‘We admitted we were powerless over [food], that our lives had become unmanageable!’
In Step One, we are asked to admit, but what are we really admitting? For so long I lived a lie and pretended that I was fine, that everything was ok. When it was not! Who was I lying to? When I was in binge mode, I was sneaking and sliding plates under the coach or under sheets. Now that I’ve been getting well and on a clean food path for almost three years, am I being honest about who I am or what I have? People ask me, did you ever tell your children that you have hypoglycemia? Or that you have ‘an eating disorder?’ What do we have to admit to? That we are powerless? That we need help? “Lack of power, that was our dilemma!” (Pg. 45 AA Big Book) That our lives were a mess and our best thinking got us where we are? In the song, Baby Steps on the ‘new’ album, The God of Second Chances, the refrain breaks down the first three steps. The lyrics are meant to highlight each of the first three steps.
Step one: ‘Admit it, I need you’.
Step two:’Believe, I will trust You’.
Step three:’Turn, I’ll come to You!’.
I’ve been thinking about the full measure of ‘We admitted. . . ‘ and I have a few thoughts. It all boils down to honesty! Recently, while visiting my children, they of course, had ‘noticed’ at Thanks Giving, that I weigh my food at this point. There are certain things I must do daily that I can not put on pause while visiting my kids. I’m not normal and I’m tired of hiding it within my home. One of my girls commented on my new lifestyle. The gist of what I heard her say was, “Mom, when you come to visit, you are spending a lot of time with OA.” She asked me, don’t you think you are spending too much time in OA? Is it a new compulsion; instead of the food, you are focused on OA? Additionally, another family member said, “Who else obnoxiously carries a scale with them when they travel?” I was left wondering, ‘Why is that obnoxious?’ ‘Why would they make travels scales if others weren’t using them?’
My reaction was to laugh it off, but inside, I was not laughing. What I wanted to say was, ‘ I have an eating disorder; Didn’t you get the memo? There are certain things I have to do. If I had Cancer, I would have a different set of requirements. If I had renal failure, there would be another set of treatments.’ I didn’t say any of this. Would they believe me? Cancer and my eating disorder, are both killers? I was on a fast track to heart disease and diabetes at least! Everything appeared normal until I stepped up my game; now I’m required to make four phone calls a day (I did try to sneak off like superman and find a phone booth but there were none in the neighborhood!) and weigh and measure everything. I have felt like I was cliff-walking through life lately and as my last two binges (the last scene of the crime) were at my daughters’ house, I was paying attention to taking care of myself and my food so that I would not have a personal catastrophe; a binge.
So what am I admitting in step one? That I’m not like other people? (Pg. 30 and 31 AA BB) That I’m not normal when it comes to food? Yes! I’m not happy that I am not normal when it comes to food but I’m saying it, “Uncle!”
As I grow in acceptance and surrender to the truth, I can admit that I have an eating disorder, that I am lactose intolerant, that I have hypoglycemia (recently diagnosed) and need to eat small meals and can’t wait to eat breakfast until 1:00PM; a peace about my truth is settling in. I don’t want to hide it anymore. I admit it. If I can finally be honest with me, then maybe I can finely be honest with you and all those around me and live my truth.
So just what am I admitting? The problem of food, apart from the allergy of my body, is a symptom. The real problem is the hole in my soul. That I need God. I remember the morning after I was laid off from work a few years ago, I was visiting my children. I didn’t want them to know I was laid off because I didn’t want them to worry. I awoke very early, at four AM. I prayed and cried (no, I wept!) to God. Then, I determined to meditate and give God a chance to respond to my prayer. I sat quietly. I remember asking God, ‘What would you say to me?’ In my heart, I heard only three words. “YOU ARE MINE”. Music started rolling around in my head.