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Making Connections

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It’s as simple as this: I settled for food. To block the pain of my love starved existence, I used food and sugar until my carefully constructed façade of beautiful well-being began to bloat from the excesses I needed to eat to feel safe.

But I had to do something to keep from losing my looks, the one thing that protected me from pity. So I came to OA to stop the deterioration of my physical image. It worked, but for many years I still suffered the pains of “chronic apartness,” even from the Fellowship. I resented people talking about the friends they made in program. This wasn’t the case for me; I remained isolated while attending regular weekly meetings. “Let us love you until you love yourself” was okay for others, but I didn’t think there was the possibility of getting some of the love I needed.

In the middle of this isolation, I received a stage IV cancer diagnosis and for the first time understood that my siblings weren’t available for me. No wonder I was so love starved. It took years to rectify in my heart that I am not a heinous person just because my siblings could not offer any love or moral support when I was facing major surgery, cancer treatments, and the shock of a brush with death.

But I found love and support with the people I met in the process of getting well. Having accepted my emotionally barren family ties, I actively sought out ways to feel a loving connection with others, a need that never goes away.

I found my calling in doing service in OA, and I can experience an abundance of loving connections through service.

The price I pay for the love I receive through helping fellows is abstinence no matter what. Working the Steps constantly as I do, this is not a price but a gift. God has given me the gift of communication skills, and my recovery has given me the gift of compassion to provide help where needed. Though it is nice to hear others thank me for helping them with program, it is the opportunity to make a difference and give loving assistance that warms me.

Thank God I am not so starved for love anymore.

— Anonymous

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