no that’s not a song or tune i’m pathetically trying to conjure up.
OA is Overeaters Anonymous in my world.
it’s a land that i’ve traveled to, and walked across, and returned from in one piece.
with much perspective.
I’m danielle and i’m an addict……
and that’s where we started on that end of summer tuesday night back in 2000.
I’m a bulimic/anorexic/ednos/etc. i hated saying that, it felt wrong and abnormal. but i said it anyway and felt totally alone in a room filled with strangers. i felt like the only one wanting to roll my eyes, muttering, “give me a fucking break,” in the room filled with people that i just couldn’t quite understand. in many ways i felt lost from them, at least in the beginning. the person i was in 2000 didn’t even relate to these people, the Millennium Me just wanted to get the hell out of there… i didn’t want to be there, i thought i had it all figured out. so i just wanted to go home and numb myself with food so i didn’t have to think about the abusive nightmare i had just abandoned; i didn’t want to think about the surgery i had that changed my martial arts life forever and physical body; i didn’t want to think about the fact that i had left home so i could eat alone and not have anyone judge me or try to criticize my coping mechanisms. and most of all, i didn’t want to think about all the other things i lost in years before.
my martial arts/fitness, abusive boyfriend, pills, and excessive ways were my outlets. they kept me in a bubble where i never had to think about the ‘other’ stuff. surgery put a stop to all those vices but food. so i felt like a raging bull in a pin, waiting to fight. i couldn’t be comfortable in my own skin,
i had no idea who i was anymore i just knew food.
so i knew i needed help, i mean i wasn’t a total fool or ‘that’ delusional. i knew i needed help but i also knew that i had to want to help myself.
at that point in my life, i was still in post-trauma mode so my only relief was going home after my boring day job and eating. and then getting rid of it so i could feel numb. it was sick, sick cycle. but it kept me from going nuts. if that makes any sense….
oddly, my mother understood what i was going through… she knew the nightmare i was in with the ex boyfriend. this seemed like a less damaging option in a sick way.
she knew that i couldn’t cope and the fact that i had left him was overwhelming. her mother, my grandmama, had an ED all her life. my mother knew that i was better than that, but she also knew that i could easily do much, much worse things to myself.
i know i know i know!!!! this whole thing, it’s sick. being bulimic or restricting food is not okay. but this is my life and the experiences are my own.
today i can tell you that i’m thankful for my experiences because i knew i would be the person i am today: grateful and alive
i am so thankful…
but back to OA and how it totally rocked my world at first…
so after that Tuesday in 2000, i left that first meeting in OA early and didn’t go back.
it totally freaked me out, who were those people? how on earth could they have food addictions then want to go to dinner after the meeting? how did they keep going to meetings after they kept failing every single day???? the ones that kept going but kept slipping, each day, really got to me.
i went right home and numbed myself and tried to feel better at the fact that i even went at all.
the fact that i went anywhere besides straight home was a HUGE accomplishment.
you MUST celebrate every single success. do it.
anyhow, it was not until several years after my first visit that i returned. and this time i stayed because i wanted to be there.
i realized i didn’t care how crazy it seemed, i knew i needed a higher power.
so there you go:
“it works if you work it!”
do those words sound familiar to anyone?
i hear those words in my ear still to this day! yet they are from a 12 step OA group i did over 4 years ago.
anyways, i just wanted to share my experience in a 12 step group, and the tools that i took with me and why i’m no longer active in one.
i went to that initial first Overeaters Anonymous meeting back in 2000, really just to make my mother feel like i could take care of myself. i had no real intention of getting better at that time, actually i just wasn’t ready.
however fast forward to august of 2011, i was ready. i had hit the bottom so many times that i knew i needed to shape up and get with the program of life. i had run out of lives and i already knew i was dealt many more than 9 lives. i had already used up about 12.
so when i went back to that same room, to that same tuesday night OA meeting in 2011, i was ready. i WANTED to be there.
i reached out, i asked for help.
i got a sponsor.
i did the work.
and i earned my 1 year of recovery chip on august 9, 2012.
so here i am today. after i got my 1 year chip i did not continue with the OA program,
but i learned a LOT about myself along the way.
the tools i got out of it are these:
- a sponsor made me accountable
- the food journal helped at first
- not being allowed to eat ‘trigger foods’ helped at first
- having a group was helpful sometimes
- checking in with my sponsor daily helped a lot
- being accountable was the most important thing of all
the reasons that i am no longer in a 12 step OA group:
- i wanted to be okay with eating all foods
- i felt uncomfortable with the rules
- i want to live my forever life
- it’s just not for me anymore
my point in this post was to share that sometimes life is hard but we are given tools, and if we use those tools they can help us. and it gets better…
it works if you work it 🙂
thank you for letting me share my experience in recovery and OA. i want to close this with the serenity prayer, which a beautiful prayer that i still appreciate and turn to every now and then.