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The Funnest Thing I’ve Ever Done

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In 1995, I’d been in OA for seven years, and I got a new car. An OA friend and I decided to drive to the World Service Convention in Minneapolis. Although the trip planner we used said it was twenty hours away, it took us thirty-three hours to drive there. We stayed for thirty-three hours, and we drove another thirty-three hours back home. As I dropped her off at her house, my friend said, “That was the funnest thing I’ve ever done that I will never do again in my life!” (She was talking about the drive to and from.) We both agreed we’d go back to World Service Convention whenever we could.

What was so fun about World Service Convention? Seeing hundreds of compulsive overeaters in varying stages of recovery, from newcomers to someone who has been a member of OA from the beginning. I went to my first meeting in Spanish! I could understand only some of it, but I could tell that the members had the same problems and the same solution that I did: recovery from compulsive eating through the Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous!

OA’s founder Rozanne S. had been scheduled to speak, but she’d broken her leg, so we heard from A.G., who had been at the first OA Business Conference. He said something I’ve never forgotten. He was asked, “What do you think about the saying, ‘In AA you have to slay the dragon, but in OA you have to walk up and pet the dragon three times a day’?” In my recollection he said something like, “It’s not true that in AA you stop drinking. Every human has to drink, every day. In AA, you find out what your poison is, and you stop drinking that. The same is true in OA. You find out what your poison is, and you stop eating that.” That not only made a lot of sense to me, it also allowed me to let go of a few pounds of self-pity.

Of course, there was the dance on Saturday night. Nothing is more fun than a dance floor full of people who are free and comfortable in their own bodies, some for the first time in decades, others for the first time ever. All of that interspersed with OA meetings full of recovery? What’s not to like?

I had so much fun in Minneapolis that I went soon after to World Service Convention in New York City. Some memorable highlights from that Convention included making a new friend from France, taking a riverboat excursion to watch the Fourth of July fireworks, and of course, OA meetings and dancing!

It was my great loss to miss intervening Conventions, but I was thrilled to be able to attend the World Service Convention in Boston a few years ago. Since it was “in my backyard,” I focused my time on the meetings; the people, including old friends; and the dance.

Thinking back has me very excited again about going to the World Service Convention in Orlando this August! I can’t wait to see you there!

— Beth B.

 

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