I’m Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.
For over a week now, I’ve been stuck on a particular question in my 12 and 12 workbook. It’s question #5 on Step 2, “How have I not acted sanely when….” It’s a good question, one that is supposed to make me think honestly about my life and my food habits. I’ve had a hard time with it, because I don’t think I have been in some of these particular situations. Sure, I’ve yelled at my kids, but I don’t think I’ve just yelled at their need for attention. I can’t think of a time I have been possessive of my husband. I’ve never limited my social life because of my eating—I’ve just never been much of a social butterfly anyway, preferring small gatherings in the homes of friends. My eating habits never affected that. And honestly, my eating has never driven me to draw the drapes, disconnect the phone, and hide in the house. So I really don’t know what to say about this particular part of the book.
Only one part, the part about being more comfortable with food than with people, really seemed to apply to me. I’ve always been shy. It takes me a while to warm up to people and feel comfortable enough to talk (though once I start talking, it’s hard to get me to stop. Just ask anyone who attends weekly OA meetings with me!!) But food—now that is a different matter. I’ve never met a food that made me feel shy. Sure, there a few that I don’t like (tomatoes come to mind here—ick!!) but I’ve never felt shy around food. Just the idea that I would be more comfortable with food than people is insane.
I can think of other times when I have acted insanely about food. The most recent would be this past Sunday. It was Easter, and boy had there been lots to eat. The men at church made a wonderful breakfast for everyone and then when we got home from the service the smell of my baking ham and cheesy potatoes filled the house. I was good, though. I ate enough to satisfy me but not so much that I was stuffed. When it was dinner time, I wasn’t really hungry so I just had a protein shake. But then my husband and kids went to bed. Things have been, well, tense with me and my husband lately, ever since the blow up about needing him to go to that nutrition class with me. That night, he went to bed early and I was not in any way tired. Yet I felt horrible about being alone. I don’t know. I guess I just wanted to spend some time with him. All I could think about after he went to bed was the leftover ham and cheesecake in the fridge. Food can’t really talk, I know that. Yet it seemed like they were calling to me. I even went into the kitchen and looked at them. I wanted so badly to eat something but I was scared. I was scared that I would start eating and not stop until every last bit was gone.
I ended up with a protein bar and a glass of ice water. That kept me from feeling hungry and kept me from overeating. It didn’t hurt that my 3-year-old came down stairs after a nightmare, just wanting to cuddle with his Mommy.