Written by: Annie
The Twelve Steps have been a gift in my life in many ways – and they have also not given me everything I needed.
I was in “the rooms” for years and years, trying to get clean. I worked those steps day in and day out, got down on my knees and prayed before calling my sponsor, and did whatever I was told. I continued to end every day with a container or two of Ben and Jerry’s and would wake up the next morning with a hangover and a mess of candy wrappers all over the floor, which I knelt on while I prayed even more desperately. Why wasn’t Overeaters Anonymous working for me?
At one point I was searching the Internet for help. All I lived for was the next fix of some sugary packaged junk. My life was falling apart. My sponsor had given up on me and even though I was going to meetings – I was beginning to wonder if I was one of those unfortunates spoken about in The Big Book. I had my hand in a bowl of jelly beans, while I hit the sticky computer keys, and up came a page with the words “Food Addict”.
The dots began to connect. No matter how hard I prayed – No matter how many fourth step inventories I did – No matter how many times I set up the chairs in my home meeting -until I eliminated certain addictive substances from my food plan – there would be no relief. I had to make changes on the physical level or the cravings would continue to rule my life and drive me crazy.
I remember the moment I knew changing the way I eat was absolutely the answer. It was Halloween and I was in the candy aisle of our local supermarket. I had been eating well for five days – eliminated all sugar, and refined foods from my food plan. I noticed the candy and was not pulled to purchase any. The cravings had actually lifted. It would be my first clean Halloween. I would be free to enjoy the holiday with my daughter and her bag of “treats” would still be there in the morning (~smile~).
Today (~years later~) I truly enjoy food. I take the time to prepare beautiful and healthy meals. For me, the way the food looks is almost as important as the way it tastes. I go to meetings and work the steps in a different way now because I am not in that sugar fog. I have clarity – and peace of mind. The best piece is that I no longer live with cravings. Sometimes I feel sad for the years I lost to this addiction, but most of the time I am grateful for what I have found and the life I have today.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver