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Run to God

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Life’s problems and recovery—I love putting these two concepts together because it means I can let go of problems instead of wrapping my life around them and getting stuck. Recovery is about taking the action needed to experience serenity. Recovery gets me unstuck!

I find such freedom in the program, such peace—and then, yikes! A problem hits me in the face. Life on life’s terms, I’m reminded. What to do? How do I stay out of obsessive analysis of another person’s behavior or obsessive thinking about the issue confronting me? And how do I let go of the fear produced by “what ifs,” if I time-travel in my head to the worst possible outcome?

I have seven years in recovery, and what a miracle it is, how this program works. When a problem surfaces, I can ask myself, “Why don’t I first run to God, instead of running to obsessive thinking?” or “Why do I want to hang onto this issue? Why not turn it over?”

What works for me is to first recognize when I’m starting to obsess. Then I use Step Eleven by:

  • Pausing to ask for the right thought or action
  • Pausing when I want to rush in and say something I’ll regret even though it feels right at the time
  • Pausing when I can’t seem to focus on the beauty around me because I’m worried about the situation before me
  • Pausing to pray, “God, please guide me into right thinking. I cannot do it on my own.”

Then I take an action, even a small one—journal, call my sponsor, make an outreach call, fold the laundry, or anything to move me in a more positive direction and change my focus.

When I use these tools, I become free— free to live how this program intends me to live, letting go and experiencing serenity. Each day I ask myself, “Did I experience serenity?” It’s a question that reminds me it is possible, that I do deserve to be at peace with myself, and that I can trust God in the midst of hard things.

In gratitude, I take action when my old self starts telling me lies about who I am. Left alone, I would be self-propelled to the kitchen or pantry for “just one bite,” and my thoughts would want to default to the old way, the self-obsessive and self-defeating way. But this program offers guidance for a sane and happy life, one day at a time. I am forever grateful for the blueprint for living offered by the Twelve Steps of OA—truly we have a program to live by.

— Nadine V., Billings, Montana USA

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