Healing My Life
It’s been over a month since I bloged last. I started writing about the 12 Steps of Overeaters Anonymous and Al-Anon programs at that time, but for some reason did not follow through. I realized this morning that I’m avoiding this process because every time I work these steps,…..that’s essentially what I’ll be doing, I will learn more about myself and I’ll be challenged to change again. On some level I was not ready to do that but today I am….so….here goes, but first here’s a bit of background that led to my working the 12 Steps.
Compulsive overeating and obsessive people pleasing were the demise of my life. Yes! My whole life. Food kept me from being in touch with my feelings and people pleasing kept me from knowing who I was, what my God given gifts were and what I wanted in life. I rarely gave any thought to what was important to me. I was concentrating on the people around me and looking for ways to make them happy. If they were happy so was I…..that is until I hit a bottom in my life, that looked to the world like a successful life.
I had acquired everything the world says you need to be happy. I had for the most part, a kind, loving, devoted husband who was an excellent provider. I could go anywhere, buy anything, do anything, be anything and “should” have been very happy but I was miserable.
The one thing I knew for sure was that there was a God that I loved and that God loved me. I had what I thought was a healthy spiritual life. Most of the time, I knew that I was being led and could see signs of that in my life. But somewhere along the way I was derailed. I’d become so obsessed with food and people that food and people became my god. I was brought to my knees because I was miserable.
My spiritual tool box was empty. In the past when I prayed I was restored to a peaceful place. Now nothing was working. Emotionally I was frightened, frustrated, angry and disappointed.
I hated my job. Thinking that was my problem I quit working, but nothing got better. In fact my relationships got worse. My emotions took over making my entire life a mess. I was not a fun person to be with. I was rude to sales people. My sister and I would get into screaming matches and I would end up hanging up on her. I was suffering physically as well. Headaches, backaches, stomach, gallbladder and sinus problems seemed to take turns plaguing me. No matter what I did I could not get relief.
Someone who loved me very much could see what was happening to me. This loving person told me that she used alcohol and drugs to deal with life and it seemed to her that I used food. She told me that she was attending AA meetings and that there was an organization for people who used food called Overeater’s Anonymous. She also asked me to go to Al-Anon. Alanon is for those of us who live with an alcoholic or have a loved one in our life that is addicted. I was ready to try anything and everything that could possibly restored me.
I went to my first OA Meeting on a Friday night in March of 1982. It was a small meeting with only about five people attending. It was held in a small, rather drab Sunday school room of a local church. As I looked around I was not impressed. That is until I spotted and read a poster with “The Twelve Steps of Alcohol Anonymous” printed large enough to read with ease. As I read each step I began to cry. These were tears of hope. I intuitively knew that I’d found a home. I also knew that those twelve steps would fill my tool box, repair my life and allow me to be healed.