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Phone Phenomenon

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My Higher Power’s grace led me to phone meetings, and after participating in a holiday phone marathon, I was hooked. By now, I’m sure I’ve called in to thousands of phone meetings! This may seem like a lot, but it’s easy because meetings are almost always available—there are three hundred phone meetings registered right now on oa.org. I may call in just to listen while I get ready for work in the morning, or when I travel to and from work. Sometimes I listen when I exercise, prepare meals, or get ready for bed. OA members are always there for me and each other.

Now I lead weekly phone meetings, and I have also helped start some literature phone meetings: We read and share about OA-approved literature, and everyone seems to enjoy it. I’ve encouraged bilingual members to begin new phone meetings in languages other than English. Some other telephone projects I helped organize include:

  • A Twelfth Step Within Day marathon
  • A marathon celebrating OA’s 50th birthday in 2010
  • A marathon to celebrate Unity Day
  • An International Day Experiencing Abstinence (IDEA) marathon—fourteen hours of meetings and speakers

To get the word out about the IDEA marathon, I sent multiple emails to members and groups, listed it on OA websites, and handed out flyers. Many other OA members pitched in to help organize the event, inform others, and call in to share their stories. It was great and really beneficial for me. Seven hundred and nineteen people called in, and OA members listened for a total of 28,852 minutes (481 hours) combined. Many people shared, and some exchanged personal phone numbers—we hope they gained new relationships in recovery. Several OA members offered to sponsor newcomers and other members in need.

It was worth all the hard work! I recommitted myself to abstinence and to working my program even better, one day at a time.

I have been in and out of OA for thirty five years. I can be honest and say the times I left OA were mistakes, and I am glad to be back. With my Higher Power’s help, I have been abstinent for the past six years; I eat six abstinent half-meals every day and have lost about 120 pounds (54 kg)—half my highest body weight. I am very thankful to OA for helping me become aware of my eating behaviors and thought patterns. I try to pass this program on and sponsor others, and I hope my service helps to strengthen OA as a whole and the programs of other OA members. OA saves the lives of compulsive eaters around the world. Members, for all you do for the Fellowship, I would like to thank you.

— Michelle, Brooklyn, New York USA

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