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Cytotec (Misoprostol)

How does one tell in a few pages the story of fifteen and a half years in Overeaters Anonymous? How can I describe in a limited number of words what seven years of abstinence means coming after eight years of alternating between defiance, despair and submission to the program? How do I tell you of the gratitude in my heart for the miracles of abundance, joy, health, strength and power in my life today? Mine was a life lived in insecurity, self-doubt, chronic illness, addiction and obesity.
When people look at me today, they see a tall, attractive, slender woman. There seems to be a quality about me that many call “beautiful.” It is not my outward appearance, but rather something from within that comes from living the twelve steps to the best of my ability. I could not have imagined such a gift. When I daydreamed or “prayed,” it was to be thin magically and to have Prince Charming find me. I prayed for the money to pay my bills, take a trip, buy a new car and so on. Who would have thought to pray for a fullness from within that can make a spastic colon behave normally, control the chronic leg cramps and backaches and palpitations, and take away the desire for refined sugar and flour? That would be asking for miracles.
All I wanted was a nice house, a good school for my children, two cars in the garage and that I should look good on Saturday night. By praying for specific things, I was limiting the good in my life and expanding and giving power to negativity. It took many years to understand this; the gift of “life while living” came hard for me.
For years I tried frantically to prove that after I got thin I could eat anything I wanted anytime I wanted it. Always, I regained the lost weight, plus a few pounds, never being able to wear the same clothes from one season to another, always on a diet, whether eating or starving. I have known the pain and humiliation of not being able to participate in sports and of being laughed at by the other kids as well as by teachers, store clerks, strangers and even friends.
Though my recovery is not unique in Overeaters Anonymous, it may help the reader’s understanding to know the specific ills from which I have recovered. To the best of my recollection, they are: food obsession, the weight yo-yo syndrome, the scale running my life, my size being my self-worth, living on fifteen pills a day (amphetamines, diuretics, laxatives), smoking three packs of cigarettes a day, drinking ten to fifteen cans of diet soda a day, drinking fifteen mugs of coffee a day, chewing three packs of sugarless gum a day, chronic leg cramps, chronic lower backaches, chronic need for excessive sleep, spastic colon.
These symptoms were a way of life for me. I believed and trusted them. They kept me guilty and failing and never achieving the good within me. While I can say that I have experienced moments of great sensual pleasure, the deep fear within me always brought me crashing to new lows. It was a price I expected to pay for grabbing and snatching at material things.
My race for possessions and sensual gratification gave me a good deal of fun and enjoyment, which is recorded with love in my memory. But the price I had to pay in self-hate, rage at my children and poor health (I never really felt well unless I was using a substance or making love) was too high.
And one day it stopped. I don’t know when or how it stopped. It happened in stages, inch by inch, pound by pound. One day, after two and a half years of rigid abstinence and fear of food, I woke up and understood that I no longer had to fear sugar and flour. I know neither the time nor the process by which these dependencies were removed. I know only that when I stopped trying to control the timetable for the removal of my addictions, they were removed.
Today I celebrate seven years of abstinence, accumulated, by the grace of God, one day at a time. What does that mean to me? I have come to understand that we in OA cannot have the perfect, absolute abstinence that is common to AAs. Abstinence must be a different thing for each of us. Mine is always changing and growing, just as I change and grow to meet the world and God.
What worked for me in the beginning of my OA years is no longer valid. I had to learn that strict adherence to any food plan was madness for me if I hoped to thrive in the mainstream of life.
Today I am so filled with love and gratitude for my understanding of abstinence that I find it difficult to describe. I believe abstinence can be anything we want it to be, so long as we are honest with ourselves.
I have come to know my body inside and out, better than any doctor could know it. I have not been ill in seven years except for one brief bout with flu and a minor cold. Of course, I still go for medical checkups and I do not discount the value of medical science.
Today I am maintaining a 60-pound weight loss in the program. The twelve steps are a way of life for me, reaching into every aspect of my affairs. One year ago, my husband came to the program after fighting it for nine years. He has just completed his first year of abstinence and a 60-pound weight loss. My daughter is now in OA and actively participating in our teen program. It is a miracle in our lives and we are grateful for the abundance that has been given us.
Today I know that I have an addictive personality and that from time to time my illness will flare up. That doesn’t mean I am a failure. It means I can be restored to sanity any time I choose the power. While food is no longer a problem and many outer manifestations have been removed, the illness still creeps up in emotional storms and maladjustments. That is the nature of life, and I grow from working through each experience.
There are many things that are “right” with me today, starting with the Higher Power that is at work in my life. It is a Power that is within me, the highest self I can be, whom I choose to call God. God in my life is expressed through many channels, and I have a receiver that is turned on, thanks to the program. Some of the channels through which I receive God are music, poetry, literature, art, dance, people, nature, forces for good in the universe and love. Love is surely an expression of a Higher Power in my life. Today I can give and receive love—and know that, by the grace of God, I am a beautiful woman inside and out.

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