There’s an old story about a guy whose home is threatened by flood. I don’t remember it exactly, but it went something like this:
A man’s home is at risk from flood. When a friend offers a raft the gent remains inside, going up to the second floor. The waters rise against the house and a neighbor shouts from outside the window that his friend should leap into a trampoline. The imperiled man demurs, fleeing to the attic. While looking out the attic window he sees a lifeboat go by, but again passes, waiting for the storm to subside.
It never does and the man drowns. Arriving at Heaven’s Gate he asked how G/d could have let him drown. God replied: “I sent you a friend, a trampoline and a lifeboat! What message didn’t you get?”
Recent events remind me of that story once again. Indeed there can be no coincidences. G/d continually puts people in my path.
Three years ago I lost 101 pounds battling food addiction. Then after achieving a new comfort level I took my eye off the ball. An unhealthy portion of my bad habit and weight has reemerged. I haven’t been happy with myself.
Two months ago I, OF ALL PEOPLE, stumbled onto Facebook and reconnected with an old director from community theater. He emailed me about an unforeseen opening in a show that frankly wasn’t what should have interested me. I wasn’t thinking about doing a show; I wasn’t looking to evaporate onto a stage for a month or two. The part wasn’t even something that was “Bruce/able.”
But I said yes. I know now that G/d knows why.
I joined an already assembled cast of (with one exception) strangers. A fish out of water…Although I’ve done some theater, I was never one of the too prevalent “wannabees” that actually think they have talent. I knew then as I know now that I was just a fat slob, comfortable in my own skin, and could get a laugh. No more, no less.
Still, there I was in Lake County with all these younger, talented people. Who in their right mind would have figured I’d be there? And then low and behold….I meet someone that I never would have met in the real world, and that has also traveled my road to recovery through the food program. (I didn’t know it at the time; we don’t wear badges).
COINCIDENTALLY (?), I mentioned to friend Bruce that I’d be missing a Tuesday AA meeting for a month of rehearsals; contemporaneously, I shared with him the names of some of the cast…..
COINCIDENTALLY, (?) Bruce knew my new actor friend from the food
program. (I hadn’t known this at the time, either).
Bruce made the connection. This opened the door to some incidental discussion between us.
For three weeks I continued to struggle with food. Nightly rehearsals teased 11 PM, and although I would hate myself each morning, each night I would reward myself with a midnight dinner. No flour; no sugar, but portions that would make a Jewish grandmother smile. I’d wake up nauseous, just like the “good old days.”
Finally, I suppose, I decided not to ignore the trampoline. The waters were climbing too high to ignore. I asked for help.
Last Thursday my actor friend graciously agreed to sponsor me as I surrendered once again to my food addiction. As we say at the poker tables, I’m “all in.”
I am to call him at 8:30 each morning, write down my food, etc….
I do surrender.
I will see the actor tonight—not at a rehearsal, but at a meeting.
I am smiling.
With the help of G/d and friends…maybe…one day at a time, I won’t get off-script.
No, Virginia, there are no coincidences.

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