By the time I found program, I was suicidal. I had spent so many years using my eating disorder to keep my feelings at bay, while working endlessly to prove my worth and earn my place in the world. I was exhausted. I could not keep doing what I was doing, but I did not know any other way to live; I was out of ideas. The darkness began to envelop me. I could see only one way to stop the pain. Then something miraculous happened—a small voice inside told me not to give up, and I somehow found the courage to reach out for help.
I was in the hospital for only ten days, but those ten days saved my life. It was there that I learned about the Twelve Steps and about Overeaters Anonymous. I attended my first meeting. Something began to shift. A door that had been slammed shut began to open. I began to see that my Higher Power had been with me through everything, putting people in my life when I needed them. I had been too hurt and too afraid to accept the help that was offered.
I wish I could tell you that I got a sponsor right away and worked the steps. That is not my story. After I left the hospital, a year and a half passed before I found myself in my second OA meeting, and then it took me two years to ask someone to be my sponsor. She had what I wanted and I was ready to go to any lengths to get what she had. She was calm and serene. Even when life was throwing lemons at her, she trusted her Higher Power completely. When things didn't go "her way," she didn't run from her feelings. She felt them, felt compassion for herself. She got quiet, asked for guidance, and did the footwork. She looked for her part, and trusted her Higher Power to walk with her as she took the next correct action. I wanted what she had and I was willing to risk trusting someone other than myself. As we worked through the steps, my trust in her grew, as did my trust in my Higher Power.
OA gave me so many opportunities to trust my fellows and to let go of expectations. I practiced in these rooms, and then in all of my affairs. Before OA, I saw people with a fearful heart; now I see people with a kind and loving heart.
I found a solution in the Twelve Steps and I surrendered to my Higher Power with complete abandon. I did the work and learned to trust the world again. My heart is open and I know with my entire being that my life does not need to be justified. Or earned. It is a true miracle and I am grateful every day.
I celebrated 25 years of freedom from bulimia this year. The road has been long and winding, yet I do not regret what I had to face, or the process, with the loving guidance of my Higher Power, because today I feel more joy and more happy days than I ever dreamed possible. All because I chose to take a chance and dare to trust again.
If you are afraid, OA is here for you. We can help you learn to trust again. All you have to do is find the courage to ask.
Alice W. – Region One
- go to Find a Meeting
- select a type of meeting (face-to-face, online, telephone, or non-real-time)
- click on "additional search options" and select the desired special focus