Spring of 2015 was the turning point. I had to get my x of food no matter the cost. I maxed out my credit card, took from savings, ate in secrecy, and filled crevices of the house and car with my stash. I even ate frozen cauliflower.
It struck me that I had a problem when I bought my first pair of size 14 jeans. I had been a size 10 just two years earlier. Questions consumed my mind: “How did it get this bad?” “How could I let myself go like this?” Next came the nicknames I gave myself: fat, stupid, ugly, worthless.
Preceding each binge, I promised my husband and myself that tomorrow would be the day I would stop. The next day I would wake up confident that nothing would stop me. By noon, I would convince myself I had “failed” the strict regimen I had planned the day before, and a binge would commence.
Despite the increasing severity of my illness, I was convinced I knew what I was doing, and maybe it wasn’t an illness. “It’s just my depression,” I said to myself. “I don’t have an eating disorder.”
In late April, I was at ground zero emotionally and physically. My psychologist told me to look up Overeaters Anonymous. That night, after a pint of dessert, I went to the OA website and found a meeting. The contact person was easy to talk to and told me the next meeting was on May 7.
I was excited, nervous, terrified—every emotion possible. I pulled up to the building and had to convince myself to stay, thinking, “You don’t need this. Go binge and try next week. This will be a waste of time.” Despite my anxiety, I went to the meeting. The group was small and very welcoming. I felt at home, at peace, and like my Higher Power had brought me here. I listened to their stories and then shared mine. I could relate so much; I wasn’t alone. I wanted to cry because I had found the help I so desperately needed. Was it comfortable? No, not at all. But I needed to do it no matter how uncomfortable it was.
On May 9, I found a sponsor. Finally it sunk in that I did not know what I was doing and I needed help. I have been abstinent from bingeing, by the grace of God, since May 26, 2015. I cannot begin to say how grateful I am. I can, however, list the positive changes that I credit to OA:
- I love myself; I am not perfect and that is okay.
- I am overweight, but I’m still beautiful.
- I have an excellent support system and resources beyond my wildest dreams.
- I am living, not just existing.
- I can live without bingeing; in fact, I prefer it that way.
- I am not afraid to try new things.
- I am much closer to my HP.
I am hopeful; I look forward to my future!
I will never be fully recovered. This is a lifelong battle, and I’ve learned you have either good days or learning experiences. My goal is to become a sponsor and a lifetime member of OA. God’s not finished with me yet.
~ Dorothea B. (from eLifeline, January 2016)