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Giving Back

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Studying and working the Seventh Tradition has been one of the most important gifts of my recovery from the disease of compulsive eating. Learning to do my part has taught me how to behave responsibly in all aspects of my life.

Truly, I did not know that doing a service or making a donation could be the pathway for me to live each day feeling happy, joyous, and free. Whether I am opening a meeting room, serving on the board of an intergroup, or making a financial contribution, the Seventh Tradition helps me heal on the inside.

My active participation has enabled my Higher Power to guide me toward the next indicated right action, one day at a time. Here are some benefits I receive:

  • Having greater commitment to my recovery
  • Feeling “a part of” rather than “apart from”
  • Enjoying an inner serenity for having taken positive action
  • Knowing I am actively giving back what I have so generously been given
  • Accepting that my life depends upon my OA recovery
  • Smiling each time my monthly Automatic Recurring Contribution appears on my credit card statement as “Rio Rancho”

Let me explain.

I have visited our amazing World Service Office and warehouse in Rio Rancho, New Mexico USA. I’ve talked with our gracious WSO staff and seen our literature neatly stacked by category. It’s translated into more than twenty-three languages worldwide. I am awed by what Overeaters Anonymous has given to me and what it continues to give around the world. It is comforting to know I am contributing to OA as OA reaches out to others everywhere who are suffering as I once did.

A few years ago, our Board of Trustees distributed the Seventh Tradition Table Card, which encourages members to contribute $3 to the Seventh Tradition collection in each meeting. The card shows a brimful grocery cart and asks, “Last binge? $$$.” The next message is “Abstinence? Priceless!” I felt tears come to my eyes as I recalled the huge amount of dollars my binges cost each week throughout nearly twenty-five years of bulimia. That table card gently and kindly reminded me just how priceless my abstinence is.

My Higher Power helped me increase my monthly contribution to OA using the Automatic Recurring Contribution (ARC) option at oa.org/contribute and also helped me increase my Seventh Tradition contribution at meetings.

The more recovery I’ve received, the more I desire. Giving back is one way I make Ninth Step amends to myself because it helps me forgive myself for the wrongs my illness caused me and others. Today, I feel generous, willing, open-minded, and responsible because I do my part. OA’s Responsibility Pledge has taught me “always to extend the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion; for this I am responsible,” and I give because my life depends on it.

— Cathy

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