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He Understood

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I came into the doors of OA six months ago, weighing 159 pounds (72 kg) at 5 feet 5 inches (165 cm) tall. I was athletic and a relatively normal size, but I was in food hell and miserable. I believed that if I just got down to a certain weight, I would be happy. By the time I stepped through OA’s doors, I knew this was a lie. I had been skinny and fat, and neither extreme brought me happiness, only misery.

I thought I was the only one in the world who was obsessed with food, my weight, and my body. I felt I had to appear perfect so no one would know. In OA I found people who knew what I was going through and had been through it too! My sense of relief was profound. For the first time that I could remember, I had hope.

I work as a nurse, and last night at the hospital, I was reminded how powerful OA members’ connection is and why this program works. As I talked to the family of a girl in my care about their pain, they shared their newfound hope. A former patient in the unit whom doctors had given little chance of survival now visits the unit to talk to patients’ families about his experience. The amazing thing was that when he shared his story with this family, they all leaned forward in their seats and hung on his every word because he understood. In a hospital with specialists and staff who have tons of knowledge and expertise, the man who doesn’t have tons of knowledge about health care and doesn’t know this family at all is the one who brought strength and hope into their lives.

Wow, what a correlation to OA. The miracle of being understood is indescribable. I now have been abstinent for three and a half months, and my life has changed dramatically. I lost 17 pounds (8 kg) and gained joy in helping others, freedom from food hell, connection with my Higher Power, and serenity!

— Anonymous

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