A Story of Recovery:

Bubble Trouble

In college, I lived in a dorm on campus, and my favorite hobby was to steal people’s food. Although I would never contemplate stealing anything else, I couldn’t help myself when it came to food.

One day I noticed that my neighbor’s door was open and I peeked into her room. My theft mode was on. I was instantly filled with the thrill of sneaking in and looking for food. I opened the door wider and saw the room was empty. Using what I call my “food radar,” my eyes were drawn to a glowing, magnificent, oversized sweet treat. My mouth was watering. I had a have it.

I sneaked in, grabbed it, and ran back to my room.

Without waiting any longer, I took a generous bite. Then I felt a strange tingling sensation on my tongue. What was this unusual taste? It surely didn’t feel right. I spat it all out in the bathroom sink, and what did I see? Bubbles? Foam? I realized that what appeared to be a brown sweet treat was a soap bar!

Shame and guilt hit me pretty hard. I rinsed my mouth, and then I heard complaints in the corridor. “Who stole my secret Santa soap bar,” the neighbor shouted in horror. Her friends rallied around her and they all started a witch hunt for the thief. Fear gripped me. What if they discovered it was me! I felt like I was leading a double life, that of a poster child in front of other people, and a bulimic theft when left on my own. My bulimia and my secret hobby would both be revealed!

Luckily I was not discovered. I promised I would never steal again, but it was not long (probably less than 2 hours) before I was back in my roommate’s room, fueled by my two biggest drugs: food and adrenaline. Mixed together, the adrenaline rush I got from stealing created an uncontrollable craving and a compulsion to act on it.

I can happily say that since I have been in FA and abstinent now for over four years, I have lost my desire to steal food. I can say in my head, “Thank you God that’s not my food,” whenever I see food that is not my own. I practiced this mantra so many times in the early days that it is now completely automatic.

Nothing tastes as good as abstinence, and nothing tastes as bad as soap, trust me!


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.