My true home

My true home

My life was safe.

It was uneventful and I appeared to be a “normal” eater and then the sudden death of my father when I was only eight left me feeling fearful all of the time.

At eleven I was packed off to boarding school in another city. How I hated it. Anorexia became my comfort during the first four years in this school. Because I could not control my life in any other way I was sure as hell going to control my food. And it worked, until the day my voracious appetite awoke and I could simply not stop eating. My weight ballooned from 40kgs to a 72kgs in my last two years of school and every diet failed. As fast as I lost the weight I would eat it all back on and more. I became the diet and exercise expert of the school and I was my own biggest failure.

It took four years to loose all that weight and I happily walked down the isle a petite bride of 45kgs.I was going to sail off into the sunset with my husband and live happily ever after. Compulsive overeating had other ideas!

For the next twenty-three years I waged battle with what I would come to learn was a disease. I lived on appetite suppressants, and yes I was very thin, back to 40kg. So why was I so very afraid and miserable?

High blood pressure and blood in my urine alerted my doctor that something was not right. He questioned me and I lied and never returned. I stopped the pills and the weight started to creep back again. I was desperate. I had tried every diet and exercise ever documented and they had all failed to make me happy or even to keep me thin.

And then I found Overeaters Anonymous. I expected to find a group of very large people. Instead I was greeted by a group of normal sized, cheerful and happy people. Their stories were as harrowing as mine and yet they had survived and were concerned, helpful, interested and loving. I have never experienced such generosity of spirit anywhere like I have inside the OA programme. This is my true home. The members are my true family. Together we work a spiritual program, believing that the disease is threefold in nature: spiritual, emotional and physical. And it is here that I have found recovery and maintained a normal body weight for the last nine years.