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What Matters More

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When I first heard the phrase, “But I’m too weak! I’ll never make it,” from Our Invitation to You, I translated it to something else in my mind: “But I’m too different! I’ll never be accepted.” I worried if I didn’t see other people like me in the meeting, then I couldn’t safely share about the details of my life. And I was pretty sure that if I couldn’t talk about what was going on with me, then I couldn’t get better. But I was desperate enough that I was willing to try anything, and I kept coming back to the meetings.

Eventually I developed enough trust in the group and its members to start sharing details about my nontraditional household, and I discovered that the problems with eating that I dealt with in my family were really quite common.

I am grateful I was wrong about being too different because today I have three years of continuous abstinence with more physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery than I could ever have imagined for myself.

After I had been coming to OA for a while, I found the Invitation’s reassurance and promise “Don’t worry, we have all thought and said the same thing” applied to my translation too. I came to understand it is our common problem of compulsion with food that binds us together, and it is a more powerful unifier than the potential division of our personal differences. It doesn’t matter if I am in a meeting where I believe myself to be the only lesbian, or the only person under 40, or whatever other divisive qualification I choose to use. I know that I am not alone among the worldwide Fellowship. Within that meeting, there is experience, strength, and hope I can receive and use. Even more important, I have experience, strength, and hope to give.

Whatever our walk of life, we have a place in the Fellowship. When we are in the rooms, each one of us is a recovering compulsive eater contributing to our common welfare. That unity matters far more than any diversity we might claim.

— Kay

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