“We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable”
Surprisingly, it took me a bit to fully embrace this statement. Anyone on the street looking at me would instantly recognize me as having food issues. Unlike some other addictions, overeating (sans bulimia) shows quite readily on the body. In my case, the mid-section. But in my head, I compared my addiction to alcohol or drug problems. If I missed a meal, I did not go into the DTs. My life had not totally spun out of control. I still have a job and I manage my relationships fairly well.
But is any of that true?
Yes, I could restrict my calories for a day or two. But there was always the corresponding pendulum swing back the other way and I would over eat. Have I dieted? Yes. But can I stick to it on my own? No. Do I have cravings in the absence of sweet or salty foods? Yes. Do I have the power to change? History would say no.
My life does not appear to be unmanageable in the “rock bottom” sense of the phrase. But there has been a steady decline in the activities and social situations I was comfortable in. I did not play with my son the way many fathers do. And my health IS completely out of control. I have high blood pressure. I eat bad food. My cholesterol is high. I am at high risk for diabetes, heart attack and stroke. I am clinically depressed. I don’t sleep well.
So yeah, I manage to make it to work most days. But am I really managing my life? Am I in control?
Clearly, I am not. The casual observer is right. My myopic self-image is wrong.
My name is Ben and I am a compulsive overeater.