Stories of Recovery

These stories were originally published in the connection, FA's monthly magazine written by food addicts, for food addicts. Each post shares a different author's perspective. Visit this page often to read more experience, strength, and hope about recovery in FA. To get the newest issue of connection Magazine sent directly to your mailbox or inbox, click here to subscribe to the connection.

Satisfied Customer 

At my last annual physical, I told my doctor that he should try reverse psychology, suggesting that instead of telling me to lose 25 pounds, he should tell me to gain 10. He was not amused. Frankly, I had gotten to the point in my life where I could not seem to lose even 5 pounds. I was pre-diabetic with cholesterol over 300 and arthritis in my knee, shoulder, and fingers. I had been in another twelve-step program for food fourteen years earlier, and I had gotten down to 214 pounds (97 kilos), but eventually I decided I could do it on my own and left that fellowship. So there I was, 57 years young and 5 foot 11 inches tall, when I finally crossed that “line-in-the-sand” with my weight and reached 280 pounds (127 kilos). I was shocked; I’d never been above 250 (113 kilos)! So, right away, I started eating more “sensibly” and getting in some light exercise. Ten days later, to my horror, the scale said 293 (133 kilos). At that point, I refused to get on the scale, so I have no idea how much bigger I got. Yet, this drove me back to the other food program where... Continue Reading



Recovery by Degrees 

Two years before I came to Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA) I had taught myself to quilt. Prior to FA quilting was probably the only activity I did without eating. I didn’t want messy hands when working on my projects, but I took plenty of breaks, meaning trips to the kitchen for food. I’ve been a professional quilter since 2012. Customers piece quilt tops together and then pay me to finish them by putting together all the layers with decorative stitches on my industrial machine. I wanted to have this kind of business soon after I started quilting. Many years later abstinence made it possible. I have piles of quilt tops I’ve made but, because quilting for others is my job now, I get very little time to finish my own projects. I recently had a chance to do one of my own, so I chose a very cool, modern look. I couldn’t decide on the designs to stitch but got started, sure that some inspiration would come, as is my method with challenging customer projects. It was not working for my own, however. I’d had high expectations from the start: The quilt would be amazing, and it would be... Continue Reading



Mess Hall Cellblock

When I grew up, everything looked great from the outside. We lived in a beautiful dutch-colonial brick home on five acres. My mother was a master organic gardener. There was an acre for cut flowers, a huge organic garden, and fruit trees. We raised honeybees, and there were horses, a dog, a cat, and some chickens. The front yard was a beautifully manicured acre with a horseshoe driveway. There was a summer house that was covered in trumpet vines, and a pond. The windows were all washed and sparkled in the spring and summer. My parents were very attractive, and they drummed into us the importance of being good citizens. My family was large: my parents, two sets of twins (I am a twin) and 10 siblings. I have two brothers and seven sisters. My parents did not drink alcohol, but both grandfathers were alcoholics, and my parents said they... Continue Reading



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... Continue Reading



No Substitute for God

A recent mental binge, fueled by self-centered fear, started with a text from my 21-year-old sister: She would be substitute teaching at the school where I teach. My first thought was, Thank you God she has an opportunity to earn additional income today! But, that thought was immediately followed by, What if something goes wrong? The fear flurries began, and I found myself knee-deep in a fearmageddon. My school works with a population of students I have sometimes found challenging, and I feared she would be physically or emotionally harmed by one or more students, that she would be unable to defend herself, and that I would need to come to her aid in a way that would jeopardize my job. My sister stopped by my classroom that morning before I started teaching, and I gave her a pep talk that she didn’t ask for but I knew she needed:... Continue Reading