Before I came into the fellowship of Addictive Eaters Anonymous, I lived full of fear, resentment, self-pity, shame, and self-obsession. My eating was completely out of control and I could no longer stop eating even though I really wanted to and went to great lengths to try and stop. My world became a small and lonely existence where the only thing I looked forward to was hiding out with my food. There was no room for adventure in my life.
I was completely baffled as to how my life came to this when by all appearances, I was a functional and successful adult. Although I had a stable career and a comfortable home, deep down, I knew I was totally beaten by the food. That was the turning point. I finally admitted to myself that I was hopeless, and needed help. That simple admission was the beginning of the end of my addictive eating and the beginning of a whole new way of living.
Today I am free from the obsession with food and the fear that held me back
Today I am free from the cravings, the shame, and the inner discontent that had plagued me all my life. I am no longer spending my days eating, thinking about food, trying to either control my eating or eating myself into oblivion. I am no longer exhausted by living a life driven by fear and negativity and the need to control everything and everybody in a futile attempt to increase my pleasure and comfort.
Now I have the time and the energy to live a life full of opportunities. One of my new adventures is the pursuit of my passion for acting and singing. All my life I had been paralyzed by fear of learning something new especially as I got older. For decades I would not even admit that I had an interest in this area for fear of what other people would think of me if I wasn’t any good. Now I find myself participating in an acting and musical theater class for the pure enjoyment of it. This incredible change is because I am not eating addictively and I rely on a Higher Power to help me change and stay present. Even though acting and singing require a lot of hard work and time, I am satisfied with just making progress instead of needing to be the best.
My life in Addictive Eaters Anonymous is expanding instead of shrinking
Recently, my acting teacher suggested that I get myself “out there” to pursue future endeavours in the performing arts. One of the first steps was to take some head shots. My “not good enough” thinking went on a field day with that one. Thank goodness I ignored all those self-critical thoughts and just got on with it, because one of the photos piqued the interest of a play company. I was asked to audition and got the part. It was exciting and, I admit, scary at the same time.
I am having great fun acting, singing and working with wonderful people. It feels really good to be a contributing member of the cast and the sense of belonging that comes with that. I have a small part in the play, but I still need a lot of direction. It is ironic for a person, who before getting sober, needed to always feel in complete control and be thought of as the most important person in the room. Don’t get me wrong, these wonderful new ventures, full of unknowns, are definitely out of my comfort zone. But that is to be expected living a sober life that is expanding instead of shrinking. There are so many opportunities for me to be productive and helpful to others and to just jump right into the stream of life. I owe this part of my life, and actually my whole life to the 12-Step program of action that was freely presented to me in the fellowship of Addictive Eaters Anonymous. Life in AEA is an adventure when I take simple actions and rely on my Higher Power.