When the organized discussion concluded and there was casual chatting, no one walked up to me to say hello. I felt like I’d been transported back to being “the new kid on the block!"
OA to the rescue! Before attending, I had “huddled” with my Higher Power, turning over the results and making a commitment to show up with enthusiasm and a smile (Step 11). When the anger and fear popped up around my perception of the experience, I was able to call on Step 10 for a quick “spot-check” inventory and practice a spirit of forgiveness.
“Step Ten allows us to recognize our emotions and walk through the pain they cause us. We then let them go, turning our feelings over to our Higher Power so that we can regain our emotional balance.” (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 156). This step has been a lifesaver for those emotional stumbling blocks that come up in my daily life.
I may or may not give that book club a second try; if I go back, perhaps I can start a new trend of actively watching for and welcoming a newcomer. The experience was certainly HP’s reminder to “always to extend the hand and heart of OA: for this I am responsible” and to practice this principle in all my affairs - including book club!