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A New Focus

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Whenever I went to my Tuesday night meeting, I noticed my sponsor talking with newcomers. He greeted them when they came in the door and sought their reactions after the meeting. I was amazed anyone could be so invested in helping others.

I wanted the kind of recovery my sponsor had, so I also began to focus on newcomers. I had to think past my low energy, depression, and obsession with food. I gained a purpose in the meeting beyond listening for lifesaving strategies.

Whenever I’m with another human being, whether a fellow OA member or not, I do my best to listen with the goal of being sane and useful. Sometimes it’s difficult to see past my own agenda: personal vignettes, opinions, and attitudes. When I do get past this agenda, I can offer my attention, which is more important than my digressions and analysis. By listening and sharing my experience, strength, and hope, I allow my fellow sufferers to arrive at their own solutions.

Before I try to be helpful, I ask for guidance to say the right thing. Sometimes I can mine gems from my own experience. Silence is often the best alternative. It is vital to be fully there and available for my OA brothers and sisters.

— Edited and reprinted from Together We Can newsletter, Region One, Spring 2006

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