Program doesn’t make life easy, but it makes life possible.

I woke up a little over two years ago, morbidly obese and absolutely miserable. Sitting on the side of my bed that morning, I sighed and acknowledged that this was the way my life was going to be. I was going to be angry, depressed, and hopeless until I died. I found comfort knowing that someday I would pass on and go to Heaven where I could find peace. Now, a little over two years later, I have a life I cannot believe is mine. It’s far from a perfect life!! Like I said, program doesn’t make life easy. But no matter what I encounter in my days, my program supports me. I finally have the peace and serenity I longed for. When situations come up that are difficult, I remind myself that, “This too shall pass.” I have faith that God will help me through whatever is in front of me. I have my fellows, my tools, the steps and amazing sponsors to teach me how to live the way God wants me to. I am learning how to make the best next decision and how to ACCEPT the things I cannot change. My mind is clear. No longer plagued by food thoughts, I can think clearly. I can pause and take a breath before acting out. I have found a spiritual connection with God that I did not know could exist. I have shed over 100 pounds and feel light in my body, mind and soul. My anxiety and depression have lessened, and on many days is gone. I am a completely different person than I was two years ago. I am so eternally grateful to this program and the hundreds of OA fellows that I am honored to call my friends.

I was forty years old when I came into program. A therapist had recommended it. I had gone to see her as a last-ditch effort to find happiness. In our first session together, I made a joke about eating a whole box of Oreos and she said, “Have you ever heard of OA.” I had not. I looked it up and quickly determined it was not for me. “Another diet club,” I thought. But she persisted, week after week until I finally gave in and went to the Wednesday night Waltham meeting, eager to go and report back to my therapist how wrong she was. But that is not what happened. A woman got up and talked about how her day was turned upside down and backwards, but that she still had peace and serenity and hope that it would be ok. There was something in her eyes. Her face was shining. She seemed sincere. She had something I wanted, so I asked her to be my sponsor. For me, it wasn’t about losing weight. I needed to, but I had given up on that. I had tried every diet I could think of and did not have the energy to compulsively exercise like I had done in my 20s. I had accepted that I was going to be fat. But there was a small part of me that still clung to hope that I didn’t have to be fat AND miserable.

My early days of program were a rollercoaster of emotions. When I put the food down, the emotions invaded me and took hold. I was breathless at times trying to manage these feelings that I had pushed down for forty years. I started using the tools every day and soon started an AWOL to learn about the steps. Slowly, I came out of the fog. I learned how to talk about my emotions; How to talk with God and how to ask for help. I started a program of action, working the tools and steps and “cleaning up my side of the street.” I learned that not only could I not control my food; I could not control the people, places and situations around me. The more I tried to control the situations in my life, the more unmanageable my life became. When I accept that things in life are exactly the way they are supposed to be today and focus on changing the things in me versus the world I find my peace. Today, my emotions do not define who I am. I have faith and hope that my life is full of possibilities. I have a life second to none. Program makes this possible.

I am forever grateful, Eve W