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Old 10-21-2006, 02:53 AM   #1  
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Default Went to one OA meeting...

I read Marny's story and like a few others have said, so much of it was me. And I hope it will be in the future. Because Marny, you are where I aspire to be.
I'm at the lowest of lows right now.

I have a great husband, a beautiful nine year old boy, a lovely home with an amazing view of the Rocky Mountains. I'm a singer/songwriter but not using my gift as I can barely function let alone get on a stage in front of anyone right now.

I don't work, my husband makes enough to support us (another blessing) but I hate that. There's no reason for me not to work at least part time. I barely get dressed, brush my teeth. My nine year old gets out of school at 4pm. I shower and try to get put together enough to pick him up. But he knows. I notice that he's been asking me before I even pull out of the school parking lot. "What did you do today?" When I dodge the question and rattle off a few lame things, he persists and says "what else?" I actually got a little mad at him today and said "Why are you so concerned about what I do during the day?" He knows. I chauffeur him around, I take him to music lessons, Taekwondo, playdates, make sure he does his homework, it takes everything I've got.

My husband seems to make dinner most nights after working a full day in corporate America, when I've done nothing. He also gets him up about half the time and does the morning routine because I am unable to drag my food laden, sleep deprived, depressed self up early.

Three weeks ago my son declared that he didn't want to eat candy anymore and he hasn't. I asked him why and he said, "because sugar makes you not feel good and you can get addicted to it." This is a nine year old who I used to be afraid for because I thought "oh no, he's got the sweet tooth curse." He hasn't eaten candy in three weeks all on his own even when I'm munching on cookies or ice cream in front of him. So, my God he does know. Nine year olds aren't supposed to worry about that. I can't even tell you the heartache that makes me feel.

Last week I was at Costco (I always muster up the energy to buy food) and I bought Andrew Weil's new book, "Eight Weeks to Optimum Health." Of course, when I sat down to read it I skipped right to the weight loss part (I am about 40 lbs overweight). He basically said if you find it hard to make these changes and you are eating for emotional reasons then you may have an eating disorder and he listed some organizations, one of them being OA.

A few years ago I was at an evening function through a Unity church and a woman I had gotten to know pulled me aside and asked if I would be interested in going to an OA meeting with her. I guess she had seen my 3rd plate of food and that I was on my fourth brownie and millionth chocolate chip cookie. But at that time I found it rude of her to ask me.

That was spirit's little knock at the door.

Spirit is now pounding at the door. I don't have a choice but to listen.

Last week, my husband said that I needed to get help and now. Even he, who has always been so supportive of me, is beginning to withdraw and get numb to my pathetic state. I don't blame him and often wonder how he can put up with me with such compassion. I wouldn't put up with it. Really.

I went to the OA website, found the closest meeting to me and went for the first time yesterday. There were only four people there. They were so nice and I started to cry when the first person said the "Hi my name is so&so and I'm a compulsive eater and food addict." I couldn't stop silently crying through the whole meeting. To hear someone say those words was overwhelming. I knew that I needed to say them. I want to be well like they were protesting to be after being where I am now. They all hugged me at the end. One woman even bought me the OA Daily Recovery book as a gift and wouldn't take money for it.

Anyway, I'm confused. What eating plan do most people follow in OA? I'm obsessed with that right now. I read the Destiny (think that's what it's called) pamphlet but I'm confused. To never have sugar again is completely insane to me right now. Sponsor? How does that happen? You ask someone or do they offer? I'm a train wreck right now. How can someone be willing to commit to helping me? I'm going to need them like I and they can't even fathom. I don't want to be a burden to anyone.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Charlene

Last edited by charlenej; 10-21-2006 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 10-21-2006, 11:58 AM   #2  
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Charlene,
Honey, you've come to the right place. The best thing that you ever did for yourself and your family was to go to that meeting. Those people at that meeting completely, and I mean completely, understood what you were feeling.

If you got any phone numbers at the meeting, call them until you get a hold of someone, and tell them that you need help getting started.

Getting a sponsor involves finding someone who has what you want and asking them how to get it. You do that by listening to people speak and finding someone who is available. When you find a sponsor, remember that they were a train wreck too when they first came to OA.

Everyone has a different eating plan. The eating plan is the least of your problems right now. You need to get your hands on a copy of the OA 12 Steps and 12 Traditions and read step one. Then, read it again. You can order it from www.oa.org or amazon. Either way, get it quick.

I can be your temporary sponsor until you find one if you would like. If so, your first writing assignment is this:

In OA we are encouraged to take a good look at our compulsive eating, obesity, and the self destructive things we have done to avoid obesity--the dieting, starving, over-exercising, or purging. Here is a first step inventory of my compulsive eating history:

Keep writing until you've written everything.

I'm here for you. Also, there are online OA meetings every three hours around the clock at www.therecoverygroup.org

You can post here or send me a private message. Up at the top of this page it says "welcome charlenej" Underneath you can click where it says "private message".

Step 1 is: We admitted we were powerless over food-- that our lives had become unmanageable.

