Say When

I consider myself a newbie in OA. I’ve been in and out of program since my early 20s and am approaching my 50th birthday. I have surrendered more than 100 pounds (45 kg) in OA and have been at or within a 5-pound (2-kg) range of my goal weight for more than a decade. As I’ve heard, it’s about the food until it’s not about the food.

“Not about the food” is a big, new continent I continue to explore. Learning what “enough” looks and feels like is one of the things I am most grateful to OA for. In the past year after much longing, prayer, shopping and research about adopting a dog to add to our current one-dog home, I felt led by HP not to adopt another dog. Program teaches me to consider all sides of things today. In this instance, I considered how much time my husband and I spend away from home, how we spend our free time and what financial resources we have for dog care.

Another HP decision came a few months ago when I decided not to buy a newer car even though I wanted one, had the financial resources and could justify the need. I realized how great my current car is, put together an action plan for its maintenance in the coming years and, with HP’s help, was able to put down my obsessive thoughts about replacing my current car. I have also learned to be con- tent with my current job, title and status in my work-for-a-paycheck life and have learned to live within my financial means with that paycheck.

My husband and I have a modest camper for our vacations. It lacks some amenities, and we thought about upgrading it this year. When we decided not to upgrade, I found a new appreciation for the amenities our current camper has.

I was the person who believed happiness could only be found with a certain number for an annual salary— always a number higher than my current salary—or that happy could only be located 7 pounds (3 kg) below my current weight. “Happy” was an elusive, slippery destination for me, and I spent much energy trying to grab it by the neck and pin it to the ground. I never realized my greedy efforts in this area were driving me farther and farther from my happy destination.

I find today that my eating, spend- ing and living patterns follow and flow together like dominoes. Most of the time they are simple, basic and perhaps a bit dull to outsiders.

Do I still struggle? You bet! I struggle with taking my co-worker’s and my husband’s inventory almost every day.

I struggle with wanting simplicity in my closet and wardrobe even though I some- times shop for recreation. I feel frustrated by my slow growth in this area of my life. I know from experience that the best remedy for this is to keep talking about it and asking HP for help in deciphering the next right action.

It has been said that the hallmark of addiction is not knowing when enough is enough. In the old days before OA, I missed the runway of enough every single time. Today I see the runway of enough, and I practice the concept of enough.

For today, I know that with HP I am enough and I have enough.

— Susan H., Altamonte Springs, Florida USA
From Lifeline Magazine, July 2014