Virtual Help

5 min read

I found OA through an email loop. The loop showed me what OA was like and gave me hope and strength.

After a month of email loop meetings, I went to my first live virtual meeting, a voice chat about Step One. There, I received my miracle. With an open mind, I accepted Step One and began abstaining from binge foods. I didn’t eat sugar again.

I began to go to virtual meetings almost every day. I began to lose weight. I started giving service to my meetings, and I attended my first service event here in Brazil. After eight months, I had lost 40 pounds (18 kg) and opened my city’s first face-to-face OA meeting.

Why did I start a face-to-face meeting here when I prefer virtual meetings? To carry the message. I love virtual meetings, but some people prefer to meet face-to-face, and I want to carry the message to them too.

My recovery happens every time I arrive in a virtual meeting. I feel seen, and I receive wonderful “hugs” from my virtual friends. My recovery happens each day I have the opportunity to give service in my virtual service board. It happens when I share my miracle—I lost 99 pounds (45 kg) and I am abstinent—and when I remember I need to work my program.

My recovery needs me to use all my Tools. I write. I have a sponsor and now a sponsee. I use the phone, I have a plan of eating, and I give service.

I love giving service. In virtual meetings, I serve as secretary and sometimes moderator, and I am the delegate cochair of the Virtual Services Conference Committee. I hope to serve again as a World Service Business Conference delegate for my Virtual Service Board.

I work my program, and it doesn’t matter whether my meetings are virtual, face-to-face, or both.

I have maintained continuous abstinence for seven years, and virtual meetings have helped me a lot. I can attend them in my house or in my car and whenever I have a difficult day. When I need to remember that food won’t help me, I go to a phone meeting about the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. I go to a Sunday meeting too; even though I don’t share at this meeting, I am helped. Although many meetings are in English and my first language is Portuguese, every meeting is OA. Face-to-face meetings, phone meetings, virtual meetings—this is diversity!

I feel so much gratitude for virtual meetings because, seven years ago, I didn’t have the courage to go to a face-to-face meeting. I weighed 230 pounds (104 kg) and felt bad all the time, ashamed about my body. Even in virtual meetings, it took me two months to find the courage to share. I hope to keep coming back because I love to carry the message. Face-to-face or virtual, OA works!

— Dora, Brazil

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