Combined Strength

4 min read

I need meetings to be strong, vibrant places where a variety of voices express recovery through each person’s story of experience, strength, and hope. I grow concerned when I hear about OA meetings shrinking or closing entirely. Fewer meetings with fewer members means danger for me. I need support, and I need to be able to reach out to others. It’s a vital part of my program.

When OA meetings in my area closed, my home meeting, which had been a Hebrew-speaking OA-HOW meeting for more than eighteen years, discussed this concern and came to a group conscience decision that works for us. Our group now actively welcomes all OA members who want to join us. We adopted the Suggested Meeting Format to accommodate new members and modified it to include OA-HOW selections for existing members. When available sponsors sign in, they note what type of sponsoring they do.

We now have a congenial group with good recovery. We are open-minded and welcoming. Recently, two newcomers joined our group, and we are all thrilled. They provide a flashback to that lightbulb moment when we realized there is a way to deal with compulsive overeating as a disease, not a fault or weakness. Last week, ten members attended our meeting and heard a speaker with recovery that inspired us.

I wish for OA worldwide to stay united, for there is strength in unity. We don’t need to be identical to be supportive and learn from each other. We can join together around our common cause because we are all compulsive eaters. We all have eating disorders, and we’re on a journey toward recovery.

In our meeting, we can listen with tolerance and love as members speak of their challenges and how they apply the Principles, Tools, and Traditions of OA in their lives. One person might accentuate their chosen approach to OA; others might discuss the more structured framework they’re working through OA-HOW; a new member may still be getting to know OA and searching for her or his own path within the program. All are accepted warmly. We have learned to listen nonjudgmentally, to reach out, and to truly love one another.

It is a blessing to have OA in my daily life. OA is very precious to me. I don’t know how people get along without it. In fact, I think the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions should be taught in schools for the lifetime benefit of every human being.

Let’s get together to keep OA meetings going, to offer a safe place for compulsive overeaters to heal together.

— Reva, Israel

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