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Doubling Down

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At the ripe age of 69, I got married for the first time and also relocated from a booming metropolitan area to a more rural, suburban community. Since moving, my weight has slowly decreased due to increased activity and vigorous program work in OA.

I knew that adjusting to marriage and a new living environment would be high stress. Luckily, this Fellowship has taught me that food is not a solution to stress—the Twelve Steps of recovery is. For me, this was a do-or-die situation.

My first action was to find a face-to-face meeting, and as soon as I walked in, I knew I was home. I am an African-American woman, and my new community is predominantly white. At the meetings I attend, I am the only “fly in the buttermilk,” but it does not matter. OA meetings are my place of refuge, and these wonderful people have become my new and dearest friends.

The challenges have not been easy, but I live in Steps Ten, Eleven, and Twelve. When fear of not being the perfect wife, loneliness, or friction from living with another human being arises, I follow the directives in the Big Book and immediately ask God to remove them. If needed, I discuss the issue with my sponsor or another recovered OA member. I meditate daily and ask God what his will is for me and for directions and the power to carry them out.

Having a sponsor and sponsoring is the lifeblood of my recovery. My sponsees keep me in the Steps and help me exemplify that “Nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 89); it is also true for compulsive eating and compulsive overeaters.

My recovery is stronger today because I knew I was in a doubly stressful situation and that staying close to my Higher Power and this program was my only solution. I doubled down on my efforts because I know this disease is progressive. But guess what? Recovery is progressive too.

I thank God for OA, my sponsor and sponsees, and a 100-pound (45-kg) weight loss maintained since 1993. I have a life beyond my wildest dreams. This program is a design for living that gets me through anything. Yes it does.

— Nancy R., Mishawaka, Indiana USA

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