Home Steps Group-Level Effort

Group-Level Effort

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Service at the group level is that which can be accomplished by the group members on a weekly basis. Tradition Eight at the group level reminds me that I’m just one of many trying to survive the disease of compulsive eating.

The longer I’m in program, the more I realize I don’t know what will work for anyone other than myself. I practice the Principle of Tradition Eight, fellowship, and give of my time and energy to help others who share my disease. I do this out of gratitude to my Higher Power and to the other members who gave me the love and respect I needed to find my way out of the despair of food addiction.

No matter what I do in my professional life, when I’m in an OA meeting, I’m just one among many. I share only my personal recovery. In order to grow in OA, I need to work with other compulsive overeaters as an equal, not an expert. I share my experience:

  • ideas that have worked for me over the years
  • how I use the Tools
  • what has happened when I worked the Steps
  • what my disease was like
  • how my life is different now because of what I’ve learned in living the program

It’s not always easy to remember that each of us arrives at recovery through our own efforts. I get out what I put in. The more I participate in the fellowship of the program—sharing at meetings, sponsoring others who want what I have to offer, and giving service to my group—the more I’m doing my part to carry the message and reach out to others who need to feel loved and supported to find their way.

When I speak my opinion rather than my experience, I’m taking on a role that does not serve me well. Sharing our recovery is always done without compensation. I am one compulsive eater helping another, with no expectation other than to share what has saved my life.

— Edited and reprinted from OA Today newsletter, St. Louis Bi-State Area Intergroup, August 2015


Learn more about Tradition Eight in just three minutes. Watch the Tradition Eight video under “Take a Walk Down the Traditions” at oa.org/podcasts.

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