There was never a time I did not have a fascination for food. I regularly stole money and stole food thinking that it was normal to want to eat all the time. Many people must have gone without milk when I pinched the coins out of the milk bottles of people in my street, I would rush to the dairy and then have the agony of deciding what to buy. When I left home and got my first job, my very first pay went on packets of bite-sized chocolate bars which were hidden under my bed.
As I got older, I began to use vomiting as a way to eat whatever I wanted and not have the weight to show for it. After travelling overseas, I adopted a ‘healthy’ organic diet, which included fasting and enemas. That never stopped the bingeing and vomiting. I also had a life-long sense of not being good enough, feeling hopeless, disconnected from others, and full of self-pity.
Years of therapy did not help, a spiritual fellowship offered some hope of change at first, but I had to give it up when I saw that I could talk the talk, but could not walk the walk. Never once did I connect the overeating and obsession with food to the problems with living in the world.
When I came into a 12-step fellowship for recovery from food addiction, I had given up hope of life ever improving. I was 37, had a baby and a partner, but was deeply unhappy, the bingeing and vomiting was worse than ever. I thought the 12-step fellowship was a last-gasp attempt at getting a bit of relief from my ‘little food problem’. Much to my surprise, no-one wanted to hear about my unhappy childhood, or how I thought my Mother had not loved me enough. Instead they were talking about being free of the food.
The members said they were addicts, and that the addiction had affected them physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. They were talking about a solution, not only for the food, but for the broken person I was. I was initially sceptical, but having no other avenue, I just kept going to meetings.
Something in me was beaten, and I have been able to live free of the terrible hold food had over me thanks to my higher power. With the food in its right place, the Twelve Steps put me on a right footing, with help of my sponsor and the fellowship, it became possible to live a life of honesty and integrity.
The self-centredness lessened and I slowly became more aligned with the stream of life. I became aware that being useful to god and to my fellows is a way of life that is a privilege to live. What a joy to be an addict in recovery