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Print Preference

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I got my voice in Overeaters Anonymous. No one wanted to listen to me at 304 pounds (138 kg). They seemed to think I had no right to speak or they didn’t have to listen. If I couldn’t control my eating, it must’ve meant I wasn’t smart.

Well, I would now like to use my voice to tell you and everyone else at the World Service Office how frustrated and disappointed I am to hear that Lifeline, a magazine I’ve read and enjoyed for many years (I entered the doors of OA in November 1983), will no longer be published in hard copy.

Just because I have a computer doesn’t mean I own a printer. Even if I did own one, I wouldn’t want to read a home-printed copy. I also carry my Lifelines with me and often share them with newcomers, read them aloud during outreach calls, or give them to members who are going on vacation. I also read them while waiting for appointments.

I’m not a young person in OA, but I’m not averse to modern technology. Still, my face is not in my phone all day, and reading the magazine online isn’t the same. There’s something about holding this booklet in my two hands—the same as with any other piece of recovery literature.

Another peeve is that you ran a big promotion at the end of 2018 to renew, renew, renew. My three meetings listened; each of them renewed for two years. Month after month in Lifeline, you now dedicate a page to telling us why we should be purchasing Lifeline, how great Lifeline is, how we can incorporate Lifeline in our lives, in our program, and in our service.

Why advertise, when disappointment will follow? I hope others write in to let the powers who make these decisions know how they feel. Perhaps the decision to shut down the printing of hard copies will be reconsidered, giving those of us who prefer a paper copy of Lifeline some professional consideration.

When and how was this decision made? I read all that comes my way from the World Service Office. Was this a hidden agenda? Our local meetings and intergroup participated in the vote for the World Service Business Conference. Why not bring the question to the thousands who enjoy this magazine? I’ve spoken, and I hope you have listened.

— R.S.


Editor’s note: The decision to discontinue Lifeline (both print and online) was made by the Board of Trustees after a comment period, during which a board committee solicited feedback from the Fellowship, as announced in A Step Ahead and in emails from region chairs. In addition to the feedback received, the Fellowship has also spoken in an important way: subscriptions have declined consistently such that Lifeline is not self-supporting, despite subscription drives in 2018 and in previous years. The board has since determined that more members can be served by redirecting the resources currently allocated to Lifeline. They have directed the WSO staff to research ways to replace Lifeline with an online platform for members to share their stories of recovery.

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