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Personalizing My Footwork

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I’ve been in OA for forty-two years and have worked my program in all sorts of ways.

For a time, footwork meant attending lots of meetings (both registered and not registered), workshops, and conventions. I used the AA Big Book for most of my Step work and had a sponsor in another Twelve Step program.

Over the years, I went through dry spells when nothing about recovery seemed to spark my soul. That scared me into looking outside the box. One resource was the phenomenal literature that OA has continued to publish, which provided opportunities for one-on-one work with an OA sponsor and group work at special-topic meetings. But I still needed and wanted more, though I didn’t know what that meant for me.

After I retired in 2004, I gave a lot of focus to prayer and meditation, and a beautiful, intuitive thought came to me. I’d tried to live by our Traditions, keeping my organized religion separate from my program, but it dawned on me that it was totally acceptable for me to weave my OA spiritual recovery, as described in Step Eleven, together with the tenets of my religion, provided I didn’t try to impose those tenets on others at the meetings. Thus began a new journey of footwork. I bought books on my religion’s history and researched the history of Twelve Step programs. I took notes, meditated on what I’d read, and applied those thoughts to working Steps Four through Nine. After each phase of work, I allowed time to let the information and profound “aha” moments sink deep into my soul. I asked myself how a particular insight would benefit my program and how I could incorporate it into the new way of life OA had given me.

I won’t provide specific, outside-issue examples, but I hope this shows what doing the footwork means to me. One acceptable example is I’ve learned there are many ways to work this program, and it’s totally okay for me to supplement my personal recovery regimen. Recovery takes effort, and above all else, I must keep growing. My new personal regimen has made me a more sensitive OA member and a more prepared sponsor. I feel deep appreciation for the journeys we take to maintain an abstinent way of life.

As a very grateful compulsive overeater, I thank each of you for being an example of what doing the footwork means.

— Anonymous, Colorado USA

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