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Together, We Have

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I have been in the rooms of OA for several years now, quietly waiting for my miracle. Like a student yearning for answers, I have listened, watched, and learned.

I have listened to your stories and shares, hearing nuggets of wisdom that come from living a life built on the Principles of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, a life that no longer centers on itself but embraces the whole, finding completeness by stepping outside and trusting truth.

I have seen the effects of battle on your bodies—but even your weary shoulders are held with a certain strength and your head is high with a courage born of struggle. The language of your bodies says to me, “I am not beaten. I have survived far worse. And I am not alone this time.”

In your eyes, I have seen the light of hope because someone accepted you as you are, without asking you to change. One day, my eyes, too, will shine brightly and the shadows of betrayal and uncertainty will be gone.

From the podiums in the rooms, I have heard anguish and heartbreak, disillusionment and regret, forgiveness and joy. What stays with me is the joy!

Since entering the rooms, I have found my own voice as I write and reflect, and I have realized I’ve learned much and have much for which to be grateful.

I have known the serenity of abstinence: the quiet calm that comes when I am free of my food obsessions and compulsions. I am no longer tortured by feelings of shame because I allowed the food to become my higher power.

I have known the promise of physical recovery: the ability to move my body easier—more in tune with my Higher Power’s design—enjoying the comfort that comes from letting go of excess food, allowing my body to find its own balance and breath.

I have known the frustration of relapse—frustration which, at times, almost bordered on despair, erasing hope and leading me down an old path that never worked for me—only to be embraced by a Fellowship that quietly encouraged me to “Try again . . . just for today.”

I have known the miracle of emotional deliverance from the traumas children were not meant to endure, the stillness of spirit that comes when childhood pain is finally accepted and understood . . . and then released like a little bird with an injured wing, wounded but still able to fly!

I have known the friendships of people who have shared many of the same experiences as me, people who have been ridiculed by those who do not understand our disease, who have suffered the same prejudices, who have cried the same tears because they were not good enough in someone else’s eyes, and who reached out a hand and whispered, “I put my hand in yours . . .” because they were tired of being alone.

I have known the humility that comes when I am able to help another person through the Steps, searching for the answers, discovering defects they never recognized before, realizing they had amends to make, helping them discover for themselves how to correct their wrongs and ultimately find the sense of peace that comes when you know you are living a life that is honorable.

Mostly, I have found the pure sweet joy of knowing a Higher Power who loves me as I am; who is always beside me leading, guiding, supporting, and comforting; a Higher Power I did not know existed before I came into the rooms! This is the best gift of our program! And this is where my gratitude sends me to my knees!

OA has given me many gifts! I am grateful to this Fellowship for guiding me through the Steps, supporting me when I stumbled and rejoicing with me when I conquered! YOU have been my mentors! YOU have been my coaches! YOU have been my teachers!

And yes, I have found my miracle. It has been here all along.

— Trudy N.

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