The OA Shuffle

I was playing Scrabble on my phone the other day, shuffling letters around, when I spelled the word BINGE. This is a word that defined my life in the most terrible way until the day I walked through the door into the healing rooms of Overeaters Anonymous.

Before OA, I was often in the grip of emotions that I found intolerable. I felt like a victim of other people, of circumstances, of my problems, or of everything all together. Tension and anxiety would tighten around me like a spring. Inevitably, sooner or later, I would binge. The binge gave me release from my painful emotions for the briefest moment. It also released me from my problems because I would turn my attention away from resolving real and difficult issues to focusing on the next diet or obsessing about what a terribly weak person I was. I was stuck.

As I shuffled those letters again in my Scrabble game, I spelled the word BEING and smiled. This has been the joy of my recovery – just being. I am learning the ability to stay in the present moment no matter how I might be feeling or what might be going on in my life. By working through steps one to twelve again and again, and using the tools of recovery, I have found new ways to manage stress and anxiety and the word BINGE has loosened its death grip on my body and soul. I have discovered my role in my problems and learned about boundaries and self-care. I have learned how to give to others without trying to control the outcome.

I am grateful to have a community that walks through the dark times with me and celebrates my joys with me as well. The relentless urge to binge still flares from time to time but I have an unparalleled support system I can turn to if I choose. Thanks to working step two, seven and eleven, I have a Higher Power that is with me no matter what, and I tap into that love when I remember to ask for help and courage.

My BINGE cycle once stole my BEING from me. But OA has helped me shuffle my attitudes and behaviours around to become the BEING I was created to be.

~ Susan A.