Notice that step1 starts with "We" not "I". We know how you feel. We know your desperation and pain. We know how it feels to be driven to continue putting food in our mouths even when we are no longer hungry, even when we are stuffed, even when we don't want to eat any more.
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Old 10-21-2006, 12:26 PM   #3  
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Charlene..To me you sound quite depressed, and that is possibly the reason for your overeating. Someone who cannot get out of bed and stays up late and doesn't want to do anything, including grooming etc, to me sounds like the classic symptoms of depression. Mind you, I am NO psychiatrist and I've never had depression. Perhaps you can get some help figuring out why you feel so listless. Try to get on an exercise program right away (that I think is supposed to help with depression), perhaps a daily walk. Best of luck to you.
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:05 PM   #4  
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Default Thank you

Thank you for your post Marny. I will go to a meeting on Monday night but until then, I will take you up on your offer for temporary sponsor and I will do the writing assignment. Writing is the one thing I seem to be able to do right now. I bought the AA "Big Book." Is that different from the 12 step book you recommended?

Thank you also, Mami. You are right I am depressed. In a big way. My eating and depression go hand in hand.

I went to a therapist last year as I was dealing with a lot: 2003/2004 I cared for my Dad for a year before he (whom I loved so dearly) died...I ate my way through that. I had a miscarriage (2nd one) ...more food. After that, we decided to take advantage of the So. Calif. real estate market to sell our home and live out a dream of moving somewhere new with some land and taking a sabbatical from school and work. So Jan'05, we quit our jobs, bought an RV and traveled across the country hitting 32 states and N.E. Canada performing our music. We homeschooled our son while on the road. It was a scary decision but one we didn't regret as it was an amazing experience bringing the three so close to each other. BUT, I did eat my way through every state using the "culture" excuse for gorging on the local food. I didn't gain weight because we were so active, walking, hiking, exploring. At the end (last summer), we moved to Colorado where I don't know many people...more food. I do have family here but I'm not about to dump my problems on them just having moved here. So, it's been easy to isolate myself here because I don't know many people. I would die if my mother in law moved next door to me like Marny's did!

Going to a therapist did help but meetings with her were quick fixes until my next binge and we definitely did not address my food issues in depth as we only met once a week or every other week. No fault on her part as I don't think I was completely honest with her about my food secrets.

She helped me realize that I have some issues stemming from childhood too and that it was going to take a lot of therapy to work through. But, my insurance didn't cover this particular therapist whom I really liked and since my family and I had just come off of our tour and moved from So.Cal. to Colorado, I didn't want to justify spending the $100/week.

And so here I am.

I'm feeling some clarity and a determined resolve (at least at this moment) to get help. I think just reaching out and taking the first step was huge for me. I am going to give OA my very best effort to beat this and I am also going to look for a therapist to help deal with every other issue. I have to. I'm not living, I'm barely surviving.

When I got pregnant, I made a promise to myself and God that I would do everything for the child that was entrusted to me to help him/her realize their gifts, not just take up space in the world but to teach them to carve out their niche of making the world a little bit better because they were here. I'm not keeping my promise to God because I'm not living that same promise for myself. I have to find a way to LIVE that truth for myself too. I have had fleeting moments in my life when I have walked the path that spirit has for me and it was amazing (like the tour). Each time I "fail", I feel like I'm in a pit and trying to climb my way back to that path. For the first time, I realize I can't do this on my own. It's bigger than I am right now.

I believe in the twelve steps as I have some very good friends in Calif. that do amazing things with AA and have helped countless numbers of people.

Didn't mean to write another book, but writing it down feels so good!

Marny, I will be in touch.

Again, thank you.

Charlene
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Old 10-21-2006, 04:19 PM   #5  
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Charlene-
You sound determined and honest. Those qualities will take you far in this program.

The AA Big Book is a powerful book. It's the basis of the OA program. Read ch. 2 and 3. As you read, substitute in your mind compulsive eating wherever it states alcohol. It's a bit awkward to do this sort of substituting when you first start out, so I think that once you have a copy of OA's 12 steps it will be easier to "get" what it's saying.

There is a lot of different literature, and it can be confusing. Here are the basics:

OA 12 steps and 12 traditions-- Guides the reader through the steps and how to do them with a full emphasis on compulsive eating

AA 12 steps and 12 traditions-- Guides the reader through the steps and how to do them with a full emphasis on alcoholism. I love reading the step in this book after I read it in the OA book as it gives me another perspective

Alcoholics Anonymous or The Big Book-- The orginal text of alcoholics anonymous. It's a treasure trove of help to a person with any type of addiction. I love this book. It includes what addiction is, what alcoholism is, how to do the steps, and personal stories of alcoholics in recovery

Overeaters Anonymous-- This is a great book that explains what compulsive overeating is on a mental, spiritual, and physical level. It has a doctor's explanation of the disease. It also has personal stories of people in recovery from compulsive overeating.

There are lots of other books too, but those are the 4 main ones that I use.
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