I had a sense of isolation and loneliness which had been with me from childhood. As an overweight child I went on to be an obese adult.
I suffered from massive anxiety and later on in life with depression. If asked how I was I would reply 'fine', but inside felt dreadful. I recall feeling depressed in my late teens and later had postnatal depression with the births of my children. The amounts I was eating at these times increased and so did my weight - the more I ate, the worse I felt; the worse I felt, the more I ate.
I came to Addictive Eaters Anonymous because I had lost weight and got to a normal size but still wanted to eat all the time. Everyone said how wonderful I looked, but I felt no different inside. And I knew that before long I would put the weight plus more back on. I realised that whatever was wrong with me - dieting wasn't the answer. At the end of my eating, life felt like a long black tunnel, getting darker and narrower.
As I sat in meetings, I heard about the second half of the first step - that my life was unmanageable. Members shared about their eating, but also how they felt and how the disease of addiction had affected their lives. I identified and could tell that recovery was about more than just being a normal size. They were happy and free and living lives that I couldn't imagine.
Through going to meetings, working the 12 Steps, sponsorship and having a higher power in my life today, I also have that happiness and freedom. Recovery has blessed me with a feeling of being part of life and I am no longer looking in from the outside.