My “Used-To” List
I can best describe how OA has changed my life as walking into a dark room and turning on the light.
Before OA I was scared of financial insecurity, but shortly after joining OA my husband and I struggled through bankruptcy and won. Before OA I would never speak publicly, but when my sponsor insisted I share at a large OA convention, I saw nothing but friends nodding in agreement with been-there-done-that looks on their faces. Now I can speak anywhere.
A few mean girls in grade school convinced me people didn’t like me, and I carried this belief into adulthood. To make people like me, I thought I had to be a people pleaser. OA taught me that what others think of me is none of my business—it is their problem. I learned to say no and found that although people were shocked, they accepted my answer and did not hate me after all.
“Stand on your own two feet” used to be my motto. It is a good one, but being obsessive, I took it too far. OA taught me to try first but ask for help when I needed it. The feeling of equality in OA has helped me, and I’ve had fun working with others. I used to isolate and fantasize about how I wanted things to be. OA taught me the difference between isolation and quiet solitude. Fantasy is now a lighthearted stress reliever to help me sleep. This doesn’t mean I don’t wish some things were different, but I no longer fuss and make myself miserable over it. The Serenity Prayer has taught me I have always been able to change. If I didn’t change, it wasn’t my husband’s fault; it was my choice. Ah, serenity!
My husband had always run my life. I had to please him above all. I even stopped going to meetings to please him. After he commented on my weight gain, I let him know that OA was in my life forever. It was difficult for him to accept, but soon he realized how much better off he is when I am abstinent and working my program.
It is better to turn on the light than grope in a dark room, especially when that light is a beautiful crystal chandelier.
— Reprinted from Lifeline magazine