Home Service Don’t Disappear

Don’t Disappear

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Last year, I reflected on whether I should run for another term as intergroup chair. Because of work and family commitments, I felt I was not as effective in the last term as I could have been. It was the second time I had served as an intergroup chair in my twenty-five years in OA. I wondered if I should rotate out, but I also feared that no one else would run for the position.

It took my sponsor having me do a Fourth Step on overcommitment and another member reminding me that I had been a region or intergroup officer for nine of the last ten years to convince me it was time to rotate out. Of course, the intergroup found worthy candidates, and the new chair is performing admirably, so my fears were allayed.

As I relished the thought of releasing such a large commitment, a longtime member said to me, “Don’t disappear.”  She explained that she had seen other long timers leave service positions not to be seen again—that they became bored because they believed there was nothing left to do in service. Eventually they returned to compulsive eating.

I appreciated the reminder, since all kinds of service opportunities are available to every member. Immediately after my term ended, I became a new sponsor to a couple of members, I became an intergroup rep for my home meeting, and I began doing outreach by posting about OA to a community website. I’ve been blessed with opportunities to speak at a few meetings, and I attend my home meeting regularly. If I disappear from service, I will soon forget why it is so important for my recovery.

If I disappear from OA, I will forget why it’s important to stay abstinent. The siren song of compulsion will beckon. Without my connection to service and the other Tools, I will blindly follow its call into the misery of excess eating and the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain that it produces.

The last thing I want to do is disappear from OA. The next-to-last thing I want to do is disappear from service. I’ll continue to show up and serve because every day these things stoke my desperation for recovery and abstinence from that first—and 1,000th— compulsive bite.

— Mike B., Baltimore, Maryland USA

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