Later that week I was reading a wonderful story in the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition) titled “A Drunk, Like You.” On page 405 a spiritual awakening was discussed. Aah! My friend had been asking about my spiritual awakening! In the story, the writer was disappointed that he hadn’t had a “more dramatic” spiritual awakening.
I was transported back to 1976, when I first entered the rooms of the 12 Steps at the tender age of 26. I had accompanied a friend who didn’t want to go alone. I had been very depressed, but didn’t know that I was about to find the answer I needed. Walking into that room is something I’ll never forget. It felt like walking into sunshine (and it was winter in Fairbanks, Alaska). I felt loved and accepted. And I kept coming back. That was my first spiritual awakening!
Jumping ahead to 1987. I was no longer a member of that first fellowship. I was desperate to lose weight. I saw an ad for Overeaters Anonymous in the paper and wondered if it could be a Big Book fellowship. Their meeting was held fifteen minutes after I got off work and only three doors away, so I brought my Big Book and found that they were starting a Big Book study that night! It was a renewal of my spiritual awakening. Here was where I belonged!
Fast forward to 2009. We had moved and moved again. I had wandered away again. I had tried other methods of weight control. Nothing worked. I got the bright idea of going to an Oregon OA retreat to get back on the wagon, but thought that afterward I wouldn’t have to attend meetings afterward—that I’d be able to do it by myself. But I discovered at the retreat that I love meetings!
Later that year we had to move again, back to my home town of Ketchikan to care for my mother. I found an ad for OA in the paper, but when I went to the meeting no one else showed up. I called the paper and was told the meeting wasn’t happening and they didn’t know how the ad had gotten back in the paper. The time and place for a meeting were provided for me, and there were many weeks of just myself attending, but slowly a fellowship has grown around me.
I pray I have learned the lesson for good that this is where I belong and where I can stay spiritually awake, growing in recovery!
Lesley – Region One
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