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All I Have to Do!

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Slogans—I love them! Since my return to OA, I seem to be using them more and more. To me they are triggers, good triggers—words and sentences that help me remember the teachings of the Twelve Steps.

The one that seems to come to mind most often these days is “let go and let God.” When I returned to OA after a long relapse, I was able once again to obtain abstinence from the get-go (thank you, God). I believe this was due to two factors: First, I learned I cannot eat sugar in any form or amount—period. As long as I abstain from this drug, I have no cravings and become “physically sane.” Second, I learned to “let go and let God.” You see, God and I came to an agreement the first time I arrived in OA: He would take care of my weight if I would do the footwork and follow the OA Principles. It worked well until I stopped keeping up my end of the deal, and then sugar and character defects, including self-will and pride, interfered with my recovery. I relapsed for three years. But I came back, and God and I have decided to enter into the same agreement.

I didn’t return to OA just to become abstinent—I wanted serenity. But it seemed more difficult to achieve this time. I was emotionally exhausted. I had a number of hard-to-deal-with stressors such as my mother’s advanced Alzheimer’s disease, my profession (I’m a social worker in child protection), and a final blow: My fears about developing Alzheimer’s myself were confirmed by my family doctor. I am indeed showing some early signs of this terrible disease, and I am scared to death. I’m 46. For the last four weeks, I have been an emotional wreck—still abstinent but a basket case.

I looked at many options to deal with my emotional meltdown: counseling, using the OA Tools of recovery, taking a temporary break from work, massage therapy, tai chi classes, and yes, “letting go and letting God.” The last is where the peace comes from, letting God do for me what I cannot do for myself. I’ve learned that all I have to do is the footwork. I turn the rest over to God.

I can accept the things I cannot change (my own illness as well as my mother’s) and change the things I can by doing the footwork. I want to thank OA, its members, and the Twelve Steps for giving me a sane way to deal with life—not as a victim, but as a survivor.

— Linda M., Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

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