A Story of Recovery:

Eat and Run

Something about driving makes my mind race and fragment into shards of to-dos, and my body itch to multi-task in all sorts of crazy and dangerous ways. Probably the most insane thing I’ve ever done in the driver’s seat was one time when I was wearing a skirt and sandals and noticed I’d forgotten to shave my legs. I reached into my gym bag, unzipped a pocket, took out a razor, and proceeded to scrape the black stubble from my legs—all while driving through a busy thoroughfare.

Before I joined FA, when I was constantly eating, there was almost no time I’d be in the car without having food to munch on while tooling down the street or highway, no matter how much traffic, how curvy the road, or how drippy the food. The only thing I questioned about this practice was the embarrassment of inevitably arriving at my destination with splotches of sauce or grease on my top. It got to the point where almost all of my clothes had stains across the chest.

Even after I started FA, it did not at first occur to me to change this behavior of multi-tasking while driving. About a month into the program, I casually mentioned to my sponsor how I had “put my recovery first,” as she had told me to do by remembering to bring my weighed and measured meal with me, knowing I would not be home for dinner. It was during the winter holidays, and I had two parties that evening. My sponsor asked me how it felt to take out my food while others were having their meal. I told her I’d eaten in the car. She said, “That’s not ideal, but sometimes there’s no way around parking and eating, so that’s okay.” I admitted that I had not parked. I’d been running late for the second party, so I had eaten en route. My sponsor said, “Actually, that’s not okay.”

I was always running late, always booking back-to-back appointments in my desire to do it all. For some reason, being told I needed to stop the habit of eating while driving felt like more of an obstacle than the whole task of weighing and measuring what felt, at the time, like barely enough food to nurture a gnat.

Over time, I have learned how important it is to weigh and measure my time as well as my food. I’ve learned the importance of striving to have “easy-does-it” days, not to overcommit, and to truly put my recovery first. Now when I get behind the wheel, I usually remember to pause, breathe, and ask G-d for help to focus on the road and not let myself get distracted. The discipline of quiet time has been a huge help in this regard, the just sitting still and letting thoughts go as soon as they drift in. That’s helping me plan my time more sensibly and get better at being present for whatever, wherever, and whomever I’m with.


This story was originally published in the connection Magazine. Subscribe to the connection Magazine for more stories of recovery. Or submit your own story of recovery.