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Long Shot Win

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Overeaters Anonymous seemed like a long shot to me. How could it help me? I didn’t have serious weight issues—but my eating was out of control.

I certainly was a compulsive eater. I spent most of my day obsessing about what to eat. Should I eat some protein or maybe more greens or perhaps just give up and eat potato chips? I was constantly trying to mediate between eating for my health issues and eating for my selfish pleasure—why can’t I eat potato chips?

I was a little kid who wanted my own way, even though I’d had years of experience eating potato chips and lots of other foods that made me feel wretched afterwards. Yes, food was defeating me over and over again, and my health issues were not benefiting from the struggle. So, I took a chance at a long shot and turned up at an OA meeting.

Little did I know how interesting and compelling Twelve Step programs could be. I’d never thought of myself as a loser (even though I hated myself and was ashamed—go figure), and I guess I had bought into the myth that all Twelve Steppers were losers and different from people I knew. Was I ever wrong! The people I’ve met through face-to-face meetings and phone meetings have turned me around and kindled in me a greater respect for humankind. Anyone who shows up for a Twelve Step program is a winner in intelligence, courage, and open-heartedness. I’ve felt lucky to meet these people and blessed with the miracle of sharing this path with fellow travelers.

So far, I’ve come to understand the nature of my compulsive eating. I feel in communion with others rather than alone and uniquely ashamed. At first, I was shocked by the term “abstinence” and didn’t want anything to do with it. Now, I better understand abstinence and have made a spiritual decision to leave room for my Higher Power. Thank you, OA!

While I still have a long way to go with the Twelve Steps, I’ve befriended myself and others to make this journey. I’m so especially grateful for all the phone meetings available. Even though I’ve only been in OA eight weeks, I’ve been able to show up, learn, and love so many times because of the phone meetings. My health issues mean I can’t drive much to get to face-to-face meetings, so the phone has been my lifeline. I’ll keep coming back. It works and it’s working for me!

— Anonymous

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