Feast of Gifts

Miracles do happen. If someone had told me I could be rid of my exhausting, depressing focus on food and that I would lose 55 pounds (25 kg) after starting OA in March 2004, I would not have believed it.

After the formation of our OA group (the closest one was 800 miles away), I threw myself into this program. Experiencing the great benefits from another Twelve Step program, I enthusiastically looked for the rewards promised in the Big Book. And come they did.

My first reward was physical recovery—a 55-pound (25-kg) weight loss. Then I achieved spiritual and finally emotional recovery. Now my mind is clear and focused. I do not feel exhausted or depressed, and my creativity, which had been all but shut down for 30 years, has returned.

I do not weigh and measure my food, but I have three meals a day, no snacks. I exercise three times a week, read OA-approved literature, sponsor, do service work, journal, telephone members, and attend our weekly meeting. Since I need more than this, I attend two other Twelve Step meetings per week.

OA promises certain things, but thinking that a slim body is all you need to be happy is not one of them. My recent separation can attest to that.

Weight loss is one of the wonderful gifts you get from abstinence, but certainly not the only one. I also have serenity, peace of mind, new self-esteem (obtained from my Higher Power’s view of me), wonderful OA friends, and intimacy.

I have come a long way from the deep depression and isolated life I had two short years ago when I entered the first Twelve-Step program. At first I was annoyed with myself that it took so long to break through my denial, but it takes what it takes, and for me it took 49 years of doing it my way.

Thanks to my Higher Power, I have found another way. Gratitude is a word that does not adequately describe my feelings for this wonderful program, but it is the easiest to understand. Thank you, Higher Power, for helping me experience life to the fullest.

~ Reprinted from Lifeline magazine