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Living Proof

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A sponsor has what a newcomer wants: abstinence! I wouldn’t be able to sponsor if I was in the food. It would be like a drunk sponsoring someone in AA. We’re crazy when we’re in the food, whether we know it or not, and it would be a disservice to OA and the newcomer to pass on that insanity.

There is a difference between “relief” and “recovery” in OA. While it is nice to find oneself surrounded by people who understand the horrors of overeating, we are promised so much more than sharing a common problem. We are promised a common solution. We are promised freedom from compulsive overeating—recovery—instead of that temporary relief we might feel if we were to overeat. This is the message we are responsible for passing on to the person who still suffers, both the newcomer and still-in-the-food longtimer: We can put down the food and never overeat again! That’s what my first meetings told me thirty-three years ago, and others and myself are living proof that this program works. Recovery without relapse is possible.

When my first sponsor went back to the food after seven years of abstinence, I did not follow her; I got a new abstinent sponsor the day I found out. If I ever went back to the food, it would be my responsibility to let my sponsees go so that they could find a replacement abstinent sponsor, someone who still has what they want, which is freedom from compulsive overeating!

This program works when we remember what the point is: abstinence.

— A.G., United Kingdom

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