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Help Through the Tools

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As I sit here at day forty-five of my abstinence, I am amazed and grateful for what has turned out to be like a joyride! I’ve had a couple days of waking up crabby, but I told my sponsor, put it out on calls, surrendered it to God, and soon found myself back on my joyride again. When I think of where I came from, it’s nothing short of a miracle that has transformed the person that I was into the person I am now.

I’d tried an OA HOW meeting six years ago and just found it all too hard. So, I took my food plan and left, thinking I could do it on my own. For six years, I struggled as this illness progressed, and I went from my longest binge being two weeks to my last binge, which lasted thirty days. I couldn’t stop!

On December 1, 2015, I reached my breaking point. After making a solemn oath not to binge that day, I ate twelve doughnuts by 9:30 a.m. I was in such physical pain; I seriously thought I may have injured my body. Emotionally and spiritually, I was drained. Suicidal thoughts entered my mind, and I cried out to God, “Please help me!” as I sobbed great tears of total defeat. It came to my mind, what about that OA HOW meeting? Immediately my mind thought: What if it’s too hard? What if you fail? Your hopelessness would be complete then.

But then I started frantically searching my house. I found a paper with some names and phone numbers and just started calling. On the fourth number, someone in program picked up. I was a sobbing mess, and all I could get out that she could understand was “Help me.”

She got me calmed down. I remember her voice and manner were so soothing. She told me what to do and had me call back in an hour. After that, she gave me another task and said to call in the morning. I immediately felt strength come back to me. She said she would temporarily sponsor me, and I felt I had been thrown a life preserver and was being reeled in. I was holding on for dear life!

I went on a phone meeting the next night and got a sponsor right away. I was shaky, but as I did what I was told, one day at a time, I began to blossom. The joy and happiness I’ve felt since has been tremendous! I now see my devastation as a gift: it brought me to a state of willingness and back to OA. I’m willing to go to any length for my abstinence. I fully concede I am a food addict, and I understand I have a progressive illness. When I gave up, God helped me, through the Tools and the wonderful support from members.

I no longer have to work my program. I want to—to remain well, have freedom and happiness in my life, and be present in relationships like never before. I can only hope to be a soothing voice for others as I grow spiritually in this program.

I can always tell a longtimer in the program by their voice and the words they speak. Thank you to all who have helped me on my journey so far. I am humbled and grateful for it.

— Janie Z.

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