Happy December everyone,
Region One Secretary
Like many people in the US, I celebrated a holiday where we celebrate our gratefulness with a big feast. I was grateful on Thursday. I am even more grateful today because I woke up abstinent. This is a miracle that I did not have for many years, even in program. I was able to enjoy my family, the football game, the parade and all the enjoyable parts of the holiday. I served a good meal, including the usual dessert items to the normal eaters in my family and not only did I not eat these items, I didnt WANT to eat them. I didn't feel deprived or need to leave the room or anything like that. No one but my fellows could even begin to understand how amazing that is. What a gift that is. I can say uncategorically that this is a gift because I could not stop myself from eating everything in sight no matter how many promises I made to myself or how many times I told myself I would he abstinent no matter what. My own willpower is nonexistent when it comes to certain foods. I have eaten when I did not want to eat more times than I can count - both in and out of program. What is different today than those times when I thought I understood what being powerless over food means is that I finally understand that my main problem is in my head. Dr. Silkworth says it beautifully. I have an allergy of the body, which means I react abnormally to certain foods. That isn't my real problem though. My real problem is that I have an obsession of the mind which compells to take that first compulsive bite. This obsession is the voice that says that, "this time," I can handle it and "here's why. ." It is this obsession that kept me returning to the food. I have other allergies. One that also ruined many a holiday season for me. I am allergic to evergreen. I end up sneezing and coughing and feeling pretty awful if I try to live with a real christmas tree in my home. When the allergy tests found this allergy, my parents started using an artificial tree and I stopped being sick at Christmas. When I became an adult, I didn't spend even a nanosecond considering using a real tree. When I had children, I had many a concerned freind tell me how my children were being deprived of the whole going out into the woods to pick out a tree, etc. Again, I didn't waste any time worrying about that. I prefer not to feel sick during the holiday season. Now, I have gone to bed feeling very sick from over stuffing myself with the goodies at the holiday season. Nothing says Christmas like throwing up and going back to eat more. I continued to do this, even after coming to OA, and one of the rationalizations I used was that my children would he deprived if we didn't bake goodies in preparation for the holidays. Imagine my surprise to see that Christmas still arrived, and was enjoyed by children, the first year we didn't do that. When I finally understood that my real problem was the obsession, I began to pray for the obsession to be removed. To my surprise, it was taken away and food stopped being the focus of the celebrations and abstinence just happened. I can serve dessert at Thanksgiving. It is Monday morning and we still have quite a bit of those desserts left, waiting to be thrown out. That never used to happen at my house. I am so grateful for this gift. So grateful, that I take the steps each day necessary to keep the obsession at bay. I work the Steps and use the Tools. Not perfectly by any stretch of the imagination. Thankfully, my Higher Power doesn't require perfection from me.
Happy December everyone,
Region One Secretary
Hello beloved fellow compulsive eaters:
I am in withdrawals, and it is bittersweet.
First, I am coming down to earth after having just attended the first face-to- face the Region One Assembly and Convention in four years. I was in good company; more than two hundred other compulsive eaters seeking, and finding, recovery attended the Convention. Time in OA ranged from Old Timers with over 40 years to recently arrived newcomers, the most important persons in the rooms. A goal was that everyone left the convention with a sponsor. This goal was set because it ramps up going through the Twelve Steps to do it with a sponsor. I suspect that many people left also with a new, or renewed, abstinence from compulsive eating. Being with HP’s guiding over a weekend and immersed in OA at Convention or on a retreat strengthens our recovery. I know it has for me over my blessed 38 years in OA. It is that inspirational! Come one, come all, to next year’s Region One Convention in beautiful Vancouver, Canada.
Secondly, my two-year position as Treasurer and serving on the Region One Board ended at Assembly last week. Fortunately for me, it is a gradual ending because there is a training period for the new treasurer (who is doing great by the way). One slogan I relate to is that “anything I ever let go of had claw marks all over it.” It will be good for me to practice letting go of seeing what donations are coming in or preparing this month’s financial statement. In this program I have learned I can let go and be grateful for the service as treasurer, and be eager for what is next.
I will put in my pitch for doing service at all levels of OA. I am old-school and learned to do service by being discouraged from NOT doing service. I heard that you can’t keep your abstinence unless you give it away. That is not something I want to test out to see if it is true.
I’ll end with a passage from the AA Big Book chapter “Doctor Bob’s Nightmare” Dr. Bob writes: “I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons:
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