July 10, 2011
So I think I got to the part where I met my first sons dad P.
When I met him it was all just supposed to be casual. I could not see a future with him and just as the relationship started to fizzle I became pregnant. I wanted to have an abortion and confided in a friend. That so-called friend told P about my plans and he was very upset. I ended up continuing with the pregnancy and accepted fate without argument. I was 19 pregnant and scared. I stopped purging but did not stop binging and basically used my pregnancy as I go ahead to eat anything I wanted. Needless to say I gained a lot more weight than one should whilst pregnant. By the time I gave birth my clothes were a size 32. I do not know how much I weighed at this point.
This whole time I also continued to phone chat lines as I had found a free phone number in a magazine. I had moved in with P and set up home and he was never at home. I didn’t care as then I was left to lose myself in the fantasy of another person who I had not met and eating my way through the lonely evenings. It has also become apparent that P and I did not have a very healthy relationship. He was work shy and got sacked from many jobs. I was terrified but numbed myself with food and contacts I had made on the chat line. Never meeting them, I even was in contact with a man who had a pregnancy fetish. I feel so ashamed of that now, it sounds so seedy.
I gave birth to my son alone, I did not know where P was to this day. I also had to be bought home from the hospital by my dad, as P was nowhere to be found. There were no flowers in the hospital, no joy. I felt lonely and scared so I ate. He did of course show up at some point. He would often bring me back takeaway food when he went out as that seemed to lift my mood, and it was true. If he bought me food back I was happy if he didn’t then we would argue and fight. So this circle continued for ages, him going out, me not caring and phoning the chat line, miserable over my weight, back to purging again but I couldn’t manage it as well as I did before.
It came to a head when I took an overdose. I was put on antidepressants and life was more bearable. I was in contact with another guy and would spend every spare second on the phone. Then on my first Mother’s Day I went to take P’s mum home and left my phone and he found a text from this man. I had to come clean about the chat line. He disappeared till the Monday and returned and we never spoke of it again.
Life went on like this for about a year, I had discovered the Internet by then. I didn’t phone the chat line. I thought it was okay to use the Internet. It didn’t click in my head that they were both the same. I met a guy from the Internet. He was called N. Around this time P was having an affair with a girl called S. I didn’t care. I had N and I went and met him. I was shocked when I saw him, he was really not my type but by this point I was very very overweight and this guy seemed to like me. I would have done anything rather than be alone so P and me split and in moved N. I was extremely unhappy. N was a very sick person and insanely jealous and would follow me everywhere. It got to the point where I couldn’t stand to be near him yet at the same time I could not tell him to leave. In the end I asked him to leave in the middle of a family holiday. He was penniless and ill and I told him to get out.
This left me single and on my own. I didn’t manage though. I was on the chat line every single night, if not the chat line then the Internet. I remember being terrified in bed at night, I am not sure what of, ghosts I think or maybe just everything so I would take the phone to bed with me and phone the chat line till I fell asleep or hooked up with someone and gained sexual satisfaction. At this point I was starving or eating barely anything. The weight came off in record time too and the comments started ‘‘you look amazing” etc etc.
There were numerous men over the next two years. I even met them and would have sex with men I wasn’t even attracted too. I don’t even remember how many or what there names were. I don’t even remember being attracted to a single one. They would give me a lift home and I would give them sex in return. I was thinner and therefore felt happy. I think now I was searching for Mr Right. I began to feel cheap and dirty yet every night I was back on the chat line. I would meet men, have sex and then get home and phone it looking for the next one, cause the next one would be ”the one”.
I found religion and then began a huge immorality complex. I felt not even God would love me. I even flirted with married men at the church convinced that they would be the one, a nice Christian man is what I needed.
I then turned against religion, if I couldn’t be virginal enough what was the point, and had not god made my path as it was, therefore I hated god.
I was slimmer and again felt attractive, so why was it I still was not loved, I would still sleep with men and hoped that someone would love me. I could achieve the love drug for a bit but it always turned bad. I did not know what else I could do.
During this time P was back on the scene. He babysat for me once and I came home drunk. He then raped me. I was due to go on a family holiday the following day with my parents. I did not want to ruin the holiday so I kept quite. I also felt no one would believe me, why would they? I felt I deserved it.
I also tried to improve my life by going on courses to better myself but they all ended in me quitting. I did not feel I was worth anything therefore why bother trying to be a better person.
The sex with guys continued and I did things I hated doing, I even went to a brothel with a guy and engaged in sexual acts with prostitutes. This kept him happy and if I did what he wanted maybe he would love me and save me. Of course this never happened.
Eventually I met my current husband M. We quickly got serious and married within a year, here was my knight in shining armour. I was ashamed of my past and told him everything. His opinion of me matched my own and he was insanely jealous. He was also jealous of my previous relationship with P. So much so I found myself 11 weeks pregnant on my wedding day.
My binging returned and my pregnancy was much the same eating wise. M was not like P though and our relationship was unhealthy but better than with P and I kept telling myself this, it’s better you can’t expect miracles.
M would have violent outbursts though and I would think it was me. He would threaten to walk out and I would cry and beg him not to leave me and he never did. After the birth of my second son I again hit rock bottom and tried suicide, as did he. I was extremely overweight again and had no control. Around this time I found Overeaters Anonymous on the Internet but the word god freaked me out and I didn’t bother reading anything else.
