I was so lost for so long. About the age of seven, I just no longer knew what was happening. My
family members would be content, active, sociable and then they would be angry, crying, and
unapproachable. I thought I figured out that the bottle of clear liquid in the cupboard was the
problem. I emptied that bottle’s contents into the sink and re-filled the bottle with water. I was
wrong though. Even with water in that bottle, moods shifted, and behavior changed, and no one
seemed to know what to do.
My solution became to hide, and to eat. I really tried not to ask any questions or to show any
emotion so that my family would stay happy. When I had no idea what something meant or what I
was feeling, I would guess. My thinking got very binary. Not only did I guess right or wrongly, my
head told me “I” was right or wrong. I felt good or bad. Other people were “good” or “bad.”
Everything became a judgement. I was essentially terrorizing myself and had no idea how to stop.
What I did know and feel, was the pleasure I got from certain foods. I got very confused again. I
tried to get more or the most of certain foods while trying to avoid or get out of eating other food. I
wanted to control people and situations but with one taste or bite of certain foods, I lost all control. I
ate the whole thing, bag or box, not really hungry when I started and not full when I finished. The
weight came on and I began to feel anger, shame, and humiliation. I did not think anyone could help
and I had no idea how to ask if someone could.
I am tremendously grateful to write that my parent with alcoholism got sober and got to AA. I heard
a professional working with my parent say that alcoholism is a family disease and I needed
treatment too. I was directed to 12 step recovery meetings which led to my first Sponsor. My
Sponsor helped me study the Big Book, to get to Big Book step study meetings and to work through
the 12 steps. It was suggested that I identify and not compare. I listened and learned and began to
heal. I did not have to guess or hide anymore. I heard others who thought and felt like I did.
A priceless gift! Freedom! I acknowledged my powerlessness over food and, basically, everything! I
was teachable, and able to ask for help for the first time in years (decades really.) The more I let go
of my ideas, the more I could feel joy and let in truth and helpful information. I could follow
directions which led to more meetings, specifically OA meetings and my OA Sponsor.
The incredibly good orderly direction from my Sponsor resulted in my having a plan of eating and this “program of
recovery that works in rough going” (Big book of AA). I still get confused at times, but I have our OA
fellowship and a gracious, gentle, and all-powerful Higher Power to point me in the help-full, hopefull direction.
Thank you, OA! Cathie B