From madness to hope

For as long as I can remember, I have loved food and always felt different from my family and other people. I never knew why. I remember that I was a bigger girl than some at school and being told I was 'big boned'. I was the joker and would be laughing, but inside I felt like crying because I didn’t want to be what I was. I didn’t want to eat and I didn’t want to be controlling or bossy or a loudmouth, but I didn’t know how not to be. I had this madness in my head and didn’t know how to get rid of it.

I was a regular weight watcher and spent a lot of money on diets and ways to get thin. I never got to my goal weight, as something always happened and my saying was 'I will show you' and go ahead and eat. Always thinking that 'when I was thin, things will be better'.

I smoked and drank and when I stopped smoking I tried very hard not to pick up the food, but that didn’t last. It got worse. And so the weight went on. I was always weighing myself and when the scales reached the heaviest I had ever been, I hid them.

I had a husband and two children and life was not good. I was very controlling over them all and obsessed with cleaning. I used to say, “if I can stop smoking, why can’t I stop eating?”.

We moved to Christchurch for my husband’s job and I thought things would be better. But they weren’t, in fact they got worse. The weight gain was worse and I felt as though I was going insane from how my eating was going. All the lies and sneakiness from the eating.

One day I read in the newspaper 'Is eating causing you problems?' and I answered the question in my head and inquired about the 12-step programme.

After having a woman come to see me and share her story, I went to a meeting. What I heard in the meeting was hope. There was an answer to how I felt and I learnt in time that I was born with this disease of addiction and finally felt as if I had found the answer.

It was suggested to me to keep coming to meetings, which I did, and had more identification. It was also suggested to get a sponsor and to find a Higher Power and work the steps.

I believe today that when I rang and asked for help was the day I surrendered fully as it wasn’t a bad day in the food, but I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and just wanted the madness in my head to go.

I found a Higher Power through coming to meetings and by just having faith in what I heard from my sponsor. And I learnt to pray and ask for help. And today I work the steps and through my Higher Power I haven’t had to eat.

My life is completely different and I feel as if I have been given a second chance at life, for which I am very grateful.