When I was in college, nearly twenty years ago now, I did an online quiz on eating disorders. It concluded I had an eating disorder, bulimia to be exact. I was shocked but in some way relieved that I now had a label for what I was doing with food. I thought I could treat this eating disorder myself. I bought a self help book for bulimia, I kept a food diary, I identified trigger foods to stay away from and got even more obsessed with food and my weight. I spent years trying to stop bingeing and vomiting but all my efforts were in vain as I just could not stop picking up that first one, which always led to a downward spiral of uncontrollable eating. Over the years I became more isolated, miserable and full of self hatred. And I was racked with guilt and shame over my repeated failed attempts to stop what I was doing with food.
Eventually I admitted I needed help and found Addictive Eaters Anonymous. There I learnt the disease of addiction is my real problem. Meaning, I had an overwhelming mental obsession with food and weight and once I started to eat I could not stop, even when I really wanted to stop. I did not have the power to resist the cravings, I was powerless over food and I needed a Higher Power to help me. I also learnt that addiction swaps from one substance to another, which made sense as I experienced my eating getting much worse once I stopped drinking alcohol. So, in order to get sober I had to surrender addictive eating and all mind altering substances.
Addictive eating was a symptom of a much deeper problem
I discovered in AEA I had a spiritual malady and that I ate addictively because it helped me cope with life. I struggled with all areas of my life; friendships, jobs, romances, finances, even keeping a clean home. I found living hard and I was full of fear, which I didn’t realise at the time. I was very self-obsessed, thinking people were commenting to themselves about how I looked as I walked past them on the street. Food comforted me and eased those worries and fears. Until one day it was only causing me pain and I had to surrender what I was doing with food.
Through working the Twelve Steps with the guidance from my sponsor I got to have a spiritual experience and be relieved of the food obsession. It’s a miracle to be free of that hellish mental obsession with food. I’m so grateful to have a Higher Power in my life today, whom I can trust with all areas of my life.
I have a wonderful life thanks to AEA and my Higher Power
All those areas of life I struggled with before have gotten easier. I no longer binge or vomit. I am no longer obsessed with food and I would no longer qualify as having an eating disorder. I have friends and family in my life, a successful business I started in recovery, a loving relationship and I can keep a clean home today. It is a good life in sobriety.