Posts about Struggling

Joy Was My Antidote to Fear

Thankfully, during my first year in Program, I lost more than 120 pounds, did my tools daily, completed an AWOL, and began sponsoring. I happen to be a pretty joyful person, and I often get asked how to be happy. I tell people that even the cheeriest people need tools to help them stay positive when life happens. But dark storms often do come. During a six-month period, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, had adrenal exhaustion, my father died, I lost my job, my mother had heart failure, and I had to sell my house to get rid of a bad loan. Keeping my abstinence during this time was challenging. My health problems were frightening and expensive to treat. Among other symptoms, I suffered from anxiety, weight gain (from the illness, not from eating), and low motivation. My dreams and personal pride were destroyed. I could easily have believed... Continue Reading



True Freedom

As a child I was needy and insecure. My earliest memories are of being filled with fear, doubt, and insecurities. I was never comfortable in my own skin. Although I was loved and well cared for, something was missing inside me. I simply could not get enough. Food played a big role in my family. My stay-at-home-mother cooked and baked, and many family celebrations included lots of great food. Somewhere along the line, I figured out that food helped me feel better and took the edge off. Some of my earliest memories include sneaking home-baked frozen sugar treats from the freezer in the basement, then rearranging the layers, hoping nobody would notice. I played games that involved sugar snacks, and ate forbidden foods until I felt sick. I look at pictures of me growing up, and while I was always conscious of being bigger than my sisters, I was not... Continue Reading



Accepting Addiction

I came into FA two years ago. I knew my relationship with food was warped and that I looked at food differently from the way other people did. I had tried several other Twelve-Step programs that dealt with food and I found some recovery, but never really “got it.” I thought of myself as a compulsive overeater, an emotional eater, and a bulimic. I knew I used food to stuff down feelings. I knew I was powerless over my emotions and the people around me, but I never thought of being powerless over food. It was easier to accept the diagnosis of the medical community that I was over-sensitive, bipolar, and that I needed anti-depressants. The medication helped with the mood swings, but they never helped with how I used food. I came into FA weighing around 367 pounds. The minute I walked into my first meeting, I knew that... Continue Reading



Festering Secrets

It took me nearly seven months to get my first 90 days of abstinence. I came into FA desperate for help, but not for help with my weight (213.5 pounds and growing). I was resigned to being fat and was even resigned to being unhealthy. But I was not prepared to be crippled, to die, or to leave behind my two little children. And I was not willing to continue to abuse my children with my frustration, hopelessness, and rage. I wanted to change, but I didn’t know how. I ended up at an FA meeting. I was late, shy, and I sat in the back of the room, cringing and covering my face with my hands. Too much of what was said in the front of the room resonated with me and made me uncomfortable. But while I knew very little about FA, I was sure that I knew enough to know that I didn’t want... Continue Reading



Sliver of Joy

I clearly remember my first day of “abstinence.” I was 370 pounds and desperate to be free from the spiritually deadening confines of my food addiction. I was getting to the point where I was ashamed even to walk outside of my house; ashamed to be seen. I had a protective wall up against the world. I didn’t really know at the time that my misery was connected to food. I still thought food was a comfort, a secret sanctuary that I could use to soothe myself through the stresses of the day. But it was a lie. I went to an FA meeting and readily obtained a sponsor, who I had known from AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). She was a tiny woman, but was large in love and concern for me. She was fierce and straightforward, and I didn’t know how to deal with her. She had taken me to... Continue Reading