Nowhere Else to Go
My Higher Power blessed me with entry into the OA recovery program in November 1987, when I was at my worst with this disease. I weighed almost 260 pounds (118 kg) and wanted to die. I could not stop eating.
My OA friends taught me to put down the food by using the tools. I found a sponsor, wrote down my daily plan of eating, did a lot of service and wrote in the OA “Twelve-Step Workbook.” OA literature helped me (and continues to help me) tremendously by saying everything I needed to hear. I grabbed every suggestion that was made.
OA and working the tools and Steps changed my life. I admitted I was powerless, that I had a disease. I heard through the people in the rooms that I wasn’t a worthless or bad person, that I could stop the insanity of stuffing myself with food I didn’t want. I learned it was okay to change my concept of a Higher Power from the vengeful one of my childhood to the loving, forgiving, ever-present one who is waiting for me to practice the Third and Eleventh Steps daily.
OA changed my life by loving me during my First through Fourth Steps, as I identified and worked through my character defects. The Fifth through Ninth Steps helped lift the hate and criticism I had for myself. I felt happy, joyous and free.
OA changed my life by giving me a blueprint for handling difficulties, stresses, resentments, anger and joy. I received the gift of balance, one day at a time. OA taught me that it’s okay to not always be perfect at every aspect of my recovery. I learned that when I choose not to be honest with myself and my fellows, I am the one who is hurt, my program suffers, and I gain weight.
OA has changed my life by giving me the opportunity to do service for groups and newcomers. As the “leader getter” at my first meeting, I broke the isolation. My self-esteem grew as I used the phone and learned how to talk to others. By being the literature chair for my intergroup, I learned to be organized and to use my computer for keeping track of inventory. I sharpened my spelling skills and became a Lifeline rep. By helping with newcomers’ meetings at my home group, I was able to see the first wonderful glimmer of hope that crosses the faces of some people in the meeting. I felt really appreciated as their voices conveyed pleasure when they realized someone cared enough to see if they were okay or if they had questions.
OA gave me back my life. I was an angry, selfish, unhappy, fat person. Without OA I would be dead. I had nowhere else to go.
— Reprinted from Lifeline magazine