tim asked in the comments "How did you come to realize you were addicted? What made you want to change?"
it probably started with my food, yah, definitely started with my food. it was when i finally got pregnant (infertility for 6 years) and realized that i was going to have to be responsible for teaching another human being how to eat. gulp...
i was making chocolate chip cookie dough (from memory, didn't even have to look at the recipe anymore - you know it's bad then...) nearly every other night and eating 1/2 of it raw, and baking cookies the next day, and consuming most of them.
i was hiding food, binging or starving myself, forgoing meals so that i could eat junk food and hiding to eat. that's especially when i knew it was at it's worst.
the car fools you into thinking you are eating in public, but it's a very private place. drive thru's or convenience stores were my best friend.
i can remember standing in front of the store clerk or donut shop worker, looking at the candy bars or donuts and lying "hmmmm, which kind did they want? i can't remember, i think my husband wanted these". while i knew the whole time i was going to eat them all myself - in a window of less than 30 minutes.
i never purged though, well through laxatives or vomiting. sexual addiction actually became my purge.
the cycle of shame drove me from the one to the other over and over. i felt like a gerbil on a wheel, or the stuff that circles the bowl as you flush - so out of control, and totally like a victim.
the other thing that happened around this time is that i became violent with my husband. it was ugly. there were about three times that i attacked him. (boy this is hard to write). he's a really big guy, and worked in corrections, so he knew how to restrain me in love while i spit, struggled and swore at him.
that was 'the bottom' for me. they say that you won't get help unless you hit bottom. i knew that if this wasn't the bottom somebody would probably have to die to get my attention.
it was also at that time that i finally heard the words 'compulsive overeater'. how could i have lived 30 years and not ever heard that term? i used to pray in high school that i could make myself throw up, so that i could be bulimic and get some help.
back in 1981 one of my friends my sophomore year was hospitalized for anorexia, i was so jealous. she was getting help. no one cared that i could eat a 2 lb. bag of peanut m&m's in one sitting or that i lived on ice cream for days.
compulsive overeater. unbelievably it gave me freedom. i believe information is power - i didn't suddenly become compulsive because i now had a definition of my problem - now i had power.
it was a tv commercial by overeaters anonymous, i had never heard of it before that day. we had internet access back then (1995) and i got online and searched (no google then...) for overeaters anonymous and found a meeting in my city.
i also found an underground community (way before blogs) where fellow strugglers would have irc (internet relay chat for you young ins) 12 step meetings. finally, light at the end of the tunnel. it was hope, i wasn't alone. it took me 4 months to screw up the courage to get to a f2f (face to face) meeting. but i finally did it, and life hasn't been the same since.