My name is Charlie, and I'm a compulsive overeater.
I'm coming up on 60 days of abstinence in Overeaters Anonymous following the H.O.W. structure, and I've been feeling a lot of gratitude. Today I feel real freedom: freedom from compulsive thinking and behavior related to food and eating; freedom from the insanity of weight gains and losses and gains and losses; freedom from compulsively weighing myself; freedom from worrying about my body, my weight, my size, my appearance. Even freedom from fear about the future. For the first time I can remember, I know exactly what to do next in this program. I used to flounder around, wondering what that "next right step" was. I used to avoid calling people in the Program. I would read Program literature, but I was not willing to really do any stepwork. I had a couple of sponsors, but my relationships with them were halfhearted. I never had much direction, and I never asked for much.
Today I know what to do next. Have I done my reading/writing assignment today? Have I talked with three other OA members? Have I planned my food for tomorrow? Do I have the right food in the house? Have I packed my food for lunch tomorrow or made other arrangements? Have I talked to my sponsor? There's no guesswork.
I know to some this will sound crazy. I know this level of structure is not for everyone. But for me, for today, it's working. I'm so grateful.