My Run-In With Overeaters Anonymous
By Lisa

I cannot believe I found your site....and what relief I feel at this moment.

I've been involved in another 12 Step group, one which deals with compulsive overeating (Overeaters Anonymous -- OA), and I have been desparately trying to "divorce" myself from the group for the past 5 months when I had my second daughter.

I had been "abstinent" from eating compulsively for 13 months when I found out I was pregnant. My first child was born weighing 15.7 ounces when I was 23 weeks pregnant. She spent 4 months in an NICU. (I am happy to say that she is 3 years old and very healthy). I almost died from severe preeclampsia. Now I was pregnant again -- a high risk pregnancy.

At the beginning of my second trimester I broke my "abstinence" and it had a snowball effect. After 2 months of struggling, my sponsor FIRED me and left a message on my voice mail saying, "I hope you aren't going to kill that baby by eating". Needless to say I was devastated.

Then there was the head honcho -- regardless of what anonymity states there is always a head honcho. She has 22 years of "abstinence" and goes to 3 ot 4 meetings a week and is the chairperson of the area's Intergroup. Basically it's her way or the highway. When I found a new sponsor the head honcho tried to get involved in what and how I was eating. You see, they believe that unless you follow a food plan that your sponsor gave you, you are still doing it your own way and you are sure to fail. Between the head honcho and the new sponsor, they wanted to cut my caloric intake by 700 calories a day and have me eat only 3 times a day with nothing in between. My OB said the food plan was not safe -- the HH and new sponsor said that the OB wasn't a compulsive overeater and didn't know what he was talking about. Meanwhile I'm getting the shakes if I go more than 3 1/2 hours without food.

So, I had a very healthy baby girl in March. She's beautiful and I didn't kill her by eating a donut.

I continued to go to meetings, but after completing a 4th and 5th step I felt like I was a totally worthless human being. That God was in control, not me and that this character assasination would continue in Step 10 because there was no way I could ever have a day where I didn't do anything wrong.

This is when I had serious doubts about the 12 step program. The head honcho actually called me one day and said she had no idea what it was going to take for me to hit my bottom. That perhaps my husband would throw me out on the street without my kids or better yet, leave me here with the kids. HUH? I was devastated and baffeled that this human being could say she was living her life based on the 12 Steps.

Then there was the best friend I made in OA. I even named my daughter after her. When I wasn't going to meetings they all told her I was a monster, a drunk, a loser, that I'd take her down with me, etc... the list really does go on. She was so afraid that she was going to eat compulsively that she ended our friendship but not before she told many people some of the most intimate details of my life that I shared with her over the years -- in confidence. And the Big Book tells me I should PRAY for her?

So, these people have me convinced that there is NO other solution. There is no way I can ever stop eating compulsively without OA. And I am so confused, devastated, depressed.

I've thought of suicide so many times in the past month believing that I am doomed to die a "food-a-holic" death.

I feel like I've been in a cult and need to be deprogrammed. I don't even know where to look for help. My husband was the one who suggested that I check the web. When I asked him "what the heck would I put in a search engine?" he said, "Ex 12 Steppers". And I found your site and for the first time in a year I am seeing a glimmer of hope that perhaps I am NOT a defective human being. I know I have a clear vision of the fact that I've been asking God for help, turning my will over and sitting passively back as my life whizzes by.

I am sorry this is so long but I feel so relieved to get this off my chest. See, it just doesn't happen in AA, it happens in OA - except you are dealing with a majority of women who are all power hungry in my own humble opinion.

Thanks for giving me a stepping stone to freedom and FINALLY some hope.

Lisa


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