Working It

4 min read

I have been in the rooms of OA for over eight years. The feeling of being recovered eluded me until recently—but now, through fearlessly and fully working the Twelve Steps, I have finally found the joys and promises of Overeaters Anonymous.

Just like many others who share this addiction, I am a true people pleaser and always want to be perfect. Unfortunately, these tendencies were challenged a few weeks ago at my job. My supervisor had given me clear directions and tasks to accomplish, and I was to finish them before I left for a long weekend. I had not done this type of work before but was quite certain I understood her expectations. I made a great effort to complete the tasks: making coding changes, documenting the changes in detail with emails and screenshots, and loading the new coding onto our systems. I was exhausted, but pleased with my accomplishments.

When I returned to work the following week, I found I had not done these tasks correctly. Books were printed wrong, and codes did not work as planned. My supervisor was polite and kind when she explained this to me, but she also said she’d totally lost confidence in me. She had a coworker inspect my next task prior to its release.

I totally understood her reasoning, but as I listened, I felt so defeated and disappointed with myself. She had been sick that weekend with a fever, her uncle had passed away, and her mom was in cardiac rehab. And then she had to come into work to fix my screwup.

Now I can talk about the miracle. As I processed what she told me, the thought of food or bingeing never came into my mind. I could not believe it! Also, I did not act out with anyone else. I was never nasty or combative. I was able to make a list of the job-related items I’d done incorrectly—not unlike doing a Tenth Step.

Before my day ended, I talked to my supervisor. First, I apologized for having added so much stress to her weekend. Then I thanked her for being so professional, clear, and concise. She told me she appreciated that I reached out to her and said, “You didn’t know what you didn’t know. Sometimes you learn best by having your feet in the fire.”

The moral of this story is to work this program in all aspects of my life, to be grateful, and to realize my blessings. Thank you, Higher Power, Overeaters Anonymous, Bill W., and all who walk this path with me.

— Robin A., Baltimore, Maryland USA

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