I can’t believe I’m here. I curl up in the chair and look around at the circle of women. One is a small, frail little thing. Another is a bit chubby and adorable. I think if she were smaller, her cuteness wouldn’t be so defined. Most seem to be “normal” size. A woman walks in and throws some books on the coffee table in front of me. I jump at the loud THUMP. I look down and see titles like, “The Compulsive Over-eater” and “Tools of Recovery.” A small panic comes on and my thoughts start to run around in a fury. THIS is Over-eaters Anonymous? What do these women know? I’m the largest one here! No one is going to get me. Maybe if I leave now it wouldn’t seem as rude.
The book-throwing woman sits and says with a flashy smile, “Alright ladies. Looks like we have some new faces. Do you want to introduce yourselves and let us know a small piece of your story?” Oh good God! It’s grade school all over again. The new kid! Step right up, put on your nervousness and tell us who you are! Claps hysterically I. Do. Not. Want to do this! Book-thrower looks at me, eyes burning into my now red face. That’s my cue. Ahem. “Hi. My name is Tonia. My story is simple. I eat too much,” I laugh anxiously.Ba Dum Tss *crickets* I dart my eyes around the room hoping someone will laugh at my hilariousness. Evidently, I should never try and dabble in stand-up comedy. I sit quickly. Too quickly.
The rest of the ladies tell their stories. “I eat and throw up.” “I go to fast food restaurants, order and eat in the parking lot and go through the drive-thru again.” “I binge eat and then take laxatives.” One common theme I hear from every one of them is, “I eat and then feel so guilty!” Wait. Stop right there. Guilty? I have never once ate half a pie and thought, “Wow, that was a bad idea. I wish I could take it back.” My thoughts are more along the lines of, “Should I eat the other half?” The euphoric feeling is unbelievable. I get something from it. I feel fulfilled, satisfied, happy, warm…the list of endless goodie feelers could go on forever! Food gives me more than any man, friend or family member can. I wish that part of my brain didn’t work that way but it does.
We stand up, hold hands in a circle and recite the serenity prayer. I leave feeling sorry that most of these beautiful, oh so beautiful, women feel guilty after their binges. I wish I could be in their shoes. Although as small as they are, I doubt those shoes would fit. Welp! Guess I’ll head on over to Pizza Hut for a guilt trip.