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The Blessing of Technology

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I first came to OA almost seventeen years ago. At that time, I lived in a large city where many OA meetings were available. I got a sponsor, went to great local meetings, and stayed abstinent for about five months.

Then my husband got laid off, and we had to make a giant life change. We moved across the country to the small town he was raised in to so we could be near his family. I lost sight of my newfound abstinence. I did try to find OA meetings, but they were far from me, very small, and without much recovery. I finally faded out of OA and tried diet programs or exercise when I felt my eating and weight were getting to me.

Thank goodness for the Internet, because about seven years ago I’d had enough. I went online and found links to intergroups in my area. They had contact information for active members, so I emailed one and asked her to sponsor me. We kept a phone and email relationship going for almost four years—I never even met her in person! I was able to formulate a food plan with her and go through Steps One through Nine.

Sometimes, though, I’m just not done until I’m done. Once again, I faded away from OA.

Then last August, something seemed to change. I called a woman I had heard speak at a conference. She lived two hours away, so we started a sponsor-sponsee relationship by phone. I told her about the meetings in my area and that I needed more substance in my recovery. She suggested phone meetings—and that is when my OA program transformed. I started listening almost every day to the specific phone meeting she attended, and since she was listening too, we’d discuss it during our daily call.

I have now found a face-to-face sponsor in my area and call her regularly, but I still keep up with the phone meetings twice a week. I fill the days in between with podcasts. I started texting other OA members for support and making time to attend special events. The last special event I attended talked about the value of service, and I realized what my program was sorely missing: service!

I hope this writing about my experience with the virtual world of OA can be a service to other members who are feeling alone. Through the blessing of technology, people can stay abstinent and work the Steps—when they are ready.

— Laura M.

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