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Living Instead

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My psychologist recommended I go an OA meeting, but it took three months before I actually set foot through the door. I told him I didn’t think I could give up sugar and didn’t believe in god, so OA wouldn’t work for me. He laughed and told me that was the addict speaking.

It took me those three months of bingeing to finally admit to myself I needed to try something new. I also had to talk my mother into attending with me so I didn’t have to be alone in my newness. Since I didn’t believe in god in a traditional sense, I thought I wouldn’t get anything out of OA.

I almost left halfway through that first meeting because I was incredibly uncomfortable with how much people were talking about god. The fact that my mother had driven us there was probably the only thing that kept me in my seat. Despite the god talk, I found some startling correlations between what other people were saying and how I’d always felt. I always knew I was different, but I couldn’t really believe that thin people could think about food the way I did. I thought my special kind of craziness was reserved for chubby gals.

That first meeting was just people sharing stories and thoughts. I heard a couple of people talk about having more than thirty years of recovery. That seemed so out of reach to me, but I decided to go back the next week and just see if something came of it.

It’s been over a year now and the recovery I’ve experienced in that time is nothing short of amazing for me. Besides shedding 80 pounds (36 kg) of weight, I’ve also experienced a deeper understanding of myself and what triggers my binges. I grew in my spirituality as well and found my Higher Power. I didn’t gain abstinence immediately, and this has been an imperfect ride so far, but for the first time in my life, I feel like I’m living life instead of being a bystander.

— April B.

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