Welcome to the 2015, 4th Quarter of Working the Steps. It is with much gratitude and joy I come to facilitate this Step Study Group.
Although I am not new to OA, I am new to TRG and have just finished the 12 Steps with them.
Let me introduce myself, my name is Linda F. I am 66 years old, married for 46 years and have 3 children and 5 grandsons. I retired in June, after having worked as a babysitter, secretary, waitress, baker, housekeeper, crisis counselor and most recently a teacher of special needs students.
I was the oldest of 9 children, raised in a very dysfunctional and abusive household by parents who had addictions of their own. During my teens and twenties I abused alcohol and drugs. It was also in my twenties that I started to eat compulsively. Up until then I had a normal if not thin body size.
My eating compulsively really kicked in when I stopped drinking and using drugs. It never dawned on me that food could become the problem that it did. Through my 20's, 30's, and 40's I'd gain weight - find a diet - loose weight - only to regain that which I lost and more. My eating was getting more and more out of control - even though I was trying harder then ever to "diet" - I was having less and less success.
During my 40's and 50's I was filled with despair and humiliation over the way I was eating. I couldn't understand what was wrong with me? Why couldn't I stop eating? I ate myself up to 382 lbs. I hid food from my kids, ate food after I put it in the garbage, ate food off the floor, ate food still frozen because I couldn't wait for it to defrost, and one time when my dog took food off the table I pulled it out of his mouth and ate it. I broke a chair by sitting on it, ripped several pair of pants by bending over, couldn't buy clothes in most stores, and even the stores I could I was getting beyond their biggest size.
Of course my health suffered too. I became diabetic, had high blood pressure and needed two total knee replacements. And still I could not stop eating. Most nights I was afraid to go to sleep because I thought I was going to die from either my stomach bursting or I would get sick and choke to death on my own vomit from eating too much.
My relationships suffered too - I was too fat to move around so I couldn't play with my children. I was so embarrassed of my size that I didn't want to go out into the public and have anyone see me. so I isolated. And I couldn't be intimate with my husband anymore, as that to became too uncomfortable.
Sounds hopeless???? I thought so. But then comes OA. :) Someone mentioned OA to me, and although I knew 12 Step programs existed, I always thought they were for others - not me. But being desperate - and knowing nothing else worked - I thought why not give it a try. It didn't take long - a couple of weeks - to start feeling some hope. After all, others were saying it worked for them. So, I got a sponsor, who helped me find a food plan. She then led me to AA's Big Book and took me through the steps! On Nov. 3, 2004, I became abstinent - it was a miracle. Truly, HP had done for me what I could not do for myself.
Since then I have had two major relapses. One for almost a year and the other for about 6 months. And what I have learned from these relapses is that I must continue to work this program every single day. And that this is a spiritual program, and if I don't stay connected to my HP, and do service I will loose my recovery. Yep, I have to live in Steps 10, 11 and 12. And you know what. That seems like a small price to pay. I have never been happier. My whole attitude on life has changed. I now have a way to live life (the 12 Steps). I didn't know before. Now I do. Is my life perfect? No, BUT, I now have a HP, that I can rely on, I have recovered people I can go to for support and direction, when I'm having difficulties, and I don't have to use food to soothe my soul, I have God who does that for me. Oh, and by the way, I lost almost 200 lbs along the way.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do this service. You all will be in my prayers each night as we go through this process.
in order for us to get to know each other please send an introduction of yourself to:
- We will be doing one step a week for 12 weeks
- Along with the weekly assignment I will be sending you my experience, strength and hope regarding each step.
- We will be working from "Alcoholic Anonymous" Big Book, if you don't have a copy you can read from it online at http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/
- It is necessary that you make a commitment to complete the 12 steps
- It is important that you are abstinent, one day at a time,
during these 12 weeks while you are working these steps.
- Please feel free to email any questions you may have or clarifications you may need to me at email@example.com
The Twelve Steps