Home Recovery Opening the Door

Opening the Door

6 min read
0

My first bout with anorexia, when I was 30, came when I had a flashback of a childhood sexual assault that I had forgotten about. I was broken. I remember referring to myself as a rag doll, tossed to  the side when I no longer served a purpose. The memory made me feel vulnerable again, and I stopped eating in hopes that I would become so physically small that I would be invisible. Treatment meant I had to dig around in my past and pull out core beliefs about myself, which included feeling like I was not enough. Growing up with a learning disability, I had believed I would never be as worthy as everyone else and that I had deserved the pain inflicted on me as a child. Sacrificing myself and making others happy was where I believed my worth was, and at times, I still struggle with this core belief.

Working through the feelings, which I had neatly stuffed into the corners of mind, meant a lot of hard work. Doing it without acting on my eating disorder made it even harder. There were times when I thought I’d never move past the pain. People spoke of hope, but I had no way of seeing it. I will be honest: there were moments when I didn’t care if my eating disorder killed me. (If it weren’t for my children, I may have done it myself.) With professional help, I was able to move past the worst of the pain.

Today, it is the OA program that guides me to hope when I am feeling like I’m not enough or that I am damaged goods. Service gives me purpose when I’m feeling low. I have found that when I give support, I am given support, and when I reach out to a fellow, I am always touched by that person in return. It is the Steps, especially Step Eleven, that remind me my Higher Power is holding and rocking me when my inner child needs nurturing. I am not defined by what happened to me; rather, my experiences give me gifts to share and relate to others. I can now see that when my abuser tossed me to the side, it was my HP who caught me.

Do I wish I could never feel like the rag doll again? Sure. But that’s not the way healing works. Like an onion, I must revisit hurts, layer by layer, with different, maturing eyes. Each layer is easier now that I’ve built confidence in myself and the process. It is the OA program that keeps me from using my eating disorder to numb emotions when it is time for me to revisit events. OA has given me Tools to stay on the road of recovery, even during a storm of feelings. I have come to believe those feelings won’t kill me. After all, if I lived through the events, then I can handle living through the memories.

By listening to the stories of my fellows, I have come to realize that we all have something we’re carrying with us, yet we are all enough. I need to share my pain and be honest when it’s tough because this opens the door for others to share their pain.

We don’t have to travel this journey alone: I am sometimes carried by my fellows, and at other times, I will be called to carry them. With the love of our Higher Power and of our fellows, our burdens will become lighter.

Thank you, OA, for giving me a safe space and safe people so I can heal.

— Kym, Aloha, Oregon USA

  • Only through Anonymity

    When I first came into Overeaters Anonymous, I quickly learned to respect anonymity: who I…
  • Thirty Days!

    I’ve reached my twenty-ninth day of abstinence. Tomorrow will be my weighing day and my hi…
  • Reach Out: Support Within

    Every December 12, OA groups and service boards around the world are encouraged to plan ev…
Load More Related Articles
  • Only through Anonymity

    When I first came into Overeaters Anonymous, I quickly learned to respect anonymity: who I…
  • Thirty Days!

    I’ve reached my twenty-ninth day of abstinence. Tomorrow will be my weighing day and my hi…
  • Reach Out: Support Within

    Every December 12, OA groups and service boards around the world are encouraged to plan ev…
Load More By kmcguire@oa.org
  • Thirty Days!

    I’ve reached my twenty-ninth day of abstinence. Tomorrow will be my weighing day and my hi…
  • A Series of Miracles

    In 2011, I weighed 534 pounds (242 kg) and was unable to walk due to sepsis from an E. col…
  • Shining Miracles

    Before I’d ever heard of OA or its Principles and practices, my only desire was to lose we…
Load More In Recovery
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Only through Anonymity

When I first came into Overeaters Anonymous, I quickly learned to respect anonymity: who I…