I decided that if I was unhappy it must be my location so I moved away on my own with two children. I thought I was happy on my own, I managed to starve again and lost a little weight. Eventually M followed me but hated where we lived so we moved to the other side of London and my binging hit an all-time high. The weight piled on and on and on and I was not feeding my sex and love addiction at all. I would order pizza, fried chicken, curry, Chinese. There were also shops that sold broken chocolate in big huge bags for £1 and I would eat one of those bags every day. I would eat multipacks of crisps 24 bags at a time. I hardly ever cooked and it would be takeaway every single night for dinner. Sometimes I purged sometimes I didn’t. I would go to bed feeling fat, huge and disgusting. I would take my children to school and be tired when I got back and go back to bed, then wake up and go to the shops, the cycle continued. It was one of the unhappiest times of my entire life and my already huge clothes were too tight. I then saw a picture taken of me at a children’s party and I did not even know it was me. I was HUGE. I hadn’t looked in the mirror other than my face for over a year. I was shocked it was me.
This spiraled me into a worse depression and I embarked on a cabbage soup diet which is recommend to patients who need heart surgery and need to lose weight rapidly. You are supposed to do it for 1 week at a time, I did it for 2 months and lost weight. I had renewed confidence again but the day came when my willpower failed me and I ended up having a day of binging. I needed to lose so much weight it was overwhelming and my will power started failing me each and everyday. I would wake up and decide to do the soup diet even though the actual soup was making me gag.
I had lost a little bit of weight but not enough. I went to the doctors who sent me to the bariatric surgeon. I was going to have extreme surgery.
I remember always wearing black and one day thought enough is enough so bought all these colourful clothes, I tried them on and cried and binned them all. I could not be seen dead in them.
I knew that I couldn’t try suicide as I had even failed at that and I reasoned with myself that if I were I would have to make sure that I did it properly.
I remembered OA and thought what do I have to lose but I knew I had to act quick as I knew that suicide was my main option. I really didn’t have the guts though, I mainly just wanted not to wake up anymore.
I walked into my first meeting and was warmly greeted. It all seemed so very strange for me and I did not understand ANY of it. I remember though that they said try 6 meetings so I thought well just give it 6 meetings as what do I have to lose so I did. By my 6th meeting I had decided that OA defiantly was not for me, all this talk of a higher power. I hated everything about it. I found recognition with people but I also thought everyone was insane. Then it was my 6th meeting. I had already decided that it was my last. There was a man sharing who must have been 24 stone (336lbs) and he said he had been in OA for 15 years. I thought, what could he possibly have to say to me that would be of any use, he is still overweight so what is the point. But I was there and so I listened.
His share pretty much laid the foundation for my recovery from compulsive overeating. If I ever see him again I will tell him how my higher power sent him to share and how much he touched my heart. I related to everything he had said. He shared how he used to be 64 stone (896lbs) my judgementalness was rife and I was astounded. I wanted his recovery and decided at that meeting that I would do what ever I was told.
So with vigour I threw myself into recovery but didn’t expect that my sex and love addiction would become rife. I suppose in hindsight it had to happen for me to become well in all areas. I had met a guy at a meeting and he was everything I wanted in a man, I was so sick then and pursued him, I knew he went to another meeting held next door that happened before Overeaters Anonymous and enquired from other people what it was. I soon found out it was Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and I knew then how I could manipulate the situation to my own advantage. I started attending those meetings. In a way it amuses me how I found those meetings, I was pursuing a guy there but when I listened to the literature and shares knew that I also belonged there.
My higher power took me away from London. My husband had a job in the north so we moved as a family. The SLAA meeting and OA meeting were all woman, there was not one man in sight. I still didn’t have a sponsor and at my first SLAA meeting I mentioned to a lady that I attended another fellowship and she boldly asked if it was OA. I told her yes and she explained how she was in OA also. This lady has been my sponsor for two years now and although everything in my life is not perfect one day at a time I do not binge, I do not starve, I do not purge. I eat 3 well-balanced meals everyday and am currently doing my step 10. I have had spiritual, emotional and physical recovery and also have sponsees. People liked what I had and actually asked me to sponsor them.
I have the best friends I have ever had in my life, people who understand me and like me for me. I don’t pretend anymore and people like me any way but it makes for a better friendship, as I can be myself.
I have a higher power in my life who I love and trust and although still not religious I do not hate religion anymore.
Rome wasn’t built in a day but one day at a time my life gets better and better. I smile all the time and mean it and tomorrow is my last day of college. I have a job working in a school with children something I NEVER thought I would do and going into work each day is a complete pleasure.
I am not bitter over a single thing, everything in my life happened for a reason.
Physically I am still overweight but recently celebrated 100lb’s worth of physical recovery but it is not all about that.
My mum says I have my sparkle back and I feel it too. I can run upstairs keep up with others and I do not feel lethargic and tired all the time.
I am also a much better mother and do things with my children. Since I am emotionally available and not obsessing about men all the time I am able to be a proper mother and able to bring them up in a healthy way.
They have a happy and healthy mum because of the 12 steps which I have to work on a daily basis.
People are shocked when I tell them that my recovery comes before everything in my life including my children. Without my recovery though they would have a very sick mother who probably would not even notice them so why is me putting my recovery first selfish?
As I said not everything in my life is perfect but today I accept life on life’s terms. Currently I am receiving support from an agency who helps women who suffer from domestic violence. This may seem awful but the alternative is doing nothing about it. I masked it all with food and love and sex. In earlier recovery I was not able to deal with this aspect of my life but today I can if I take baby steps.
I am very hopeful of my future and will continue to blog about my recovery, fellowships and anything that I can think of concerning those.
If you are reading this thank-you for taking the time to share my miracle which is growing every day. I hope I can spread the message through this blog and also use it as a writing tool for my own recovery.