STEP ONE

We admitted we were powerless over food,
that our lives had become unmanageable.


Dear Friends,

My name is Auds, sober and abstinent today by the grace of my Higher Power whom I choose to call God, by the support of these fellowships and my own effort.

Before we get aquainted and start our time together let me say that you must take what you want and leave the rest. This is my story and although you will find a lot to identify with, please do not be discouraged if we are not exactly the same.

On August 31, 1975 I was living in hell. I couldn't stop eating once I started. I would wait as long as possible to eat and then I would eat until I passed out from too much sugar or alcohol or both. I weighed over 308 pounds. I don't know how much more as I stopped weighing myself after I saw 308. I had a job, I had a house, but my family had deserted me. I went to bed each night saying tomorrow I will not overeat or get drunk. Tomorrow never came. Each day I went to work early and when my staff arrived on time I was already there waiting to act as if they were late. I practiced silent scorn, I alienated those I needed to depend on. I have a circulatory condition that needs attention but of course I did not attend to it. I wanted to die and I knew if I just gained more weight eventually the blood clots which were part of my condition would kill me. I didn't believe God existed, if he did wouldn't he help me. I didn't believe in God but I reasoned that if I died from phlebitis he wouldn't know I had committed suicide. Rational? Hmmm.

At some point I had cut myself off from all those who cared about me. I couldn't bear to see the pity or disdain in their eyes. I behaved obscenely, then I hid for months. I lived in my barn from 4:30 to 10:30 and then locked myself in my house and ate and drank myself into a stupor. I took the phone off the hook so that bill collectors and those who wanted ask "do you know what you did last night" couldn't reach me. I turned the TV on but not the sound, I couldn't concentrate on the simplest plots. Sit coms scared me as they always entailed liars getting found out.

My house was filthy, my clothes were lying in a pile at the bottom of a door sill to sop up rain that came through the roof of the back bedroom. I wore the same clothes every day and slept in them at night. I had so few pieces of clothing that fit. The pants were all worn out in the crotch as the legs rubbed against themselves constantly. Food, alcohol and a silent TV were my only friends.

My life was certainly unmanageable and I lived in rage and terror. Sometimes these feelings had a cause, sometimes there was that negligible feeling that I might be "found out."

I never told you who I was, I am not sure that I really knew. I would tell you that I liked red and someone else that I hated red and then when I saw the two of you talking I was afraid that you were talking about my duplicity. I told my lovers lies to please them and then when they said they didn't like the lie I told I couldn't say that I had lied. I couldn't be me. Me was less than, Me was not worthy of love. Actually I though I was a saint who endured the pain of an unthankful family and fellow workers.

When I first heard of the first Step. it was very easy for me to understand that my life was unmanageable and that I was powerless.

STEP ONE QUESTIONS:

Here are some questions for you to think about in working the first Step. This is the only step they say we must work 100%.

1. Is my life unmanageable?
2. How?
3. Do I have self respect?
4. Can I look at everyone in the eye?
5. Is there anything hanging over my hear? Unpaid bills? An apology, a telephone call promised
6. So you think "I'll eat first then I'll face that?"
7. Does fear of failure keep you from trying?
8. Do you plan to do so much that you feel defeated before you start?
9. Can you see that you are powerless over overeating?
10.Is there such a thing as one bite?

Next week we will discuss Step Two and how I began to see hope.

~ Auds


 
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