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The Only Thing Left

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I am very grateful for OA’s Sixth Tradition. When I came into the rooms, I was angry and wanted to blame outside people, places, and things. I had operated most of my life using that reasoning. If I started a particular weight-loss program and it didn’t work, I could simply blame that program: “No wonder I’m still fat; their program is structured for me to fail!” Making excuses had always been my way to handle reality. The fact was I could not comprehend why I couldn’t stop eating.

My blaming methods all changed when I joined OA. At first, I wanted the quick fix. I was seeking the special pill that would help me lose weight and let me eat everything I wanted, but the program taught me this: In order for my program to work, I had to work it. Alas, there was no special diet and no special food I had to eat to get the promised results. No, I had to get a sponsor, work the Steps, and put the food down. For the first time, I felt I had to make the decision. I could not blame the diet or the weight-loss program any longer. The only thing left for me to do was to move forward.

As I progressed in the program, I was still very sensitive about the word “God.” I am so grateful that no one preached his or her religion because I would have left OA. Instead, the Fellowship taught me that it was up to me to develop the spiritual part of my program in whatever way I saw fit. Once again, I was responsible for my program.

Tradition Six is a big reason why I stayed in OA. These Traditions keep us together. Without outside enterprises, our Fellowship is free to focus on how to get and stay abstinent. Traditions keep our program simple and in the solution. Thank God someone smarter than me put these in place!

— Edited and reprinted from OA Today newsletter, St. Louis Bi-State Area Intergroup, June 2016

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