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Not an Expert

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Tradition Eight: Overeaters Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

This Tradition has two parts to it.

First, “Overeaters Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional.” As I’m writing on this, I’m realizing now that one of my sponsors was evoking this Tradition with me. In her professional life, she was trained to be a therapist/counselor. In her role as my sponsor, she had to be nonprofessional. The way she taught me is by suggesting I talk to a professional; at the time, I was seeing one about some issues. I did what she suggested. She was not using her expertise as a professional when she was sponsoring me. This reminds me that I am not an expert/professional when it comes to other members’ lives. All I can do is suggest that they talk to a professional when it comes to issues like food plans or mental health.

The second part of the Tradition states, “Our service centers may employ special workers.” When certain tasks need to get done, groups will not always be able to hire someone within the Fellowship. Both our World Service Office and our St. Louis Bi-State Intergroup office employ people who are not in program. These individuals have special skills to do the job.

I am writing this article on July 13, though the deadline was July 12. I’d dreaded and procrastinated doing this because the Traditions are not my strong suit. After writing this down, I now understand the reasons. Thank you, HP!

— Edited and reprinted from OA Today newsletter, St. Louis Bi-State Area Intergroup, August 2017

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