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Nexium (Esomeprazole)

My story is a simple one. As I listen in meetings I find how much alike I am to others. This comes as a surprise because for many years I felt I was different.
My first memory is of being given food to make me feel better, and I was quite happy to get it. I taught myself to cook at an early age because my mother worked fulltime and it was the only way I could get what I wanted. I badgered my parents when they wouldn’t supply me, and I stole food whenever I thought I could get away with it. I had to work hard to maintain my compulsive overeating.
Because I was obese, I was teased as a child and I withdrew from people. As an only child, I found it relatively easy to become a recluse. I lived in a world of my own in which imaginary friends and television were my only companions.
In the real world I was a battered child. My parents both worked and they had turned my care over to a maid. This woman would beat me at unpredictable times. I never told my parents because I felt that I deserved to be punished. My parents were having trouble at the time and they often had long, bitter arguments. In my child’s mind I believed these problems were my fault, so I took the beatings by the maid as a kind of penitence for all the trouble I thought I was causing.
My parents thought my bruises were the result of normal childhood accidents. When they discovered the truth, they fired the maid. But three years of physical abuse left quite an impression on me.
My self-concepts were seriously out of line. I remember when I was nine years old I went to see a great uncle whom I had never met. When he saw me, he picked me up and threw me into the air. I thought he was either God or Superman. I couldn’t believe that anyone could do that. I thought I was so large, I was immovable. Like my great uncle, Overeaters Anonymous has lifted me up when I thought I was beyond help.
When I was thirteen, my parents decided it wasn’t baby fat anymore and took me to a doctor for a diet. Having gotten into trouble at school, I was also taken to a psychiatrist. I lost 30 pounds on the doctor’s diet by simply not eating. However, I soon became ill and I had to eat in order to get well. I gained all the weight back — and more. I didn’t think much of the diet, but I loved the cure.
The psychiatrist was just about as successful. I sat for six years in silence in her office. I trusted no one, yet I wanted desperately for her to help me. She kept telling my parents that since I refused to talk I didn’t have to go back, but I continued to return. I didn’t have anyplace else to go.
When I was fifteen my father, whom I worshipped, had a nervous breakdown. He had entered the hospital a relatively young man of forty and came out three months later with gray hair, walking with a cane and looking like a man twenty years older. I grieved for him. For an entire summer I stayed in the house, going from my bedroom to the kitchen. The only time I went out was to visit the psychiatrist. My weight shot up dramatically.
The psychiatrist suggested that I would be better off somewhere else, so I went to live with my aunt and uncle. I wanted to change, but I didn’t know how. My way was to go on a diet. I didn’t know how much I weighed because I refused to get on a scale. After dieting for some time, I did weigh myself and found the scale registering 212. I lost another 55 pounds, but I made no other change in myself so the weight didn’t stay off.
The remainder of my high school years were filled with depression and self-imposed loneliness. I learned to live one day at a time in a negative sense. I dragged myself through each day living only for the time I could eat. During this period I came very close to committing suicide.
When I went to college, I tried to get out and be with people. I went to a girls’ school and found that everybody was dieting. I made friends by going on whatever diet the other girls happened to be on. Eventually, I even began dating.
I have learned since coming to OA that whatever we turn to in times of trouble is our higher power. I turned to food and when food didn’t help, I turned to diets. If food wouldn’t make things better, then being thin would. In college I began to diet compulsively. My weight went down, but it never stayed down for long. I wanted desperately to be like everybody else but I felt that I was so different it was impossible. I thought if I were married, I would be normal. I wanted people to do for me what I could not do for myself.
In my senior year in college, I was faced with the prospect of going out on my own. I met a man who was willing to marry me and within a year of that marriage I had gone up over 200 pounds and I had become a battered wife. I accepted this as a fate I deserved.
My husband hated my obesity, and I hated myself. I was not a pleasant person to be with. I tried dieting with and without pills. Nothing worked. Once, in pastoral counseling, I lost 75 pounds. But the counseling ended, and the diet wore out. Within six months I had regained all the weight.
I joined a commercial diet club and became a compulsive weight watcher. If the club didn’t have an opinion on a topic, I didn’t either. I lost the weight again over a period of two years. Finally I left because I felt there had to be more to life than weighing in every week.
