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Arimidex (Anastrozole)

Other names: Abilify
From the start I was fighting mad at life and at my parents. It was a constant battle of their will versus mine, and I hated them for being right. But underneath the hate, I loved them. My food problem, which reflected my approach to life, started early. My weight was not affected, however, because I was very active. At six, I worshipped the dance teacher next door. She had a gorgeous figure and I wanted to grow up to have a body like hers. My mother suggested that I take lessons, and thus began my career as a dancer. My life was soon entirely dedicated to dancing. I was either taking lessons, teaching or performing. The best part of appearing in shows was the free food afterward. And all I really cared about after a day of teaching was getting to the candy machine and the fast-food stores. I felt tired and lazy most of the time. I practiced grudgingly only because my mother insisted that if I wanted to be a good dancer I would have to work at it. I began taking my mother’s diet pills and loved feeling alert and energetic. I counted calories, weighed myself obsessively every day and became very thin. After graduating from high school, I left home to dance at state fairs with a tour group. I finally had time and money to do as I wanted, but all I wanted to do was eat and sleep. I wound up breaking my diet every day. Having convinced myself that I felt superior to the other dancers, I was quite happy to be alone with my food. The diet pills kept me on a superficial high during working hours, but by the end of the summer they were losing their effectiveness. I gained 25 pounds. My costumes were splitting and the boss was about to fire me. I found stronger diet pills and got my figure back, then entered the “Miss Dance of America” contest. I scored highest in my performance, but I was so nervous I flubbed my interview with the judges and was awarded runner-up instead of the title. New York City was the place to be to pursue my career so I moved there. In the next few years I had one job after another, coming close to getting fired from each one on account of gaining weight and being habitually late. One night I came face to face with the real nature of my sickness. At four in the morning I threw a coat over my nightgown and raced to an all-night food store where I talked them into letting me take the food on credit. Returning to my apartment, I started shaking in the elevator, unable to wait. I ripped open the carton of ice cream and began digging into it with my teeth like an animal. Nothing mattered but to eat as much as I could as fast as possible. I didn’t even feel guilty, just void of thought. Finally, it seemed to be over. I was nauseated, disgusted and so numb that I didn’t care. But the obsession came back. I had to give in just to get through the night. I returned to the store and again I couldn’t eat the stuff fast enough. At last, I fell into a drugged stupor and slept for about twelve hours. I woke up with a confused silence in my mind, bewildered and afraid. I had a bloated hangover — my face was puffed up and I felt ugly and ashamed. I knew I was like an alcoholic or an addict with food but I didn’t know what to do except to start another diet. I cleaned up, took a diet pill and felt hope slowly coming back. “Binging is not where it’s at,” I observed to myself. “It’s definitely a nowhere road.” I wound up binging the whole day. There were many nights like that. When I grew noticeably fat, the director threatened to fire me if I didn’t lose weight. In a panic, I vowed never to do it again. But the conflict was too great. Each time, my weight went a little higher. Between jobs, it soared. I had developed the art of people pleasing and got along with almost everyone (except bosses) in a surface way, but I felt that something was very wrong underneath. Whenever I visited my family we had screaming arguments. They couldn’t understand how anyone in New York could like me. It was as if I were two different people. My involvements with the opposite sex were as messed up as the rest of my life. I had one bad love affair after another, pushing relationships to an end or becoming overly dependent. Either way, I ended up alone with my food.
I quit using amphetamines after my last show business job and gained 60 pounds. I tried every new diet I could find, went to hypnotists, psychiatrists and a fasting farm, but nothing could stop me. When I saw people I knew on the street, I hid in shame. I became almost violent if my parents or others who loved me tried to help. I hated myself and wished I would die. I couldn’t understand what other people saw in life. What made them want to get up in the morning? What motivated them?
My parents told me about a television program on Overeaters Anonymous. It sounded good, but I didn’t want the answer to come from my parents. I was enrolled in a commercial diet club (for the third time) and insisted it was going to work. After a week on the diet club regimen, I started hinging. Finally, I gave up and went to an OA meeting. From the start, I knew that this was the answer for me. It was different from a diet club. Weight was not the main issue. They were talking about a whole way of approaching life. They also kept mentioning God and a Higher Power, which turned me off, though I tried to be open to the idea. I had never believed in God — or in anything. I began to see that this was my problem. It seemed impossible to stay abstinent. I hated to tell my sponsor that I had done it again, but I forced myself to be honest. The binging went on for eight months. Then one day, the latest “new beginning” turned out to be the last one. I have abstained, one day at a time, ever since. It has been four and a half years, and it is still a precious miracle to me that I can enjoy my food without eating or craving more. I believe that my abstinence is a gift which I finally became ready to accept and appreciate — a gift I am willing to go to any lengths to keep. The program has shown me what to do to avoid a binge. Just for this one day I can do it, with help. I have lost 60 pounds, but I believe I am just as capable of slipping now as ever, so I try to stay grateful and to develop my dependence on God instead of food.
Without the food to hide behind, I began to see how afraid I was of life and people. But when I reached out, people were there for me, giving me loving support instead of rejecting me. It has been a steady process of deepening trust and of growing to love myself and others, even with defects.
I did not return to show business after I began abstinence. I chose, instead, to join the business world. During the first two years, I came close to being fired because of the negativity and anger which I could no longer suppress with food. But working the OA program has changed my personality and attitudes. Now I enjoy being responsible and trustworthy. Small accomplishments such as getting to work on time make me feel good.
For a while, my life was built completely around OA and my job. I still attend meetings and sponsor people, but I have gradually opened up to other activities. I have begun developing friendships with men based on honesty rather than fantasies and games. Even my relationship with my parents is improving. I recently tried skydiving, which I would never have considered before OA. Throwing myself out into the sky for all I was worth was the ultimate moment of trust in God and myself!
I never knew life could be like this. I have no idea where it will lead except that, if I stay abstinent, it will be in a positive direction. None of this would have happened if I had given up during those first months of OA when I was still binging. The most important thing I heard in those meetings was, “Keep coming back!” Thank God I did.

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