Home Telephone Call, Read, Write, Share

Call, Read, Write, Share

5 min read

I was sitting at my kitchen counter doing job-related work. I’d been struggling with food, and I had spent a lot of that day crying as I thought to myself, I am never going to be free. My phone rang, and I didn’t recognize the number. I contemplated not answering, but something prompted me to pick it up.

I was greeted by a sweet voice asking if I was Kari. I told her I was indeed, and how could I help her? She shared that since she is in her 80s, she couldn’t always get to a lot of meetings. Instead, she was working her way through an OA contact list. She then politely asked if I had time to speak with her. I thought to myself, “Oh, how sweet. She’s lonely and she’s making calls. The least I can do is spare some time to listen to her.” Little did I know that I was going to be the one blessed—she was going to spare her time to listen to me!

She asked me if I’d ever done an exercise called “read, write, and share.” I told her I had not, but it sounded safe, so I’d be happy to try it. She explained: we would both read the same literature aloud together. Then we would hang up and spend ten minutes writing about it. When we were done, we’d call each other back and read what we’d written, then talk about it.

We discussed what books we both had available and decided on the Big Book. She suggested I randomly open the book and pick a starting point on the page. We took turns reading until we felt we’d heard enough. We then hung up and started to write. After ten minutes of writing down my thoughts, I called her back and we read to each other.

It was interesting how we took away two completely different views of how the reading spoke to our lives, but both versions were valid and important. I cried while speaking with her. When we hung up, I thanked my Higher Power for the blessing of knowing exactly what I needed at that moment. Now, I’ve tried this same tactic with another person. I’d like to believe I was able to help someone else in the many ways that nice lady helped me.

Make a call. Someone needs to hear your voice.

— Edited and reprinted from OA Today newsletter, St. Louis Bi-State area Intergroup, July 2018


Do you have questions about what literature is OA-approved? Download the OA-Approved Literature List for a complete inventory. Find it at oa.org/documents under “Literature.”

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