My weight began to climb again. I knew I needed help but everything had failed. I had read about OA in Ann Landers’ column. I believed in two things: food and Ann Landers. She had said that OA worked, so I decided to try it. There was one problem, however. I didn’t know where OA was. I decided that if I ever stumbled over OA or if it ever fell on top of me, I would look into it.
A couple of months later I heard a spot announcement for OA on the radio, but I took no action. I waited a week before I called the radio station. “You don’t still have the telephone number for Overeaters Anonymous, do you?” I asked. They did.
At my first meeting, I decided I didn’t want to get mixed up with a bunch of religious fanatics. All I wanted was a diet and I didn’t see how God could help there. However, I believed in Ann Landers, so I kept coming back.
I thought it would be enough just to attend meetings. I tried to play my old game which was to sit and say nothing. The people made no demands on me, though they seemed to care and some even telephoned me. However, I had a secret. They were the compulsive overeaters, not I. I knew how to lose weight. All I needed was a little group support.
For nine months I attended meetings and gained 35 pounds. I kept waiting for something to happen that would make me not want to eat anymore. It didn’t. We were a small group and since I always came back, I was asked to get involved in service. That kept me coming back when I lost faith in Ann Landers. I also listened. I began to see that the people who were trying to make the steps a part of their lives were changing and good things were happening to them. I wanted that, too.
The insanity of my disease was evident to everyone but me. My life was in shambles. I had gained weight while attending meetings regularly, and I had no reason to believe that it would stop. I hated my job. I teach, and my students were noticing my weight gain. My marriage was not bliss, either. Yet I thought all I needed was a diet!
I went back to the doctor, who made it clear that he could offer me nothing new. I even returned to the diet club, but I could not sit through the lectures. In desperation, I went back into therapy. After a binge, I told the therapist about it and wanted to know what she was going to do about it. To my amazement, she said she didn’t have any magic cures and that if I were truly a compulsive overeater I’d better get back to OA and do exactly what they told me.
I had no choices left. I made a decision to test the program. I challenged this Higher Power to get me through a day of abstinence. I lived through the day and nobody was more surprised than I was. That evening I went to a meeting and the speaker said, “When all else fails, follow directions.” The directions were to get a sponsor, read the literature, use the telephone, act “as if,” and use the steps. I got a sponsor at the end of the meeting and by the grace of God I have been abstinent from that time to this — a period of five years. I lost the 40 pounds I needed to lose the first year and I have been maintaining my normal weight since then. Before the program I never kept weight off for more than three days.
My progress has been slow. For the first few months the food plan was my higher power. However, I began to turn small things over. When I had done everything I could and felt nothing worse could happen, I would turn the problem over without regard to who or what would take it. To my amazement, every time I did this something good followed. My belief that a Higher Power — God — could help me came slowly but it came.
Step three came when, in an effort to help someone else, I memorized the third-step prayer on page 63 in the Big Book. I didn’t understand it or even believe it at first, but I repeated it daily. Finally, after being abstinent for almost a year, I could feel the surrender and it was beautiful. The longer I am in the program the more the impact of this prayer grows and deepens within me. For the first time in my life I am free to deal with life without having to resort to the indignity of using food to get me through.
I continued in therapy, and for the first time it was working. The therapy helped me to be open to OA, and OA helped me to be open to therapy. After a year and a half of abstinence, I took my fourth and fifth steps with my therapist. Much to my surprise (and disappointment) she didn’t turn green or faint. From this, I was able to go to people in OA and share.
I became willing to have my defects of character removed. These defects were comfortable and I hung onto them dearly. I never knew it was OK to be happy. Someone had to tell me. The old comfortable, familiar pain has gradually given way to peace. I am not perfect, but I have been granted the gifts of change and growth. I know now that with the help of my Higher Power I am no longer locked into a prison of unhappy ways. The program has given me the keys to freedom.
I have learned two important things. One is that life may bring pleasure or it may bring pain, but the program has given me the tools to deal with whatever comes. I have also learned that life is to be enjoyed. I spend time in meetings and doing twelfth-step work which brings me both peace and joy. I am also able to go out into the world and be at peace there, too.

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