Before coming to OA six years ago, I did not know what it meant to “live”; I merely existed. My existence consisted of working, eating and sleeping. I had no idea what else to do with my time. After six years in the program and a 50-pound weight loss, I like to exclaim, “I have a life!” My life is full: prayer; meditation; conscious contact with God; going to meetings, workshops and retreats; going out with friends; doing volunteer work that I love; and working. I now eat only to live; I don’t live to eat.
Why do I keep coming back now that I have a rich, full life? Because I want to keep the life I have acquired as a result of this program. By continuing to work my program and attend meetings, I acknowledge that I still have the disease of compulsive overeating; I am not cured. If I don’t continue to work the program, I will forget that I have a progressive disease, and it will come raging back, stronger than before. Also, my best friends are in OA. Before the program, I was afraid to open up to anyone and had few friends. In OA I learned that I could open up, show what was inside and not be judged. We are all in OA together, and I feel bonded with the people I have met here.
Finally, I need to keep coming back to show newcomers that the program works. I love when newcomers tell me I don’t look like I need the program. It gives me the opportunity to explain the disease concept and to tell them the program shows me how to live without turning back to the food. I explain that I pray I will keep coming back for the rest of my life, because without this program, I would revert to my former existence.
To sum it up, I keep coming back because it works!
Reprinted from Lifeline magazine