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Reworking the Basics

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How did I get to the point of isolation? I binged; I ate to numb myself from my problems and stress, my disappointments in life. I was embarrassed by my eating behavior and didn’t want to face my friends, so I withdrew. I forgot what I’d learned through working the Steps; I forgot because I stopped working them. I forgot because I stopped connecting with others and with God.

Meetings, telephone, electronic messaging, and face-to-face contact are what build one’s strength in this program. Connecting with others, in any form, is what reaffirms my purpose in life and drives me to take action. The more I act, the better I feel. The better I feel, the more I want to connect.

I missed the connections I’d had when I’d been working my program. I wanted them back. So, I took the first step by reconnecting with God. “Get to a meeting,” he said. So, I got myself to a meeting, and then to another, and another. It was all starting to come back to me. I listened to the shares of others, and then I began to share. It felt good to be a part of something again and to feel hopeful. I realized that part of my recovery was dependent upon sharing myself with others.

As I began to rework the basics of the program that I’d forgotten, I found that, outside the program, I could exist in food situations with others. I felt strong again. This strength helped me use the program to deal with my problems, the stress and the disappointments I was experiencing. I no longer had to hide.

I will never be a normal eater. I am different from non-compulsive eaters. I may stand out in a group of normal eaters, but I never have to feel alone. I accept my disease and know that there are many people just like me in OA. I have a responsibility to myself and to others in the program to do whatever I can to be a good example of a recovering compulsive eater.

— Liz B., Chicago, Illinois USA

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