A Story of Recovery:

Leaving Dishonesty Behind


I was 24, and I had struggled with bulimia, drugs, and alcohol for over 10 years. I left home at 14 and moved to a big city to live with my sister. I instantly gravitated to the darker side of life. I spent more time partying than studying. I couldn’t focus in school, and my food addiction led to drug use and daily bingeing and purging. I increasingly became more rageful, angry, and negative as my disease progressed. My diagnosed depression had led to my using anti-depressants at age 16.

After graduating from college, the party was finally over. I had recently split my pants while bowling, and I officially felt fat. The bulimia stopped working, and every weekend I looked forward to escaping by smoking pot and getting drunk. I was in financial debt and felt like my world was slowly caving in.  I was negative, depressed, and purposeless. I started stealing from my employers and stores. This, combined with my dishonestly around food, regarding how much I was consuming, was robbing me of my serenity. To escape, I craved drugs, alcohol, and the short relief of binging and purging.

I somewhat unexpectedly found FA while doing an internship at a film company. I didn’t know I was a food addict at the time, but I met someone in FA and inquired about his weight loss. He asked me if I thought I might be a food addict, and I instantly replied, “Yes!”

I didn’t know it then, but I had the gift of desperation. I am grateful that I had the willingness to attend my first meeting. I was the disgruntled newcomer who sat in the back, skeptical and somewhat cocky. But, I saw beautiful, thin, and happy people who wanted to help me, and I got hope. I knew that I needed a change and FA came at a perfect time.

These last seven years have been an incredible emotional, spiritual, and physical journey. I’ve been able to put down, one day at a time, not only flour and sugar, but also smoking, drug use, alcohol, and relationships with men. It’s a miracle that I can walk through life without bingeing and purging. I have healthy relationships with friends and family.

I am delighted to be engaged to a wonderful man who has only known me abstinent. I’m grateful that I’ve been working with the same sponsor since coming into Program at age 24. We have had our ups and down, but I’ve learned that quality relationships take a lot of work and persistence through tough times.

The rewards of abstinence are plentiful, such as clearing up debt, pursuing a master’s degree, buying a condo, traveling all over the world, and wearing cute and fashionable clothing. More than the material rewards, though, are the spiritual gifts. Before Program, I had no connection with a power great than myself. These days, I rarely go through a day without calling on my higher power for help. In my quiet times, I continue to cultivate my relationship with the god of my understanding. Through working the Twelve Steps on a daily basis, my life is rich, and I have a deep sense of peace that was unfathomable before.

FA has been the greatest gift in my life, and I cherish my recovery. I’ve had my struggles, but I’ve never left, and I’ve strived to be honest with my sponsor.

I hope to be abstinent forever, but I’m always reminded to just focus on one day at a time. That philosophy helps me get through my darkest days. I’ve learned that everything eventually passes, even the desire to eat.

 

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.