April 16, 2021
I am a proud member of Overeater’s Anonymous. It’s hard to believe that I can honestly say that sentence. I first heard about OA when I was in the throes of my bulimia. I didn’t know anything about OA except the thought of it scared me and made me sick to my stomach. There was no way I belonged in a program about compulsive eating. I purged any excess food I ate, and I did whatever I could to keep myself from eating. Not just overeating, but eating period. Of course, that never worked – and I now realize my attempts to ‘not eat’ led me to my binges. How messed-up is that? The more I tried to control my food – the more out of control I became. Bulimia for me is about control and trying to be perfect. If I can control my food and eat perfectly, I’ll be thin, happy, and free. I now know that my thinking was way, way off.
So, part of my resisting the idea of OA was pure ego, and a bigger part was denial. I did not want to face up to my inability to control food. How shameful and degrading. I guess I thought if I went to OA I would be admitting I was fat and out of control. How could that be true when all I did was think about restricting my food and vomiting?
Well guess what, I was out of control and I was overweight. To my surprise, going to my first OA meeting not only gave me the greatest sense of relief I had ever felt, I finally found a place where I belonged. There were people of all sizes, and anorexics and bulimics, too.
They say not to focus on the differences, but to focus on the similarities. The similarity is that we all have issues around food. We may do different things with it, but whatever our method is – we are powerless over it, and we need the OA program to restore us to sanity.
I thank God every day for giving me the courage to get myself to my first meeting. Since then, I haven’t purged in over a year and I’ve lost about 50 pounds. I don’t eat perfectly all the time, but I’m finding more meaningful things that help me to feel happy and free.
So, if you’re out there and uncomfortable with the idea of Overeater’s Anonymous and don’t think you fit in because you’re bulimic or anorexic – give yourself a well-deserved break and check out a meeting. You may find yourself relieved and grateful for the rest of your life.
Kim, a grateful member of OA
What is your personal story of recovery in OA?
Please send your story to email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you and to sharing your story of experience, strength, and hope with others on this amazing journey of OA recovery from compulsive eating through the Twelve Steps.