Celebrating 32yrs of Recovery
Photo by Jesse Epstein
Yes, This past Thanksgiving I celebrated 32yrs of recovery from Bulimia and Compulsive Overeating. I am so grateful for my first therapist and the 12 Step Program of Over Eater's Anonymous.
When I was 25, I realized I was in a really bad place and despair felt like my fate. I remember crying on my bed in my Brooklyn apartment asking God for help. I had never been a religious person though I did believe in God. The next day I picked up a Village Voice and looked in the classifieds for a therapist. I did find a therapist named James and he was my first answered prayer. Those days I was so lost and frightened.
I remember James asking what my goal in therapy was? My response "I'm so fucked up! I just want to get better!" I did get better, but it was after confronting not only my issues but how I felt about myself.
My last bulimic episode happed Thanksgiving 1990. I went home to my parents for the Holiday and spent the entire time eating as a way of coping with my family and the despair I was feeling in my own life. Before I left for the bus back to New York I took a box of laxatives (I was a Laxative bulimic.) My financial situation was bleak and I had decided to ask my Dad if it was okay to come home for awhile to get a job and save money, before going back to NYC. He said no. At the time I felt so rejected and alone. "My family didn't want me" was my story.
When I got back I didn't know what to do with myself? My emotional state was beyond anything I had experienced and I started praying as I sat on the toilet endlessly. James had taught me that no matter how much I ate, my pain would still be there. So, there went my coping mechanism that was an addiction. The anger I had for James was beyond any anger I had felt for my abusers at the time. It essentially took away the one thing that gave me control and satisfaction. Well, at least that is what I thought at the time. James had been suggesting OA (Over Eater's Anonymous.) for quite awhile. It felt like it was the only option at the time because I didn't know what else to do.
It was the first week of December that I walked into my first meeting at 26th and 6th Ave. a lonely, frightened fat girl who had no idea what lied before her. I remember feeling like I was home for the first time being with people like me, and people who were in the process of getting recovered. I began to see some light coming through the mass of darkness I had been living through. I can only describe addiction as being in a dark cavern with no way out. There was a way out because I followed the small crack of light that transformed my life and heart.
I did come to believe in a Higher Power that could relieve me from this hell I was living. This power, light and enormous love has guided me for the past 32 yrs. Trust is a hard thing to have when you have been sexually and verbally abused. Why I trusted this force is because I was tired of showing up as a mess and knew nothing else to do but to surrender to God.
The key to my 32yrs of recovery is to surrender to my higher power every day. To let go of what is needed at the time, to embrace myself and trust that the opportunities that come my way are divinely given to me. Be the best version of myself and to keep moving forward to fulfillment of my life's expression of myself. To be Loving, Compassionate and Generous like Jesus. It's not always easy. Life is hard for everyone and we all have challenges. I just don't have to face them alone anymore.
When I surrender and trust God with what is stopping me or hurting me at the time. Somehow God knows the right people or the right book to put in my life at the time. And sometimes a revelation comes to me through journaling.
I am grateful for my journey and where it will take me next! Thank you, God