A Story of Recovery:

Light As A Feather


After eight hours and two abstinent meals on the train, I was there. A committed FA member welcomed me with open arms. It was rainy and cold, and I was exhausted. An hour later another member arrived. We shared a room together. We were excited to meet since we had talked a lot on the phone.

In two hours time we attended our first meeting of this nationwide FA get-together. Five beaming faces welcomed us, faces I see maybe once a year and voices I have heard a lot on the telephone. It was hilarious, and there were lots of hugs and screams of excitement. This was the first FA meeting I had attended in months, since I live in a place that doesn’t have FA meetings. The topic was, “The first 90 days.” There were 12 of us and eight had more than 90 days. While listening to people’s shares, I felt elated. Gratitude welled up in me because I do not have to eat addictively anymore, which is a miracle. For many years I had been killing myself with fork, knife, or bare hands, eating truckloads of flour and sugar, purging, using laxatives, and over-exercising.  We all shared about our rebellion, the doubts and fears we had during our first 90 days of FA, and our stubborn insistence on our old ideas. I saw a few newcomers nod. There were tragic stories and funny anecdotes. We had a good laugh. There was a sense of unity and hope. My heart was pounding.

The next morning we had a public information session. The members from the local meeting unrolled the new FA banners they had purchased. Fifteen FA members were present. Three guests and a lot of empty chairs filled the room. I was asked to qualify for 10 minutes. Oops! Me? But I was not prepared! What was I going to say? Before the meeting, I opened the Twenty-Four-Hours a Day book and read the text again. It said, “Life should be abundant and outreaching. It should be glowing and outgoing, in ever-widening circles.” I prayed before I got up to speak. My voice was trembling. I was afraid to disclose, in front of strangers, my powerlessness over food and the humiliation it had brought me. I heard myself speak about the progression of my addiction, how I started out eating addictively and became bulimic. I spoke of how, years later, I was also hopelessly addicted to sex and alcohol, and was suicidal and utterly depressed.

People came up to me and thanked me for sharing. Some members sat down with newcomers and answered their questions. We opened our lunch boxes and prayed before we ate our weighed and measured meals. Someone played the piano. I got a call from a suffering addict from my town who wanted to know about our program. The sun came out.

Then we had a business meeting. There are two new meetings in our country and we thought about how to support the many members of our fellowship who travel long distances to get to meetings. We spent many more hours socializing, incessantly talking about how to help those who are still suffering. A group went sightseeing in town and we all had dinner together.

The next meeting’s topic was, “Honesty, open mindedness, and willingness.” This time we were 15 FA members and two newcomers. The champagne of gratitude was sparkling in my heart. Our fellowship is growing, and I felt proud to be part of it.

I stayed for another FA meeting on Sunday night and went for a long walk in the sunshine. The next morning I returned back home. Eight hours on a train and a heart full of gratitude allowed me to write this article. I feel a renewed passion to keep FA alive by passing it on in my hometown. My little trials and tribulations of everyday life have become as light as feathers. What a wonderful way of life is this?

 

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.