Together WE Recover
I found my way to OA in August of 2002. I grew up in a family in which all of us were overeaters. Two of my siblings have died with medical issues related to this disease.
When I was 13 years old or so, I started dieting, following my mother’s example. The dieting worked many times, but I always returned, sooner or later, to my overeating and went up and down the same 25 to 35 pounds repeatedly. I finally gave up on dieting and stayed at my top weight for about 5 years. I came to OA because I knew without any doubt that I was powerless over food, and specifically powerless over sugar products. I was afraid of becoming diabetic.
I was an RN and had worked for a while, in my late 30s, in a substance abuse program where I learned about the 12 Steps. It was a small program, and our lead Counselor was a woman who was a recovering alcoholic. I was very impressed with her abilities and came to understand that she lived a 12 Step way of life. I knew that I wanted what she had but had no idea that there was such a program as OA. I don’t remember how I first heard of OA but found my first home meeting about 20 years later.
My first home meeting was a Step Meeting in the San Diego area. We went through the Steps in 3 books, reading and sharing. My first sponsor was another RN and I started doing service quickly, being treasurer, because it was a small meeting, and I was willing. I felt very at home in that meeting. Everyone was open and welcoming and willing to share their own experience. My sponsor shared her food plan with me, and I started asking the God of my understanding for help creating my food plan and stopping eating outside of it. Doing service kept me attending our meetings regularly.
When I retired, at 66 years of age, my husband and I moved to the Boston area. My abstinence was holding steady. I started attending the Saturday 9-10am meeting at the Carney Hospital in Dorchester. I found a new food sponsor and we started working the Steps together. Within a couple of years, I became aware of the Big Book Step Study(BBSS) process. I noticed, when we read the 9th Step promises at the end of our OA meeting, that I was not experiencing those promises. I began to attend the BBSS meeting at the Carney Hospital. I was impressed by the recovery I heard in that meeting and eventually got a BBSS sponsor and started attending an OA BBSS meeting as well. By the time I was working the 9th Step, my abstinence was good, and my weight was an abstinent weight. I realized then that it was true that my HP, the God of my understanding, WAS doing for me what I had never been able to do for myself. That was 10-11 years ago now. My weight is stable. My abstinence is not perfect, but it is good.
As I reflect on my experience in OA, I am grateful for my growing recovery. I give credit first to the God of my understanding, and the continuing growth in our relationship. The fact that this is a WE program—“We admitted we were powerless over food. . .”—is, I think, a major factor in my recovery so far. I am not alone. I am inspired in meetings and in my relationships with my sponsors and others, including sponsees. For me, working the Steps in an ongoing way through attending and doing service in two BBSS meetings, keeps the Step work fresh in my life. Doing service in meetings and being active in Mass Bay Intergroup also supports my abstinence physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Thank you, Eve, for finding members willing to share their experience, strength and hope on the 1st page of our MBI Newsletter! Thank you for asking me, Mary P.