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Keeping Focused

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I am grateful for sixteen years and six months of abstinence, by the grace of God and this Fellowship. It is a gift to serve as a sponsor and see sponsees go through the Twelve Steps to find abstinent, sane lives. Sponsoring helps me take the focus off my problems (a divorce, move, and new job), which could lead to self-pity or fear, and instead puts the focus onto the solution: the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA.

In a recent email to my sponsor, I said I felt fat and wondered if I should be eating less. She reminded me I’m just getting over being sick, so I couldn’t do much exercise. I don’t make changes to my food plan without first praying about it and checking in with my sponsor. I also say the Third Step Prayer and my own version of the Seventh Step Prayer. This humbles me and allows me to ask my Higher Power for help. I need HP every day to live one day at a time and be abstinent.

Giving back to this program also helps me keep my program fresh. OA has given me life far beyond what any diet could give. I used to think only about what I wanted. I was full of fear and self-pity, and I was stuck in my character defects. Giving to the program allows me to let my Higher Power transform my defects into assets.

I recently stepped down as chair of our area’s public information team. As part of this team, I learned to be a leader by example and to take small actions, such as delivering public service announcements to radio stations and typing up meeting notes. I stepped down after three years of service because I needed to be more humble and rotate leadership. Someone else can do the position just as well or better than I can.

Doing service has helped me let go of some of my character defects, such as trying to control others, being a perfectionist, and feeling self-pity. I’ve learned to go with the flow a little better and to admit when I’ve made a mistake. Even though my life is filled with many changes, I am grateful service has given me the ability to get outside the bondage of self. I am grateful to my Higher Power for keeping me abstinent, and I am thankful for my sponsors, sponsees, friends, and a full, rich life. Thanks for letting me share.

— Anonymous

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