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For Others and For Me

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Service is a big part of my recovery. My disease is one of isolation, and selfishness is a character defect of mine. By giving service, I am forced to interact with others and become selfless. I do things for others without expecting anything in return. It’s a whole new concept for me, doing favors with no strings attached!

I started giving service early on when I joined OA and at a time when I was struggling with my abstinence. I became custodian of the key for our meeting room. I am now able to arrive early to set up, and it also encourages me to attend all our face-to-face meetings. As I’ve started working the Steps with a sponsor and become more involved, I’ve found that giving service is an important Tool in my abstinence. I am blessed with the grace of my HP to be abstinent today.

I helped start a new face-to-face meeting, and I am so grateful because now we all have three meetings to attend each week. I am secretary for the new group, and in my other groups I am the Welcome Person for newcomers. I am also a moderator for an online group, which involves posting meetings regularly and helping run the group. This is providing a service for our Fellowship, but it is also a comfort for me to know that this group is available between my face-to-face meetings. I find it heartwarming to read about other people’s stories, faith, and hope.

I’m not writing about these services that I do for egotistical purposes, but as examples of what can be done in OA and how much service benefits us all.

I find that, by giving service, I automatically use many of the Tools of Overeaters Anonymous: I read literature to share on our site, I often write, and I’m communicating with other members and the other moderators. Giving service immerses me in the program easily and with meaning. I have started to offer service for others outside the Fellowship too.

I’ve learned it’s okay to say no when I’m not able to serve; it is okay to set boundaries. This has allowed me to help people without feeling resentful, as I did in the past. I am not chalking up favors and calling them in at a later date.

I feel strongly that service is one of the key parts of our recovery in this program. For today, I am grateful for my HP, OA, and everyone in it who plays an important role.

— Andrea, Gold Coast, Australia

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