Spirituality Steps Meditation and Awakening By firstname.lastname@example.org Posted on November 1, 2020 4 min read 1 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr Like many in OA, I found that my compulsion to overeat originated in childhood. I came from a broken home with absent parents, and my happiest memories were of family visits to buffets and gatherings with large meals. I was praised for my “healthy appetite,” which invoked feelings of love and acceptance around overeating. I had a fast metabolism, so there were no obvious repercussions. In my teens, I adopted a plant-based diet that, while healthy, masked the emotional nature of my eating. I’d often say, “I love to eat, and being plant-based allows me to eat to my heart’s content without becoming unhealthy.” I further became involved with food professionally, importing vegan products from Europe. I thought about food incessantly. Everything seemed great until my late 20s, when I began developing digestive, skin, and depression problems. Eliminating sugar and gluten provided relief but not recovery. From a series of tragedies in my 30s, I turned to food for comfort, spending hours at buffets almost daily. This induced a depressive episode that led me to therapy and, after much initial hesitation, to consider the Twelve Steps. I’d thought it a joke that I might have a disorder and was convinced I had control of my eating habits. So I decided to create restrictions concerning the frequency, amount, and types of food I would allow myself, and I committed that if I failed, then I would explore OA. Two months later, I attended my first meeting. It was an Eleventh Step meditation meeting. Meditation was not new to me, but what I discovered through OA was a new application. Previously, I’d regarded meditation as chore-like, scheduling time to get it done. Instead, I began using it as an alternative to compulsive eating. Through self-awareness of my urges, I opted to meditate rather than eat and discovered that I’d been compulsively eating both to avoid experiencing the repressed trauma caused by my childhood abandonment and to relive the love and acceptance I’d felt through family bonding over food. Once I was no longer eating as a remedy, much pain arose within me, triggering extended episodes of emotional release. But by adhering to meditation, I’ve been able to overcome these episodes, thereby bringing me to the Twelfth Step: the experience of a spiritual awakening. It is from this state, with a message of hope, that I wish to share my account with those who are still suffering, as I once did. — Steven K.