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Speaking My Feelings

4 min read

When I came into OA, I thought my life would be perfect if I could just lose some weight and keep it off. I thought food was my problem, but it turned out I was my problem. More specifically, my thinking was my problem: I thought if I could do the right thing and say the right thing and make everything nice, everything would be okay. I thought I had a relationship with God, but I was worshiping at the altar of appearances. I was so driven by other people’s approval, so obsessed with how my life and my body looked from the outside, but I still kept getting fatter . . . until I came to OA.

I’d heard people talk about getting sober from alcohol or drugs and about the clarity of mind it gave them, but I had no idea that I would experience a similar change after getting abstinent from sugar. Once I stopped eating compulsively, I started noticing all kinds of issues in my life and wondering how long they’d been that way. Then I realized they had always been that way; in the past, I’d simply eaten about them. I hadn’t even been aware of how much those issues bothered me and definitely hadn’t recognized how my own failure to set and enforce healthy boundaries had allowed these unhealthy situations to persist.

My relationships with my OA sponsor and friends are the deepest and most trusted of my life. Because these people are all striving for a way of life that demands rigorous honesty and honoring the Tradition of anonymity, I’ve been able to talk openly with them as I recognize and address the issues that made me an addict in the first place. The candor and unconditional love in these relationships have given me courage to open my heart to God in a fearless and searching way.

Because of these changes, I now have a safe place to live and no longer dread going home. My life is in transition, and even though the change process is filled with uncertainty (and sometimes with fear), I am able to speak these feelings out to God and my OA family, so I have not had to eat over any of this. I have not even wanted to eat over any of this. The compulsion has been removed, and now I can deal with the underlying issues. I am a broken, imperfect person, far from where I need to be but also far from where I used to be.

I am grateful, and I am going to keep coming back.

— Anonymous

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