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My Part of Together

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OA’s Twelve Traditions offer guidelines on how we can all get along. Simply put, we come into OA from diverse cultures, backgrounds, beliefs, personalities, and defects, so these guidelines are necessary for our survival as an organization. It is no surprise, then, that unity should be our First Tradition. This tradition forms the cornerstone of our organization; it’s how we continue to prosper and help those still hurting from our common disease.

The best word that describes me when I’m in my disease is “alone”; therefore, the solution involves connection. The support I get from my friends in OA is priceless. This is where I find my recovery. We come together, supporting each other as we abstain from compulsive eating.

It is even more important that we come together to get the business of OA done: we must be a strong and united organization to attract and help those who need our help most. This, in turn, affects my own ability to stay strong in program. So, I give service and work to bring us together.

Groups are people coming together to be strong together. Intergroups are groups coming together to be strong together. Regions are intergroups coming together to be strong together. What we do together affects every person in our region. To be strong together, we need to work together.

Tradition One teaches that we are all dependent on each other for our shared welfare. I used to pride myself on being independent, believing I was able to take care of myself. The lie in that belief was proven by the weight I carried and the insanity in my head. Only after I accepted that I was powerless over my food behaviors did I become ready to ask for help. And when I did, you came with a commitment to love me until I learned to love myself. I still count on that commitment twenty-two years later. Because I owe you for that love and acceptance, I get the work done that needs to be done. If I’m not giving my experience, strength, and hope to others, then I won’t be able to keep what I have received.

But that doesn’t end with just sponsoring, making calls, and attending meetings—I’d be forgetting the bigger picture, all the other OA members who put on events, gathered in intergroups, and gave service at the region and world levels. For our common unity, I have to do my part to create a strong, thriving organization, so we can help those in need. — Edited and reprinted from Freedom from Bondage newsletter, Region Five

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