Yesterday I went to my first ever OA meeting. I was a complete mess.
It was a rainy day, after strength training at the gym I had planned to attend an OA meeting I found online. Bus 24 which would take me there did not show up. But since getting to this meeting made me sacrifice running on the treadmill. My saturday had to be worthwhile. In the rain at 10 45 a.m I knocked on a black taxi’s window. I stepped in, stressed, irritated, pointed to the address and coldly asked the driver to take me there.
He said he knew the way, but in my stressed state, I was rude to him. I kept asking are you sure you know the way. The meeting was to start at 11 00 a m.
I called earlier and was told to come a few minutes before for some explanation. When I stepped in, two ladies was standing at the door. One with a cigarette in her hands. I cannot stand smokers anymore. My ex-boyfriend smoked and my Dad was a chain smoker. It killed him. Clearly annoyed at her smoke, I unconsciously waved my hands around to get the smoke out of my face. It was a rude gesture, but I was stressed. In hindsight, worried, scared about this meeting.
A tall Dutch woman, friendly and direct asked me about my past. I was a little shocked at how direct she was. But I guess, she is entitled to because you have to actually have a problem with food to be there. I started talking about my anorexia, the sentence was not even finished when I burst into tears. An abundance of emotions surface. I could not believe I was there. I felt pain, shame, fear but also pride and relief.
The woman reassured me that I was not alone in this anymore. As I peeked at the people in the room, I realised how even the most ordinary looking person was there too. Compulsive eating does not choose its prey. Young, not so young, women, men, tall, short, slim, not so slim. Food was our love and our enemy.
I cried all through the meeting. I am not giving up. I will step in there again next week. This time I’ll bring tissues.
I am not alone in this anymore. There are others out there. Together we are determined to recover, even if not completely at least to manage a little.