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Life’s Terms

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Taking life on life’s terms is one of the most important ideas that OA has given me—it’s such a meaningful concept. My sponsors remind me it’s my job to fit into my Higher Power’s plan, not the other way around. Looking back, it’s clear to me now that early years of abstinence gave me lots of practice in accepting life as it is, changing what I can, and letting the rest go.

Early in my program I received the suggestion to call in my food plan to another OA member. It seemed weird at first, but it was also a great idea since I tended to be secretive about what, how, and when I ate. Many years later, I continue to call in my food. My weight has stabilized within a 5-pound (2-kg) range; I weigh once a month. My top size was 13, but now, depending on clothing style and material, it is usually between sizes 6 and 8.

In the last ten years, I’ve lost both parents, two brothers, several close cousins, a sponsor from another Twelve Step program, and several friends. I have changed jobs five times. There has been much sadness and strain, but I’ve accepted life on life’s terms. My abstinence has survived through it all.

Life delivers a lot. I have been given so much abundance. I am currently sponsoring someone in the Steps, and— miracle of miracles—we are both working together on Step One. It couldn’t be more relevant. While sharing with her, I am reminded of so many changes and that I haven’t had to face them alone.

I have two sponsors whom I talk with regularly. I also attend meetings regularly, and I keep contact with a host of friends. Along with prayer and meditation, my friends form the spine of my recovery.

It concerns me that I haven’t had tears since my brother died six weeks ago, but even that is something I am powerless over. When the time is right, I’m sure it will be taken care of because Step One seems to fit everything.

First, I was powerless over compulsive eating, and my life was unmanageable. Now, I’m powerless over grief, powerless over remaining self-supporting through my own contributions, and powerless over all the other changes life brings.

When I was in early recovery, someone once told me the only constant is change. I can count on that. That’s life on life’s terms. Thank you, OA.

— Helen O.

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