Active addiction is a lonely experience. We are usually so driven by shame and self-loathing and guilt about behaviors that we can’t control that we isolate and hide our eating from those around us. We cover up what’s in our shopping cart, we hide our binge foods in the back of the cupboard or in an underwear drawer or in the basement or in our purses.
However, we can’t afford to have a similarly lonely experience in abstinence and recovery, not if we want be free. One of the big reasons that 12-Step groups are successful for those who follow their path is that they are groups, that the experience of the struggle and the recovery are shared. We learn we aren’t alone in our behaviors and we air our secrets.
Overeaters Anonymous and other 12-Step food addiction groups are one good option. Each individual group meeting is different and it can take visiting several to find the right fit. 12-Step groups also offer free sponsoring by members who’ve been around a while.
You can also get a buddy. It’s usually helpful to buddy up with somebody who is also an addict and also committed to abstinence. While weight loss is often part of the conversation, it’s not the same as abstinence.
I have a food commitment buddy (we text each other every night with our food plan for the next day) and I have a 12-Step buddy I talk to once a week about food and emotional work. And I attend 12-Step meetings each week. It can take a little time to sort out the support you need but having someone you can be honest with is a huge step forward for your abstinence.
What kind of support might work for you?