Keep Coming Back

In 2003 I had a friend who 12 stepped me. I began attending OA HOW. I had great physical success with my weight loss, but thought of it only as a diet. I wanted to be thinner, but didn’t want to be a person who was labeled as a food addict. I really didn’t think my problem was that severe. I went to meetings each week but never really found a home group. I jumped around not wanting you all to get to know me. But even that worked for a while.

In 2006 I felt I should also quit smoking to fit my healthier lifestyle. I was nearly at goal. That put my disease into high gear. I transferred addictions and went back into the food. I think this could have been done abstinently, but I wouldn’t allow myself to do that. It became an excuse for relapse for me. I participated in the program off and on for the next three years and then just left entirely.

At this point it became clear what this disease is capable of. I ate my way to 300 pounds from 190 or so. My disease is so cunning, baffling and powerful that I shut that 100 pounds of weight gain out of my thinking. Like it didn’t exist. Then my mate joined the program and got abstinent. As I watched him go from insanity to sanity I felt the presence of my HP more than ever. But still I resisted the commitment of the program, trying easier ways. I felt utterly hopeless. The voices in my head grew louder and louder: “You’re a failure, you’ll never be able to quit the eating obsessively, you’re so stupid, and you’re fat and miserable,” etc. It was horrifying, the negative self talk that went through my head.

But through all this I also felt the care and guidance of my Higher Power who came in the form of people who I had known in the program who reached out to me even when I was in the food. They offered the solution to me, telling me they loved me and were there if I chose to reach out. People who had found sanity and a solution. I guess you could say that they were brave enough to even reach out to me when I was pretty crazy.

Then one day I suddenly felt like attending a meeting. A moment of clarity. But I didn’t do it. This went on for about 2 months. Wanting to go yet not doing it. Finally one Saturday morning I attended a meeting with my mate.

Being back again gave me the hope I needed. Some people were OK with my being back and some felt threatened. That was OK. I wasn’t really sure myself. I still am not today. But for today I am abstinent. That is a miracle. Just the fact that I was able to walk through those doors was a miracle to me. This time I am doing things differently, though. I have found a home group. I have a sponsor, and I call her on time each morning. I listen to you when you tell me how you do it. I do it just for today now. And I realize now that this is NOT a diet. This is sanity. The food is beside the point. I used it to deal with life because I didn’t know what else to do. Today I am gaining better tools. And the voices have stopped for now. Just for today. With your strength and help and surrender to my disease and my HP, I have begun to find a solution.

Karen NP

Reprinted from Unity Intergroup of Overeaters Anonymous, Region 4 Mpls, MN