By OA Member, Jun 30 2015 09:12PM
I think I was born with a tendency to overeat, an addiction to food, an inability to stop eating once started - whatever this disease is. I’ve experienced all the different modes of the disease – bingeing, starving, diet clubs, purging, and ending up with constant grazing, unable to stop. After many years of trying unsuccessfully to control my eating and my weight, I finally admitted defeat and decided to give OA a try. I found it a great relief to hear at meetings that other people had problems with food too – it wasn’t just me. I started going to meetings regularly and soon got involved in service in order to make a commitment to OA and to my recovery. I got a food sponsor early on, because I desperately wanted to stop overeating and to stop gaining weight. My life started to improve dramatically. Because I no longer suffered from ‘food hangovers’ and I was no longer overeating, I began to feel better about myself, and this translated into better relationships with my children, husband and friends. I could get up in the mornings and do the things I needed to do as a mother without dragging myself around in a haze. I knew I needed to keep progressing in my recovery though, in order to stay well. I had to get on to the steps. I tried a few sponsors and worked through some of the steps, but it wasn’t until last year that I really made a commitment to the steps and found a sponsor that worked for me. This was partly in desperation – I had been confronted about my behaviour while I had been in the food, and was in a lot of pain. Emotional pain is a great driver towards recovery! I started back with step one, admitting again that I was powerless over food and that my life was unmanageable, and worked my way on through. I learned a lot while writing my fourth step inventory – I learned to understand and forgive my mother, something I had never been able to do. I also learned to forgive a neighbour of mine from when I was very young, who used to bully me because I was fat. I realised she had her pain that caused her to act in that way. I am still working my way through the steps, it is an onward journey towards emotional and spiritual health. With the support of the OA fellowship and my Higher Power I never need to overeat again, one day at a time. I remind myself every night of how much I have to be grateful for in this new way of life – I can enjoy the sunshine, meet with friends, love my family, and be part of the wonderful fellowship of OA.