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Addicted to Food

OWN had a show called Addicted To Food.  I am not sure how I feel about shows like this.  There is some good that people can get from these shows but I feel they still lack something.  When I was working for the Diocese of Lansing as Director of Project Rachel a Catholic news item came to my attention: A Milwaukee Bishop wanted to use public access TV to broadcast a live abortion.  His thought was that by showing what "really" happens it will rouse people into action.  I was shocked!  How could a man of God subject everyone to this; for the post abortive women it would drive many of them deeper into denial and depression, for those who were pro choice it gave them yet another opportunity to drive focus away from the real issue of helping to prevent situations that lead women into this; and that is how I feel about many of these reality 12 step self help shows do, they drive people into denial or exploit them for shock value and entertainment.  They are presented to us as glimpses into the working of therapy, of 12 step.  Many people who are the bulletin broads will say they have learned so much, felt the participants pain, loved the show.  But what are they really learning, feeling, loving?

There was an episode of ATF that had the participants sitting around a fire to share their excuses to why they could not get healthy and stop over using food.  Each would bravely read their slip of paper than throw it into the fire.  The object was that after so many weeks of work they were prepared to let go of their excuses and move on with their lives.   For me there was a great deal of Catholic symbolism in that act.  The participants confessing their faults, letting the consuming fire of God's love transform, but that is far as it went.  Where was the pay off?  This exercise has been used in retreats for years.  Like the expectations of the ATF retreat this activity lets you release your demon, faults, whatever you want to call them, but you also need the second half; something that was not shown on the show, what are you going to do to replace the overuse of food?  How are you called to change?  What have you learned from this experience that you will take into your life?  Where was the victory over your problem?

Have we become so fixated on the problem that we feel that is all we need to look at?  In good therapy, spiritual direction, peer supervision, reconciliation, there is always the examination of what went on, a look at what responsibility you had, but there is always a positive response and positive tools that move you forward.  As Daughters of God we are not bad puppies who must get their noses rubbed in their mess, a brutal practice that never teaches the dog proper behaviour!  But all these reality shows seem to do is rub peoples nose into their mess, the shows fall short on true support, support that is loving and kind; support that says yes you made mistakes, but don't let them hammer you into the ground, no, let God give you the tools to lift you up.
What is it that keeps us chained to our addictions?  I say that we have lost sight that we are good, and worthy of God's love.

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