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Any Distance, Any Length

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“Any form of service—no matter how small— that helps reach a fellow sufferer adds to the quality of our own recovery.” —The Tools of Recovery


Six months ago, I moved, leaving behind the OA meeting that had been my home for five years—my strong, healthy meeting full of abstinent recovery and knowledge of the Twelve Steps.

There are meetings in my new town, but none that focus on abstinence. They’re more like support groups for people still actively overeating than places to receive the experience, strength, and hope of recovery. So what to do? My answer is: Do whatever it takes to stay abstinent and work the Step I’m on.

Today I’m writing this article for Lifeline. I’ve even taken the train to my old home meeting, spending the day away just to get an injection of recovery. When I was going on holiday in another country, I arranged to offer a one-day recovery workshop on the Big Book and working the Twelve Steps. I attended the annual assembly of my region and offered to speak at a workshop there. I continue to take sponsee calls daily. In six weeks, I’m scheduled to lead a weekend retreat.

But I had been letting my people-pleasing tendencies get in the way of me starting a new meeting here in my new town; I worried about what others might say. I’ve been restored to sanity since, so, once again, I feel the willingness to go to any length. I’m now making arrangements to start a new meeting here, one that focuses on abstinence and working the Steps.

Thank you to everyone who is abstinent as a result of working the Twelve Steps and this program. Thank you for offering the experience, strength, and hope I need to hear and see regularly. How wonderful it is to “trudge the Road of Happy Destiny” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 164), together in the knowledge that we never have to take that first compulsive bite again! Thank you, OA, for providing a way out—one day at a time for the rest of my life. I am willing to go to any length to stay abstinent today.

— Anonymous

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