Prior to entering Overeaters Anonymous in September 2004, I was a 25-year-old woman who could not break free of the binge and starve merry-go-round.
My troubled relationship with food began at an early age. During my early teens, my food restriction was progressive. I was already fearful of my capacity for eating enormous amounts of food. This culminated in a bout of anorexia during my early twenties and a subsequent diagnosis of osteoporosis at age 21. Then, almost overnight, it was as though a switch had been flipped, and I embarked upon a terrifying cycle of uncontrollable binge eating, starving, and obsessive exercise. Consultations with psychologists, counselors, personal trainers, and general practitioners could not rid me of my compulsion. Eventually, brought to my knees, I found OA. Or, perhaps OA found me.
In the OA rooms, I found human beings who shared their battles with food and weight. Men and women alike admitted to experiences similar to mine, such as hiding food in sheds, eating out of rubbish bins, abusing laxatives and exercise, stuffing themselves to bursting, and being unable to put the food down. I was dumbstruck, and I was relieved.
While I do not wish to deny that my visits with medical practitioners and health experts were beneficial, it was in OA that I learned I could not pass the solution to my disease to another person. Acknowledging and managing my disease was, and remains, I Found Sanity with Food January 2016 www.oa.org 3 up to me. I’m thankful OA’s Twelve Step program equips me to do just that.
From my experience, OA is a program for life. True, it and other Twelve Step fellowships deal with addictions and compulsions, but this Twelve Step program provides an awesome blueprint for any individual who seeks a spiritual approach to life.
I am abstinent today and blessed with continual abstinence since October 2004. It works if we work it.
— Nikki, Australia