Friday, July 6, 2012

Overeaters Anonymous and My Own Version of the Village People

In my attempt to overcome my eating disorder, last night I attended my first Over-eaters Anonymous meeting. The way I found out about these meetings, was that one night, while watching Seinfeld, I decided to Google Wayne Eliot Knight - the actor who plays Newman on the show- to see what became of him since his popularity back in the 90s. Come to find out that Mr. Knight has dropped 117 pounds! Say Whaaat?!? 
Newman is a New Man! *snort*

After skimming through the article and seeing phrases like, "no longer a slave to temptation" and "food was my drug", I was intrigued. Okay, let's face it, I hear 100+ lb. weight loss and I'm all ears. Anyway, he said part of the reason he was so successful was because of the support he received through a food-addiction support group. So down I went further down the rabbit hole, and I found myself on an OA website looking for meetings close to my house.

That's the story of how I got there, now let's talk about what happened while I was there: what caught my notice at first, was how many people weren't overweight at the meeting. I could literally count on one hand the obese people in that room, including myself. Most of them were long time members that had lost the weight, but were staying on program and following the steps; including one woman who had joined in 1988. Okay... I get the need to follow the program in all aspects of your life, but I guess part of me thought I'd go to fix my addiction, and then move on problem-free. Apparently, this is not the case. Another thing that also caught me completely off guard was how emotional I was when I left. Again, I assumed that I'd leave the meeting feeling empowered and motivated to take my life back. Instead, I felt totally and completely powerless. I guess it just hit home that I really do have a problem, and it's not just being "fat". Because everything these people were describing about their lives prior to recovery, is exactly what I am going through right now, to a "T".  It especially hit home when the woman who had joined in 1988 discussed how she recently had to have triple bypass surgery, because of the wreckage she did to her body when she was young. Realizing that person is you in so many years is just downright frightening. When I went home that night, I cried for at least an hour.

It seems that bit-by-bit I'm catching glimpses of just how much I'm hurting myself, and those closest to me. I would never have thought that eating would cause harm to anyone but myself, but it does; namely my husband who has to watch me suffer, and my son who needs a mom to teach him how to be healthy. As much as I don't like to admit it, this is my life now. For the rest of my existence I will be a recovering compulsive over-eater. I just hope and pray that it doesn't define who I am. Because I am so much more. I realize it is going to take a village to overcome something that has such a grip on my life, and I'm going to keep attending the meetings. The people there were so warm and friendly, and I have at least four people who wanted to be my sponsor. Also writing on this blog helps –especially those that read and leave comments giving their support. It makes me feel less alone, and more like I can really do this. So From the bottom of my heart, Thank you. 

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