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Paperless Process

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I am a compulsive overeater, abstinent one day at a time since October 15, 2012. I’ve shed 120 pounds (54 kg) along with a frighteningly long list of ailments and medications. My liver had been failing, but now it’s fully functional. My physical healing has been truly miraculous, but the emotional and spiritual healing is far, far better.

In approaching recovery, I found I needed to work differently than most people. I am dyslexic, so words on paper jump around and vibrate, making it hard to concentrate and comprehend. When I try to put my thoughts on paper, I spend more time overcoming confusion and thinking about the mechanical process than thinking about what is in my heart and head. I am also allergic to dust mites—another reason to avoid paper! I had to learn to work digitally. It is who I am, and it is how I process, so I have done all my Step and recovery work using a computer, tablet, or phone.

I’ve noticed there are some members of the Fellowship who believe we must use paper, pencils, and books to find recovery. I have been told more than once that I must write things down on paper to get to the heart of them. That may be true for some—it may even be true for most—but it surely is not true for me. Paper is not magic. Processing is what holds the mystery, and my recovery is not counterfeit.

When I survey younger generations’ ease in the virtual world, I find myself concerned that the Fellowship might be unwelcoming to a generation of digital natives, people who have never known a world without immediate connection to resources and information via technology. Books have been replaced by tablets in many schools today, and students interface with hardware and software constantly. OA needs to allow people to process in the way they’ve learned. We must develop a willingness and openness for each person to process any way that brings them recovery.

It’s a brave new world, so let’s jump in and treasure the process of writing and journaling. ‘Digital recovery’ is real. It is worthy and should not be discouraged. It is the processing and spiritual work that hold the mystery, and it’s a wonderful marvelous mystery to be shared!

— Dawn K., Florida USA

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