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She Was Right

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My sponsor told me God loved me just the way I was but also loved me too much to let me stay that way.

I was full of self-doubt and fear yet wished to control myself and the world around me. I was dishonest—I lied, stole, embellished, gossiped, and I disparaged others to make myself feel better. I was 50 years old and 130 pounds (59 kgs) overweight. Over and over, I migrated from diet to diet, dying a little more each time I lost and regained the weight. I was still convinced that I could do it by myself, always forgetting the consequences of my last relapse and sometimes even going out deliberately to binge.

I’d never grown up. I never thought about the possibility that my negative characteristics might be a liability, holding me back from becoming abstinent. I never thought my overwhelming need to control everyone and everything was stinking thinking. I couldn’t control my own life, so what gave me the right to think I knew what was best for yours?

When I came to Overeaters Anonymous, I was extremely skeptical that I might ever become neutral around the foods that beckoned me or that I’d become a happier, less volatile woman. I thought I didn’t need to give up my red light foods and behaviors. My sponsor told me of course I could eat whatever I wanted and act however I wanted as long as I was willing to pay the price.

I was trapped in a tiny cage of my own making, and my sponsor told me the Twelve Steps contained in this program held the key that could—if I was willing to take action and work, work, work—unlock the cage and set me free.

I was broken and defeated, so I was willing to do what she suggested. She encouraged me to stop lying to myself and dig deep. She was always reminded me I had to get clean, follow the Steps, give up some old ideas and misconceptions, trust a Higher Power that I could define for myself, and let go of characteristics that were holding me back.

She was right. The Twelve Steps did work for me. I am now comfortably abstinent around food that used to beckon me. I am less fearful, selfish, dishonest, and self-seeking. Accepting that I am human, I will have days when I am not as kind tolerant and patient, but I am willing to do my best tomorrow.

I once heard an Overeaters Anonymous speaker say about our disease, “I can choose to live in spite of it or die because of it.”

My sponsor said I should let God in and give up thinking only of me. She said, if I would turn the word “me” upside down, I would see it becomes “we.” Together, we can do what we could never do alone.

— Barbara E.

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