On January 2, 2021, I signed up for the March 2021 virtual intensive. I felt like I was on mission – a mission to lose weight. It felt like an impossible mission, one that I had never accomplished in the past. I was excited and leery all at the same time. I began with individual counseling for 2 months prior to the intensive. I was feeling like I had begun to get a handle on my food plan, but that was it. I was happy that the intensive was virtual, so I could continue to hide most of me behind a screen. Then I received my welcome package with (what I thought) was a hokey tile and candle. I thought to myself, “What have I agreed to?” … “Is this some weird touchy-feely emotional program?” When the intensive began, the counselor lit her candle and suggested we do the same. I refused. Then she said “those who attempt the absurd achieve the impossible.” This was the phrase engraved on the hokey tile that I had promptly discarded in a pile of stuff on my counter. I continued to think, “I’m not doing all this weird emotional kumbaya stuff with these bizarre people.”

I slogged through the intensive week, thinking the following thoughts: “This is a mission impossible, I’ll never make it”, “I’m not going to be vulnerable”, “I’m not going to attempt the absurd just to gain abstinence and recovery.” But I was desperate and I had no other choices. I worked my way through the material in the intensive binder and followed every suggestion that was given, except to light my candle or read my tile. I kept my nose to the grindstone and just focused on the next right step.

A year later, while cleaning off my countertop, I found the hokey tile and read the inscription, “Those who attempt the absurd achieve the impossible.” I paused and re-read the phrase. I began to reflect on how I had attempted the absurd for the past year. I followed my food plan, attended meetings, participated in additional programs, took a fearless and moral inventory, made amends for my addictive behaviors, and talked to God daily. None of these things would I have done if I stopped to think about them. I just continued to follow the suggestions without really noticing the outcome. Well, I had attempted the absurd and what was the outcome? I released over 100 pounds, I developed a deep relationship with God, and I formed lasting connection with companions in recovery. I was now living happy, joyous, and free. The mission impossible had become a reality in my life. The phrase on that “hokey” tile came true for me.

Today that tile sits on my table, right next to my computer. I often read the inscription pausing to thank God for the program that made my mission impossible a reality.


Lisa K