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In the PI Flow

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Recently, I had the honor of working the OA booth at a local fair. The fair ran for many days, and it gave several intergroups the chance to reach out and help change the lives of strangers. Another OA member was working the booth with me, and I and recall her sharing the following:

“Three years ago, I was wandering around this fair, eating junk, and I saw this booth. I had a friend in program, but I was sure I didn’t need it. Then, the people at the table asked me if I knew of anyone who might have a problem with food. They did not ask me if I had a problem, not ever. Next, they gave me the Fifteen Questions flyer and a meeting schedule and suggested that I share it with someone else. It took me a long time to walk into a meeting. If I had not met them at the fair back then, I would not be here today.”

She and I worked at the booth together for two hours, and it was wonderful to share our experience with all the people we met. It was disappointing that several extremely skinny people and heavy people chose to ignore us. Still, we know that they saw the booth, and the posters were clear in letting people in a hurry know that isolation is not healthy. On our table, flowers bloomed on the right side, and on the left side, one lone flower, surrounded by nothing except rocks, struggled to grow on its own. The invitation to leave isolation behind and join those who understand was highlighted in colors and all done by a loving hand.

Another day, I was lucky enough to meet two members who had been working hard with the young persons’ meetings. They were very willing to share openly about their hopes and fears about young persons and their addiction to food. The idea came naturally to reach out to parents who were attending the fair. This method of getting people to stop, listen, and share was highly effective. It made it much simpler to allow others to voice their personal fears since, again, the conversation was based on “someone else who might or must have this illness.” Whatever works, works. It had to have been inspired by my HP because I heard the words simply flow, and I had no fears as I opened up to share my experience, strength, and hope.

I also met police officers and several people in the medical profession who were interested in what we had to offer. The professional information was readily available and was passed out accordingly.

This was my first time being able to participate in such an event, and I know it will not be my last. I look forward to next year, and all the years thereafter. What a way to spend the summer.

— Jo, Santa Fe Springs, California USA

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