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I received an excellent gift last night and I wanted to share a little bit of it with all of you – my brothers and sisters in recovery.  And no, my gift was not the manikin dressed for skiing in the above picture.  That was used simply as a rouse to get you reading!  Well, and to show you how some Tampa residents don’t play ‘round when it comes to decorating they downtown…Booyah!

So, last night my sponsor met with me over at Starbucks and we talked for about 2 full hours.  I don’t have the words to describe the feelings that I experienced – the feelings that come from an intimate communion of two people who seek recovery.  Perhaps the experience is so intense that words just can’t fully capture the spirituality of the sponsor-sponsee relationship.

This morning’s meeting at Rainbow Recovery Club had several great topics being discussed.  One of them was how the word ‘Overeater’ brings out shame and embarrassment for some people.  I was one of those people until last night.  My sponsor completely normalized me as a member of OA.  She did this right in the middle of my talking, right when my cheeks went flush and I had begun to stutter, muttering out various parts of my powerlessness inventory to her.  In fact, it was right when I said, “I would get up in the middle of the night and eat a bunch of sugary foods.”

Oh, God!  I was embarrassed admitting that to her.  I suddenly wanted to die right there, in front of my Higher Power and my skinny, sugar-free vanilla, light ice, no water, iced coffee.  Alas, thank the rooms of OA and my Higher Power that I didn’t die, for if I had, then I wouldn’t have experienced the miracle that came next.  I clutched my forehead and shuttered.  “Well,” I began, wanting desperately to retract my admission of eating in the middle of the night.  But, I couldn’t.  It was too late.  She had heard me say it.  And I was stuck (being not-dead and all), and so I dramatically said, “I know that’s weird.  I’ve never told anyone before.  It’s crazy, huh?”

And there sat my sponsor, staring at me with those tranquil ocean eyes of hers, and she said, “No.  I did that, too.”

WHAT??  I was shocked.  My chin dropped open.

“Yeah,” she said, as if she were telling me that the sky was blue, or that grass was green, or that clichés are terrible to use when writing a blog post.  “That’s very common for people who are compulsive overeaters.”

Next thing I know, instead of feeling humiliation for divulging my behaviors that derived from my food allergy, I felt humility.  A wave of peace and belonging overcame me.  No longer was I alone – isolated from guilt and horror from my compulsive eating.  Instead, I found that I was sitting with my kin.  We needed no blood relation, no genes to have that familiarity.  We were cut from the very same fabric.  I never again have to feel alone.

If you are a newcomer, it is strongly suggested to get a sponsor.  Find someone in the rooms who can walk you through the steps of recovery.  It is an experience like no other one.

And thanks for reading my post!  Keep coming back!

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1 Comment

  1. Anne

     /  December 27, 2011

    Hi Lauren,

    I DEFINITELY have gotten up in the middle of the night to eat. It was usually something I’d gone to bed thinking about! But thanks to you and all of the other OA members in our community, I haven’t done that in over 24 days 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I can’t wait to get a sponsor.


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