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Insane in the Membrane…

I wasn’t keen on the idea that I was ‘insane’ when I read the 2nd step of the OA program…

Step 2:  “Came to believe a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

I told the OA’s that I wasn’t insane…I just had an eating problem!  They smiled and nodded and told me to just keep coming back.  One of them even told me that with time I would become more honest with myself about food…and that really pissed me off!

Upset, I stormed into my home and shouted, “Honest about food?  Whenever have I lied?”  I pet my cats, took off my coat, and sunk into my thoughts about how at the next meeting I would really give it to her.  How dare she say I’d become more honest with myself, implying that I hadn’t been honest with myself in the first place?  I huffed and huffed, and next thing I know I was standing in front of a bag of yummies with my hand reaching inside for one.

I stopped and stared at it, for neither had I intended to eat anything nor was I hungry.  In fact, I wasn’t certain when, how, or why I had pulled this out of the pantry and stuck my hand inside.  It was as if I had done those actions while in a fog of rage at that OA woman.

Well, to prove that she wasn’t right and I was completely sane I withdrew my hand and put that bag of yummies right back into the pantry.  And I walked away.  And I sat on my couch and stared out the window, completely obsessed over whether or not eating that one yummie was insane or not.  After several minutes of debating, I decided that eating that yummie was not insane because I wanted to eat it and besides I was going to the gym later so I could tack on an extra 5 minutes of cardio to burn off those extra calories.  I stood up and proudly walked over to the pantry and I ate that yummie.  I ate ONE yummie.  And then I put them back into the pantry, said “No more of you today,” and I walked away.

Thirty minutes later I was back at the pantry, staring at the bag of yummies.  After I ate that one yummie, something happened inside of me that I could not define.  It was as if a demon had birthed itself right in the core of my essence – a hungry demon at that – and it wanted more of the sugary substance.  I felt like a compulsion had taken over my body and I was beginning to lose the battle of reason…because something kept telling me, “Only one more won’t hurt you.”

Now, I could very well continue this story and say whether or not I did, in fact, mow down that other yummie.  But, that is not the point of this story.  See, everything that I did during that short period of time in relation to food was what made me insane.  My insanity has to do with how I used food for comfort, my obsessive thoughts over eating it or not eating it, the concept that I would ‘tack on extra time at the gym’, and then returning to the food even after I intended to be done with it.  All of that was insanity!

Later that afternoon, the OA woman from the meeting called me, asking how I was doing.

I said, “Oh, I feel pretty much insane.”

She didn’t respond and the silence between us felt terribly uncomfortable.  Finally, and in one of the kindest voices I’d ever heard, she asked, “Did something happen?”

Tears welled in my eyes…what was I to tell her?  I couldn’t possibly admit the war that had raged inside of me, and all over a stupid little yummie!  I took a deep breath and, right as I was about to tell her a lie, she said, “You know what, don’t worry about it.  Just keep coming back.  You’ll figure out if you are a food addict or not on your own.  The food will show you, because if you’re like me, it’ll make you crazy!”

And with that, she said goodbye and hung up.  Stunned by her words, I stood with the phone to my ear for several seconds after she had hung up, listening to the dial tone.

The next day I went to an OA meeting and said, “My name is Lauren L and I am a food addict.”

Thanks for reading my post!!  I love all of you – my brothers and sisters in the program!  See you at the next meeting!   

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