready for an “eventual” quit date because I knew that 2008 was the year that I absolutely, positively quit, quit, quit.
And, just a few days after my accepting the first step, still blindly taking the medicine with no certain quit date in sight, I simply quit smoking. I lost all desire and compulsion for it, so I simply quit.
There was a momentary fall back a couple of days later when I was really, really, really angry (and, incidentally, going through the peak of withdrawal). So, while I quit on the 7th of January, the 9th is the last day I had a cigarette. March 9th will mark my 2 months of being completely smoke free, and, with the exception of when I am very angry, I have had zero compulsion to smoke.
I just realized, I started smoking when I was 17, too.
And that was just the first step.
Smoking wasn’t what I went to the meetings for, but its sudden vanishing was exactly the proof I needed that Someone knew far better than me what I needed, for this First Step healing put things into position for me to work (and struggle with and finally accept) the Third Step.
And if I thought the quitting smoking thing was miraculous, I hadn’t seen nothin’ yet.