A Story of Recovery:

Back to School?

I am a food addict. I am amazed at the range of things that this FA program can help me with. I came to program because I hated my life. Every day I binged and purged. The only relief I had was short-lived. There were times when a combination of speed, booze, boys or just being passed out would end the dreadful, monotonous cycle…but not for long. Inevitably, I would end up back in my familiar rut, bingeing on my familiar foods and purging in whatever toilet I could find. I was too tired to blame anyone anymore or try to understand it. I just did it. I couldn’t work, have friends, have hobbies or develop reasons to live. I was alive merely because I was repeatedly unsuccessful at suicide.
Upon entry to FA I was told that recovery from food addiction was possible. It wasn’t a moral issue; rather, it was a matter of working all my tools every day and watching the miracles pile up. My disease fought me tooth and nail, but it’s really working. Under the loving guidance of an extremely dedicated sponsor, I got abstinent and have been abstinent for about six and a half years. But there’s more.

I have been always hopeful about returning to school. About 20 years ago, I graduated with a BS in Biology, but then my food addiction’s stranglehold got me. I was reduced to eating out of dumpsters, homelessness, and was completely unemployable at the most basic of jobs.

Slowly and steadily, with my sponsor’s gentle and sure guidance, I have been researching different programs and funding options. Yesterday, I went to my graduate school interview. I was dressed becomingly and professionally. An FA fellow had given me an extra pair of snazzy pants that I could use and my sponsor helped me find a beautiful magenta sweater. And, oh yeah, my clothes fit because I am always the same size in FA.

At the interview, I was prepared mentally as well. I had talked about the interview on my FA outreach calls which gave me the motivation to research practice interview questions and write essays. (My fear, doubt and insecurity had tried to keep from taking the actions which would allow me to show up with grace, competence and confidence.)

On the day of the interview, I had a bit of a meltdown. I wasn’t sure if I had weighed my lunch properly. But I knew what to do. FA has taught me to surrender the food. I contacted my sponsor. She helped me with my food and helped me to see this interview as a fun experience rather than a scary dragon to slay. I relaxed and felt so loved.

The interview was great. It reminded me a lot of an FA meeting. There were a lot of people and the speaking was timed. I made eye contact, smiled and remembered names. These are all FA skills. I had a great time, stayed abstinent, and emerged with a deeper connection to God, my sponsor and my fellows. Admission to graduate school would just be a bonus!


This story was originally published in the connection Magazine. Subscribe to the connection Magazine for more stories of recovery. Or submit your own story of recovery.