Change Takes Courage

When I heard, at the last Intergroup meeting in June, that Christine (our new Newsletter coordinator in Yukon) was asking for material for the OA newsletter, I knew that I had to write something. “Men in OA” was the topic.

First things first, I came to OA because I am a food addict (but I didn’t know that). This journey of recovery started couple of years ago, when I needed “desperately to lose 5 pounds. I asked my family doctor in Vancouver for a pill to help me lose weight. He looked at me, straight in the eye, end said, “Carlos, medically speaking, you are at your ideal weight”. There was a moment of silence; I thought to myself “what kind of doctor are you?” I was disappointed. Then he started talking about OA. He gave me an OA pamphlet at that moment; I disconnect my ears and started to figure a “Master Plan”. Master Plan: I will go to a couple of meetings, and then, when it didn’t work, I would go back to the doctor and say, “It didn’t work. Now give me the damn pills!”

So, I went to a couple of meetings, and I was impressed with the honesty. Now, more than six years later, I am still coming back.

I struggled to find a sponsor because there aren’t a lot of men in OA. A female long-timer member of OA in my meeting (Vancouver) gave me the phone number of a man from another meeting (New Westminster), who was willing to be a sponsor. So every Sunday for a couple of years I took the skytrain to New Westminster, grab a coffee, walk to his house, take his two; sometimes three dogs and go to the park for more than one hour. We talked about many things: abstinence, Steps, traditions, literature, service, life, etc. That became my Sunday morning routine.

From that time forward, I eventually became abstinent, first from chocolate (5 years and counting), and then from pizza (4 years and counting). I still check my food behaviours, portion size, time of the day and how I am feeling. My consumption of sugar and flour has been reduce drastically (80%) over a period of years. My weight is not my priority anymore, now my recovery is.

I am grateful for the people at Intergroup who provide service, such as Public Information, who contact the professionals (doctors and nurses).

I want to thank my Doctor, who was open minded and passed the message of OA to me. To the old-timers (like Greta) who were paying attention to a newcomer, and sharing their wisdom. Also to my sponsor Tom for being of service many, many Sundays.

It is a challenge to find a male sponsor in a predominantly female organization. I got lucky because I found a male sponsor but it doesn’t matter its male or female because as addicts, we are all going to face challenges in recovery, which brings the best of us.

Now I have a female sponsor at my home meeting, making recovery, service and working the steps easy and organic

~ Carlos