A Story of Recovery:

Homecoming


Once upon a time, some years ago, I joined FA.  I was a reluctant joiner. I only came out of complete desperation. I had nowhere else to turn, and a friend familiar with the program was my chaperone. She came to every meeting with me for 6 months. I was not happy about it, but I did it. I called my Sponsor at an early hour even though I had not gotten a full night’s sleep since I was up tending to my 7 month old baby. I went to three meetings per week, even though it was not easy to ask my husband, a worker in high-tech, to be home early enough to take over the children so I could get to a meeting.

I spent time preparing my food ahead of time even though my baby and toddler did not share my food plan. I made three calls per day even though I had nothing in common with those people at meetings. I attended an AWOL even though I really didn’t want to. Little did I know how blessed I was to live in an area where there were an abundance of meetings and fellows.

After 3 years of working the program in the US, I moved overseas. There were no FA meetings where I lived. There were barely any AA meetings either. I lived in a place where it was not safe for me to go to meetings alone as a woman. But I stayed the course. I found ways to participate in the program and stayed in close contact with my fellows. The Tool of Telephone became my lifeline.

I found other Frontier [term previously used to describe an area far away from an established in-person FA fellowship] fellows to call regularly. I sponsored as many Frontier people as I could. I took calls outside of early morning in order to stay connected. And I stayed the course.  Anytime I traveled, I looked up the English speaking AA meetings and made a point to attend. I was very willing to make contact with other recovery people. Even though it was challenging, my experience made me uniquely qualified to help other FA’s on the Frontier.

After almost six years working my program on the Frontier, I returned to the US.  I now live in a major metro area with an abundance of meetings.  I had gotten used to working my program remotely and thought I was doing fine. I am abstinent. I even attended a meeting in London on my way back to the States.

There is a song that says, “You don’t know what you’ve got til its gone”.  I returned to the US just under two months ago. I have been able to go to three face to face meetings every week. And it has been indescribable. The warmth of this fellowship is remarkable. The feeling of being in a room with others who understand my disease on such a deep level is something I didn’t even know I was missing while living on the Frontier. I now see why our Sponsors suggest going to three meetings per week. I have even attended local AA meetings in my neighborhood and again, the warm welcome and twinkle in the eyes of the fellows is like coming home.

To anyone who is on the Frontier, you are not alone. This program can be done successfully even while living in a place with no face to face FA meetings. But I didn’t even know what I was missing until I returned. I feel so lucky and blessed to be back in my country. I feel grateful to be able to hug my fellows. I am filled up when I hear my brothers and sisters in recovery share about their recovery from food addiction. I love seeing folks in the room on their “way down the scale”.

Soon, we will open a new meeting north of the city since my closest meeting is 30 miles away. My abstinence allows me to be of service in this way, and I am truly grateful.  I am grateful that during this time of transition, I have been able to attend all kinds of meetings.  I’ve been able to go to daytime meetings while I am not yet working. I have been able to go to evening meetings since my husband can be home with our children. I have been able to go to weekend meetings as well. And every meeting I attend, there are smiling faces, welcoming me back into the fold.

I am so glad to be back home: Home in my country and home in the fellowship.

 

This story was originally published in the connection Magazine. Subscribe to the connection Magazine for more stories of recovery. Or submit your own story of recovery.