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Truly a Gift

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My first sponsor was a temporary sponsor, and as a newcomer, I felt funny talking to a stranger about my issues with food. I didn’t want a sponsor, but he was there for me. I started emailing him my meal plan. I read articles from Lifeline magazine and then wrote to my temporary sponsor.

I was obsessed with everything food, even the refrigerator. I wasn’t compulsively overeating, but I opened the refrigerator door every few minutes just to see what I had. It was another manifestation of my disease. Eventually I realized I was looking in the refrigerator for something to help me. So I stuck a Lifeline magazine in the refrigerator. The next time I opened it, there was the help I was looking for! I was reminded of my disease and that there is something positive I can do about it. I couldn’t keep myself from opening the refrigerator, but at least I could learn something from it.

The next morning I found the magazine on the table—my roommate had taken it out. Finding it on the table did something to me. While I ate breakfast and stressed about my food, I started to read. The Twelve Steps are conveniently inside, and the stories about recovery are inspiring.

I’m a slow learner. I didn’t understand how to work the Steps at first and binged frequently. One month after this incident, I started Step One. Here I am, a year later, beginning Step Six and slowly admitting that I am ready to let go of my character defects.

Some people are ready for OA when they first walk through the door. Others are in the program for decades before they are ready. Lifeline connected me when I was too afraid to meet face-to-face or even call. Now that I am more comfortable in my own company and with others, I read Lifeline because the stories inspire me to help others and myself.

I was once on the track to suicide. Whether I did it immediately or slowly through binges, I wanted out. OA, along with the care of a professional psychiatrist and nutritionist, showed me a better way. So my life now is truly a gift, and no sacrifice is too big for people who can use my help.

Were it not for OA, I’d be dead or have a life like death. The joy I get from sharing my experience, strength, and hope is enough to strengthen my recovery and keep me wanting to work with others. It is a beautiful feeling to live.

— Edited and reprinted from Heart of Texas Intergroup newsletter, January 2006

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