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Being There Anywhere

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I was delighted to read the article “Being There” (August 2017). In 1981, I moved to Germany to accompany my military husband. That first summer, all the local OA members went back to the US for vacation, and I single-handedly kept our three meetings open through September by listening to speaker recordings on cassette tapes. I knew to do this because I’d read “Visit to a Small Meeting” (Lifeline Sampler, p. 5 and Lifeline March 1979). It’s the story of a lone member who shows up by herself every week to the meeting place, sets up a coffeepot, and listens to recorded recovery messages for the entire hour whether anyone else comes or not. I can’t be sure whether the writer or the lone member ever knew how their story, two years later, inspired someone thousands of miles away to keep meetings open.

At that point in my life, I had been struggling to stay abstinent for several years. One day, the person who became my sponsor showed up at one of those meetings. For the first time, I worked all Twelve Steps and began my current abstinence which, as of today, has lasted thirty-four years.

Like the message of “Being There,” I enthusiastically agree that we never know how our service may help someone who needs a meeting. As the Responsibility Pledge indicates, we are responsible to be sure OA is here for anyone, anywhere who reaches out for help. The service I have done, from the individual level all the way up to the world service level, was done to ensure OA is there for me, for I cannot abstain without the support of the Fellowship that gave me my life back.

— Barb G., Walkersville, Maryland USA

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