April 17, 2021
I’m a compulsive overeater and a sugar addict, and also a grateful member of Overeaters Anonymous. Before coming into OA, I used sugar to calm my nerves and I was always nervous. I had a marriage that was dysfunctional, and I thought it was my husband’s entire fault. I tried to match his addiction with my addiction, and every time he went to get his drug of choice, I would tell him to get me some candy also. I had to start in another 12-step program to see that I also had a problem, and that mine was food.
I learned that when I pointed my finger at him, there were three pointing back at me – and it forced me to look at my food problem.
I had been on diets all my life. My problem is the yo-yo syndrome – my weight went up and down, and then up again. I always thought that if I just found the magic fix that I would be ok.
I struggled with my food and battled my sugar addiction. I was at a very low point in my life, and after a health scare I had to give up cigarettes and then I really saw that I had a problem with food. I had tried all the other diets out there and I knew that OA was my last choice. If this didn’t work, I didn’t know what else to do.
It was not until I walked into the doors of OA that I learned that I had a disease of the body, mind, and spirit. OA is a three-fold program: spiritual, mental, and physical. I had to learn to accept myself and allow a higher power in my life to heal my malady. It wasn’t easy, but with all the support from the people in the rooms of OA, I finally made it.
We have a saying that goes, “We will love you until you love yourself” – and I never understood how anyone could love me, and I thought I would never love myself. Through working the 12 steps of OA, with a sponsor, I learned that I’m a child of God, and he loves me just the way I am today: with all my warts, bulges, and imperfections.
I’ve given up my magic fix theory and learned that one day at a time my Higher Power will restore me to sanity, because what I did with food was truly insanity. I gave up sugar and I stayed abstinent for 3 years and then I slipped back into my addiction. I was very disappointed in myself, but I kept coming back to OA – even when the sugar felt like it was crawling out the walls of my house. It really wasn’t, and today I can admit that I was bringing most of it in and I was angry with God for letting this happen to me. I spoke about this at meeting. And when I got sick and tired of being sick and tired I said, “Ok God, I can’t do it, show me the way.”
Today, I’ve been off sugar for quite a while and I’ve finally learned that the answer to my problems is not in that piece of chocolate cake or candy bar. Today the answer is with my Higher Power, and I know that turning my life over to a power greater than myself restores me to sanity.
Today, I have the strength and courage to face each day because I know I don’t need to do it alone. I have the program to help me one day at a time.
I thank Overeaters Anonymous for my recovery, and for the relief I have with my obsession about food.
By Mary, a grateful OA member
What is your personal story of recovery in OA?
Please send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.