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Sponsor vs. Skeptic

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When I was denied for weight-loss surgery, I was devastated. Crying, I went to my primary care physician, threw my hands in the air, and shouted, “I give up! The whole world is against me, and no one wants to help me. If I’m going to be fat forever, then I might as well just go eat myself into oblivion.”

My doctor looked at me and said, “You could do that. Or, you can check out an OA meeting.”

I had rejected OA because I thought anonymous, Twelve Step meetings had some religious agenda or were going to force me into a cult where I would chant, “Hi, my name is ___ and I’m a ___.” Yet, here I was at my rock bottom, and I didn’t feel I had any other choice.

As I walked into my first meeting, I dragged my feet so hard I think I left a trail in the dirt behind me. The skeptic in me was overpowering. I watched and listened, and the voice in my head groaned. But a few important things happened in that first meeting: I was welcomed and understood; I smiled and got a few hugs; most important, I felt hope. Just when I thought there was nothing and no one to help me, I felt in the deepest depths of my soul that I was going to be okay. This place was going to help me.

I went to a few more meetings and started to feel comfortable with the format and my role. I knew I needed a sponsor to get a food plan, but I was taking my time so that the skeptic in me would start to go away and I could start believing in the process. About three weeks later, I got a sponsor and my food plan.

The minute she hugged me and told me she was going to be there for me every day, my skeptic ran away. I haven’t looked back since. Have I lost weight? Yes, but more important, I found myself.

I lived for thirty-plus years as a con artist, making others and myself believe I was someone different—stronger, funnier, or more outgoing—because I didn’t want anyone to focus on my size.

OA has not just given me my health and happiness back, it’s been a deep process of self-discovery I didn’t even know I needed. Why do I surrender? I surrender because I know what comes next, and I can’t wait to get there!

— Myra L., Castro Valley, California USA

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