Home How OA Changed My Life Out of the Spin Cycle

Out of the Spin Cycle

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Before OA changed everything, my life was so unmanageable I couldn’t see that I was physically exhausted, emotionally oblivious, and spiritually impoverished. At 5 feet 10 inches (177 cm) tall and weighing 267 pounds (121 kg), my body was tired; I lived in every kind of pain. I could only identify the most basic emotions: anger, sadness, or happiness (it was mostly variations of anger in those days). I believed I could have health and happiness, but my only attempts to get them were claims that I was irreproachable. My relationships were strained, and my work was unrewarding. I lived in a “spin cycle” and rushed through my days with only one goal: tucking up to my TV, food in hand. I was too far gone to recognize my own misery.

My husband’s shortcomings had always been so evident that I found it impossible to consider I might have any of my own. “How could he?!” I lamented, when he finally walked out of our marriage. After all, I’d constantly reminded him of how flawed he was and how I had been doing absolutely everything for him for fifteen years. I was suddenly single, terrified, and 100 pounds (45 kg) overweight as the rest of the world welcomed the 2013 New Year.

In the days of stress and depression that followed, I dropped enough weight to revel in how right I had been all those years; my weight issue was my ex-husband’s fault.

It took about a year to hit rock bottom again. I had almost returned to my heaviest weight by March 14, 2014, the day I went to my first OA meeting. I pledged to remain abstinent that night. Over the next nine months, I used The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, The Twelve-Step Workbook, rigorous honesty, and each of the nine Tools to get myself through the Twelve Steps.

The Promises do come true! Today I weigh 191 pounds (87 kg), and OA is part of my everyday life. As I work toward a healthy body weight, I am physically healthier than I’ve ever been. I refrain from eating foods to which I am emotionally, spiritually, and physically allergic. I work daily to identify and accept my emotions. I have no desire to be right and no lessons to teach others, and this is allowing my spirit to recover.

Because it can only be done today, it is for today that I strive for serenity over insanity. Today I ask my HP for strength to keep fear, resentment, and regret out of my life and to keep abstinence the focus of my day. Today I do the next right thing in order to keep a mindset of excuses and low self-worth a thing of the past.

My OA family believes I have always had a light that shines from within. Those who knew me before OA know that my little light is a new thing that comes along with physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery—a new part of my healthier self.

—Rachel C., New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada

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