Home Responsibility Pledge Who, Me? Yes, You.

Who, Me? Yes, You.

4 min read

I’m sure I heard the OA Responsibility Pledge at my first meeting fifteen years ago. When I really listened to it a few meetings later, I thought, “Responsible? Who, me? No way! My life is a mess—I’m the one who needs help. How could you possibly tell me that I’m responsible for others?”

When I was a teenage compulsive eater, responsibility meant making sure the children I babysat were in bed as soon as possible so I could eat whatever I found in the kitchen. When I was an adult compulsive eater, responsibility meant showing up for work even though I was hung over from too much food the night before. And as a compulsively eating wife, it meant buying the groceries so I could make sure I got my sugar fix (and the real food too). I did what I absolutely had to do to get through the day. That was enough responsibility.

I made commitments and did not keep them, or I kept commitments but complained the whole time. I procrastinated at work , then pulled all-nighters to get the work done. It’s clear I didn’t know how to handle responsibility before OA.

Fast-forward fifteen years. Now the words of our Responsibility Pledge have taken on a new meaning. Through the Steps and the Fellowship, yes, I really am responsible. How?

I am responsible for:

  • my own recovery
  • my abstinence
  • my self-care
  • working the Steps and staying in fit spiritual condition
  • reaching out to the Higher Power of my understanding, listening, and seeing what he has planned for me
  • sharing my experience, strength, and hope
  • picking up the phone or the literature instead of the food
  • being honest at all times, especially with my sponsor
  • practicing the Principles of the Steps, Traditions, and Concepts in all my affairs

I want to live the rest of my days abstinently. The only guarantee I have for lifelong abstinence is to keep coming back, to carry the message, and to extend my hand and heart to all who share my compulsion so that OA is still here tomorrow. For that I am gladly responsible.

— Denise O.

Editor’s Note: OA’s 2016 Strategic Plan includes a focus on the Responsibility Pledge. Region chairs and members of the Board of Trustees are contributing one article per issue on this theme.

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