I’m Carol a food addict. I came into program in March of 1988 and with God’s loving grace this March it will be 35 years of living in physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery. When I came to program and started studying the Twelve Steeps. I had to put my pride away and admit that I was powerless. Pride brings you down and humility lifts you up.

I know this first-hand because I was very self-centered and tried to control everyone and everything and which got me nowhere but fat and miserable. I’m coming from diet and exercise. I’ve done so many diets and I know how to ‘control my food.’ But when the diets stopped working, I could no longer control my eating. I came to lose weight, not to make friends, I had a lot of friends I didn’t need any more. So, I worked the program just like a diet. As I said, I started to attend meetings in March and by June I had lost all my weight.

At my first meeting I heard people share about things they did with food. I told myself that I would never do those things. Well, I did! I remember eating things frozen from the freezer, Oh. Eating out of the trash. God forbid…. well, I did do those things. I would very nicely wrap something up and gently put it in the trash. Of course, I’d go back and take it out. It wasn’t dirty as it never touched anything else and besides, it was all wrapped up. OA ruined my eating because now even if I wanted to leave I couldn’t because I knew too much! Like they say it’s like the Mafia once you are in you can never get out! When I realized that I had done these crazy things, I had to admit that I did indeed have this disease. But what was I going to do about it.

I always thought I had a problem with weight, but my real problem was with food and the reasons why I overate. I didn’t come from a dysfunctional home. My parents were loving and gave us a good life. I had a close relationship with my two sisters and other family members. The only thing I can say is that my family was very passive. I was not equipped to deal with anger or to express my feelings.

I don’t need to look for anything complicated or deep in Step One. All I have to do is surrender and face the pain I spent a lifetime avoiding, hiding or self-medicating. Step One gives me the opportunity to face reality and admit that my life wasn’t working with me in control. I said to my sponsor, is that all there is? She said no, now it’s time to study the 12 steps and practice them in your life.
I completed many step studies in closed groups, but eventually I realized it wasn’t enough for me, I needed more.
I started to attend Big Book Step Study meetings and liked what I heard. I listened for a year before I was ready to start my study. I found a sponsor and began.

When I finally surrendered to a power greater than myself, I felt a burden was lifted off my shoulders. I do the things that have been suggested to me and have worked.

Today I follow a food plan which for me is three weighed and measured meals with nothing in between and with no sugar, no flour. I continue to study, and live, the 12 steps. Also, I no longer need to have people do things my way, or to have all the answers. Being self centered caused me much pain. I had to be rid of it, and my high power, which I choose to call God, could make it possible.
I am truly blessed and grateful that my higher power has helped me to remain abstinent through the years. I’ve done lot of traveling to foreign countries, never knowing if I’ll be able to get all that I need. I talk it over with my sponsor, and I usually take certain foods with me, especially for the airports during long flights. I need to be prepared. This is a program of living. Program is not what I do any more; it’s who I am today.
Today I have no regrets! This process really works – if you work it!
Carol J., Recovering Compulsive Overeater