I’m Not God

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When the OA speaker said, “I lost a whole person,” it shook me to my core. I needed to do that. Not a whole adult person, just a 30-pound (14-kg), scrawny three-year-old. His picture looked at me from 1951, sitting in the wagon with his two younger siblings, them looking like kids, him looking like desperation to please the photographer.

I heard that speaker at a regional OA meeting in 2010; I was there to find out how to eat. Separated from my wife, hardworking in my other Twelve Step programs and confident of the Steps, I was bulging out of my clothes. I knew something wasn’t right about how I ate. OA was the answer for people like me, and that attracted me. But the God deal had become a sticking point in my spirituality. The harder I worked the program, the more I came face-to-face with how my upbringing had misused God and how food was comfort rather than nourishment. I couldn’t do God anymore. God had too much baggage, and too much misused mythology and betrayal was used in God’s name. No more God stuff for me, not ever. The atheists were right.

So were the Twelve Steppers. That speaker had lost a whole person. Someone else said, “Put down the fork and work the program.” I had great faith in that idea. I had to lose weight and get down from a high of 205 (93 kg) to a medically indicated 178 pounds (81 kg).

How to do that? We have only one OA meeting in our town, held at the same time as my longstanding commitment to another lifesaving fellowship. Then there’s that God stuff; it’s pretty thick around here, and I’m mighty thin-skinned about it. Someone suggested phone meetings.

Desperate to learn how to eat and let the weight take care of itself, I went to a phone meeting. That worked, the message was there. I called people for help. They led me to a meeting for people with unconventional spirituality.

The message was clear there too: work the Steps, stay abstinent and develop a spiritual life, your own spiritual life, the one that gives your spirit experience. Let go of the labels, especially the religious ones. They are outside issues.

Spiritual growth is an inside issue, and I found a lifeline to my source there, one that works for me. God really isn’t such a big deal. There isn’t one, so why should I spend my time trying to run the world like that’s who I am? I’m not God. My spirit needs experience. Sitting with my fellow OAers every Sunday morning without fail feeds my spirit, and by working the program, I can nourish this body too. Abstinent since March 2010, I have maintained a target weight of 176–178 pounds (80–81 kg) since August 2010, thanks to you people and this program.

— Paul, Mississippi USA

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