This is the kitchen where we talk about food, life, and recovery—a spiritual path to healing and peace.

You are invited to keep coming back to A Cup of Kindness to share your experience, strength and hope; fears, doubts and insecurities; and to pick up information, inspiration … and have a little fun!

My story
In January 2007, at the age of 51, I joined a 12-step program and began my recovery from food addiction, losing 75 pounds in the process. Read more…

In January 2011, at the age of 55, I began my recovery from a multi-trauma accident, 36 fractures, damaged lungs, and post traumatic stress. Read more…

I am deeply grateful for all the kindnesses, large and small, offered to me in recovery. Here I am... alive… still making progress … still not perfect … finding a new way forward in a growing community of women and men who share a lot in common around food and life.

I hope you'll join me in this kitchen and let me know what's cooking with you.

A Cup of Kindness

Open Heart Project


Decisions Decisions

 mandala drawing meditation


Day 7 of Continuing Recovery

When there is a decision to make and the right choice is not clear, I am learning to explore alternatives as research, rather than struggling and agonizing over what to do. I’m learning to wait for the right decision.

Before weighing and measuring my food, I never could hold onto the knowledge that I really had a choice about most things. Gregory had his big (one and only) seizure at 4:00 a.m. on July 5, 2006. The seizure was so big that he fractured a vertebrae and he stopped breathing. I resuscitated him. That morning, an MRI showed an arterial venous malformation (AVM) in the right parietal region of his brain. More testing showed it had multiple aneurysms. In my mind, his AVM could blow at any time and, if it did, we were told it would be fatal or leave him with severe deficits.

Gregory did what he always does. He asked questions. He sat with it. He did the research. He looked at the statistics and decided he had time to decide among the various recommendations, options for treatments, and practitioners. He communicated with experts all over the world.

Meanwhile, I thought maybe a particular treatment with an internationally known doctor might be the right one. We went to Pittsburgh, saw the doctor and he was a total jerk—the rudest person I have ever met. Still I struggled. Could we get past this man’s obvious personal defects? Our family doctor said no. She said this man wouldn’t be there for us if there was ever a problem. I immediately knew she was right and I let go of this option.

I was still worried. I wanted a decision soon. Gregory made his decision in December, 5 months later. He made the decision when he felt sure it was the right one. It was the right one.

We went to New York, and he had brain surgery in January 2007. It was completely successful. He’s fine now.

I remember my therapist telling me something amazing when I was struggling to leave a really bad relationship. She said I could stop struggling because I would know what to do at a certain point. I could just wait until then. I knew she had my back. She was watching over me. I would do what I needed to do to protect myself and eventually I would leave. A few months later, I broke off the relationship. It was hard. I went through withdrawal. It took my readiness and the help of good friends to leave in the right way.

I learned the same thing again when Gregory and I were looking for a house to buy. I would walk into every house thinking, how can I make this work?? Ugh. I would feel awful looking at these houses I didn’t like very much as if because it was there and I could afford it I would have to take it. Finally, Gregory said that I would know it when I walked into the right house and to stop trying to make a wrong house work. And he had the faith that the right house would come along.

I think that’s a big part of this ability to wait for the right thing–the faith that there’s something out there that’s right for me, and I don’t always have to make do.

Right for me doesn’t necessarily mean perfect. But I know right when I see it. I feel it in my body. Everything calms down. That’s how I feel about my 12 Step Program. It’s not perfect. It’s hard. I have to make effort. I often question, but in my most centered, quiet, peaceful moments, I know it’s the right thing for me right now. It is transformative. It calms me down. The results are all good. Thank you, G-d.

Love & Light,


6 Comments to Decisions Decisions

  1. Sissy's Gravatar Sissy
    September 23, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Oh yes. As a “doer” and “fixer,” I have found that waiting and listening is hard! My brain is going so fast trying to look at all the solutions AND possible compromises, that I have to remind myself sometimes to just quiet down the chatter and let my instincts float to the surface.

    Sometimes the quick decisions (that I am pretty darn good coming up with!) are needed, but many times probably not. Waiting for the right thing takes trust and faith – and letting go of the notion that I can fix EVERYTHING.

    The funny thing is that I am getting older and more TIRED, I am discovering that it’s nice to not feel that I alone am responsible for fixing everything right that minute. Also kinda scary sometimes. But getting easier.

  2. Myra TAte's Gravatar Myra TAte
    September 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    At eighty I’m still trying to learn to let decisions rest before accepting them as the only way to go. I just sent a letter that I am sorry I sent. Nothing terrible, but if I had waited a day or even two before I sent it, I would not have sent it. C’est la guerre! mom

  3. Michalsuz's Gravatar Michalsuz
    September 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your post, Valerie.

    I happened upon it at the just right time!

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