Finding My True Nature
I am grateful for the life of sanity and serenity OA is giving me, by the grace of God and one day at a time. I celebrated my third OA anniversary, and it is a miracle that 110 pounds (50 kg) have not returned to my now healthy body.
Because I weigh and measure three meals a day, I no longer reach for sugar and carbohydrates to anesthetize myself. The merciless obsession has left me. Today, I feel my feelings, for better or worse and am aware it is a blessing to call upon my Higher Power’s help. I now know that soliciting the experience, strength, and hope of others carries no shame. In so doing, I affirm I am not alone. When I buried myself in food, I isolated from what seemed to me a hurtful and frightening outside world. By keeping my food in perspective, my spiritual fitness is gradually increasing, evidenced by the simplest and most welcome ways.
We shoveled more than 80 inches (203 cm) of snow last winter in the Boston area. When I was obese, I would have grumbled at such a workout, fearing my head might explode each time I bent over and lifted a shovelful of snow. This winter I thanked God for my able and willing body, enjoying the inimitable beauty and quiet of each fresh snowfall, rejoicing in my new stamina and good humor.
From day one, my sponsor told me that my weight loss would seem incidental compared to the enduring spiritual gifts of our program. Wow—losing 110 pounds (50 kg) was no small gift! I listened but could not comprehend until the promises in the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., pp. 83-84) began unfolding in my life. I felt clear-headed with my new food plan. As the days and months of abstinence increased, my depression lifted, and I began feeling new freedom and happiness. With my sponsor’s loving, patient urging, I started working the Steps.
I began to understand why I had been eating compulsively and became willing, even eager, to make amends for past mistakes. I began participating in service: setting up before meetings or cleaning up afterward, welcoming newcomers, working with sponsees, making phone calls, and sharing my story when asked. While I could not undo past errors, I learned my experience could be useful to others. Serenity and peace replaced my obsessive thoughts, and I became nourished with a sense of purpose. My fear of people and economic insecurity is gradually melting away as I trust in my Fellowship and the God of my understanding. I now feel a sense of belonging.
As said in OA circles, “Nothing tastes as good as abstinence feels.” Recovery is an awakening to and expression of our true natures. I open my eyes each morning, listing the blessings God has given me: a night’s rest, shelter, delicious and abstinent food, a Fellowship of recovery, transportation, health, skills and work to apply them to, loving pets, the beauty of nature . . .
In the Apple Village Intergroup, we end our meetings nearly shouting, “Keep coming back and give a lot of love, it works if you work it, and you’re worth it, so WORK IT!”
— Reprinted from Lifeline magazine