Along with issues of abusing myself with food, I came into OA with my glass half-empty, feeling victimized, and resentful about everything. I am grateful for people at the meetings who had to deal with a newcomer full of deficits, and loved me anyway. I now have a 30 year journey behind me of working the OA 12 Step program, and the OA 12 Step program, working for me.
I started hearing a lot about gratitude in the OA rooms. At that time though, my complaint was “What do I have to be grateful for?” and I’d give a long list of how I was victimized in my life. I didn’t want to hear anyone else’s gratitude either. Instead of being happy for them, I was jealous. Needless to say, I wasn’t a very happy camper when I arrived at OA.
I am not that way now. I see now how I have a great life, even at times “beyond my wildest dreams.” It has taken a 37-year journey in OA to get to the life of gratitude I live now. Early on in program, I did need to recognize the abuse I had suffered as a child and seek healing in other 12 Step groups and therapy, reading self-help books. This process is not for wimps—I’ve found that it’s a gutsy and courageous and intense life choice to change and recover. I became willing only after trying all easier, softer ways.
This is a pitch for gratitude. Mine rolls out easily now. I’m noticing more that it seems to be the top assignment in sponsor-sponsee check-ins to make a daily gratitude list. Whether gratitude comes easily, or after a long journey as in my case, I count gratitude as a promise of working the OA program.
Carrie A. - Region One