Home Slipping & Sliding The Slippers and the Strugglers

The Slippers and the Strugglers

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I am a recovering compulsive overeater, and I’ve been in the rooms for more than forty-two years. Twice I had spurts of freedom from the compulsion to overeat—the longest was two years. I lost 100 pounds (45 kg) initially and have kept off 80 pounds (36 kg) for more than fifteen years, which is a miracle in itself. I’m still 5 pounds (2 kg) from my goal. I’m going on 83 years old but feel like I’m 60.

I’m grateful for all the times I slipped and was able to get up again with the first three Steps: I can’t; God can; I’ll let him. I have never left the rooms, abstinent or eating compulsively. Where would I go? I’ve tried it all. When all else fails, follow directions. I get my directions from the Steps, the Tools, my God, and very often from meetings.

I admire those who have years of abstinence, but I identify most with the slippers and the strugglers, especially long-timers like me. I applaud the person who struggles for years but keeps coming back, and when that person finally stands up and says, “I’m abstinent and sponsoring,” my eyes fill with tears of happiness for them. That’s the kind of person I want for a sponsor.

I’m not the person I was when I first came into the rooms. I was a very unhappy single mother weighing 253 pounds (115 kg). I was a couch potato. After finding OA, I got my driver’s license at the age of 54 with the help of lessons from an OA friend. I flew for the first time to visit an OA friend in Florida. I was able to raise my children alone with the help of OA. I went back to work after twenty years, which was very scary, and after retiring I moved to Florida (to the surprise of my family). The Serenity Prayer was always with me during my chemo and radiation treatments. I’ll never forget two beautiful members who got down on their knees and prayed for me during a convention.

I have so much to be thankful for, including the love of my children and my OA family who loved me when I couldn’t love myself. I keep coming back and that is what keeps me going. OA works if we work it. Eventually it grabs hold. It just takes some of us longer than others.

I can’t; God can; I’ll let him. These have been the best years of my life.

— Dotty, Flagler Beach, Florida USA

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