Home Anorexia & Bulimia Don’t Do It Alone

Don’t Do It Alone

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I am a lifer. My disease is such that I can never leave OA. I spent a lifetime struggling to control my food and body, and the result was a soul-wrenching desperation to find another way.

My disease takes a form I call “classic bulimia.” I binged until it hurt, threw up, and then binged again. It wasn’t always end-on-end bingeing and purging. Sometimes it took as long as a month for me to feel the need to binge and purge again, but that day always came. I am so grateful that I reached a bottom, because now I understand deep within that I will never, ever be a normal eater. I just won’t.

Surrender is a wonderful thing. It has allowed me to stay in OA for the past sixteen years and maintain a weight loss of 30 pounds (14 kg). Losing that weight took me three summers because weight loss is traumatic for me. I could not handle more than a 10-pound (5-kg) loss at once. I had to pace myself and take time between body size changes.

It does take time to recover. At first, my abstinence was as wide as this: just don’t purge, no matter what. It is a miracle not to have to binge and throw up! My first sponsor, who was also bulimic, asked me to make a list of my binge foods (never alluding to the fact that I would at some point be asked to refrain from eating these), and said, “We don’t purge—no matter what!”

Now I do service. I must give away what I’ve been given so freely if I want any hope of keeping it. I sponsor; I have a sponsor; my sponsor has a sponsor, and so on. That is one requirement: I must not do this alone, for my way brought me through the doors of OA. I have made all my amends, except one to a person I cannot find. I get on my knees every morning and ask for help. I meditate. At night, I get on my knees again and thank the god of my understanding for another day of abstinence.

As years go by, I continue to become more honest about my ability to handle certain foods. I do not eat my binge foods, which come under the heading of “recreational sugar,” and I avoid my yellow-light foods, such as sweetened breads and cereal. I follow a 3-0-1 plan: I eat three meals a day with zero calories in between, one day at a time. That works for me. It is what I must do to abstain from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors.

This recovery is for everyone who wants it. If you are a hardcore compulsive eater like me, if you have simply despaired of ever losing weight, keep coming back. Never give up, don’t do it alone, and take the Steps—they will change your life! This miracle is here for you, because it was here for me.

— Beth M., Tucson, Arizona USA

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