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Phone Save

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When I first walked into the rooms of OA, I never thought I’d still be attending meetings thirty-nine years later. All I was interested in was getting a diet, losing weight, and going on my way—and that is exactly what I did, over and over again. I never could sustain abstinence over periods of time, but I was able to be abstinent in stressful times.

After six years, I stopped coming and going and never left OA again. I worked the Steps more than once with various sponsors, but I was unable to be abstinent for more than a few months at a time, usually just a few days, because I would always think I could have a little non-abstinent food. Each time, I wound up discouraged and disgusted. Sometimes, I felt hopeless.

I was also going to school, working full-time, and caring for an elderly uncle. I thank God for OA because, no matter what, I remembered the Third Tradition. By returning to meetings and connecting with my Higher Power, I was able to endure my uncle’s death and my dad’s shortly after.

In fall 2008, my husband became critically ill, so I could not attend meetings regularly. In December, I saw a flyer for OA phone meetings, and I was so excited! I thought it would help me stay abstinent if I attended ninety phone meetings in ninety days. I was abstinent for eighty-six days. The next day, March 15, 2009, I was hungry and binged on a sugary substance. All it took was one bite, and I could not stop eating.

The next day I shared what had happened, and I never got so many OA phone calls in my life. What a Fellowship! You give such love, understanding, and support.

Since that day, I have remained abstinent, and I have maintained a 50-pound (23-kg) weight loss from my highest weight. I am eternally grateful.

I remained abstinent through the rest of my husband’s illness and his death in 2012. We were together for fifty-eight years and losing him was the most devastating struggle, stressor, and setback I have ever experienced. The morning after his death, I called the 6:45 a.m. East Coast Sunrise meeting and shared my grief with my OA family.

Then last year, two days after returning from WSBC, I was awakened by a loud noise and found my home on fire. Miraculously, I got out alive. Again I called the Sunrise meeting. Before the day was over, I received calls, texts, and promises to send OA literature.

I continue to attend at least one phone meeting a day and at least one face-to-face meeting every week. I continue to practice the Principles in all my affairs. I sponsor and I have a sponsor. OA has become such a big part of my life that I never ever want to leave. It has given me the gift of being much closer to my Higher Power. It has changed my life.

— Evangelyn R.

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