Members’ Writings

We in OA use writing as one of our tools. Please share your writing (or ask your sponsee to) by sending your writing to kimoa@comcast.net with the subject line: Members Share.

Character Defects

I am grateful for another abstinent day.   I am grateful that the sugary foods are not calling my name today.   I am grateful that tonight is meeting night! I am grateful that I feel like I am losing weight. I am grateful that my head is little clearer.   I am grateful that I have more energy.

Now what about all those character defects?

Read more...Character Defects

Repetition and Perseverance

Every moment of every day something changes, I make hundreds of decisions daily.  

I get it, I am a direct action of my decisions.   Unless I change the way I think, I will continue to make the same decisions.   I cannot recover from my compulsive overeating or my compulsive food behaviors simply by managing my food, simply by just attending meetings or simply by reading Alcoholics Anonymous.

Read more...Repetition and Perseverance

Thank you, God

As I begin this day, I must remember that Abstinence and Sobriety are the most important thing in my life today.   Without them, I retreat back into the world of crazy thinking, unmanageable living, and eventually to sickness, insanity and even death.

Read more...Thank you, God

Too Much God?

Fellowship of the Spirit is from page 164 of Alcoholics Anonymous, Forth Edition.   

When I first came to read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, I felt I was a garden variety, run of the mill agnostic.  

Read more...Too Much God

Reliance

Last night I was thinking about how I use to run to the food, I remember why I picked up the food. I had no other option. In these past 30 days my life has changed and my thought patterns have changed.   Today when I am anxious, restless and discontent, my first thought is to God.   My prayer is for direction, to not go to the food, the comfort I always looked for in the past.

Read more...Reliance

Abstinence

Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder. - unknown
 
I say it to myself throughout the day and it gives me a little smile and some willingness to keep at it.
 
 Today I woke up feeling poorly.   I started to panic, I am having people over to the house later today and it is something we set up several months ago. These are friends that only get together a couple of times a year and some are coming from far away.   I really feel that canceling is not an option!

Read more...Abstinence

Willingness

Today I am joyous, happy and free.....as I continue to work the 12 steps of Overeaters Anonymous!   

For soooooo long I attempted to work this program my way relying on my own self knowledge, not expanding my spiritual life and ignoring the 12 steps.   Today by the grace of my HP, whom I call God, I practice working and embracing the 12 steps.

Read more...Willingness

Not Perfect

"Sometimes we fail to be all that we could be, and sometimes we aren't there to give you all you need from us.   Accept our imperfections, too.   Love and help us in return   That is what we are in OA - imperfect but progressing.   Let us rejoice together in our recovery..."  -Overeaters Anonymous Second Edition pg. 6
Yes, sometimes I fail to be all that I can be and I imagine I am not always there for people but I do always feel loved and cared for in my fellowship.  

Read more...Not Perfect

For Today, April 22

When I read the reading in for today it was about the 'NOW".   I had to read it twice and almost picked a different reading to write about because I felt it didn't really speak to me.

But I realized that like most things in my life I tend to complicate things and overthink the obvious.

Read more...For Today, April 22

Resisting Change

One reason people resist  change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain.

i have to admit, when i first walked down those stairs into my first meeting, i had a very long list running  in my head, fueling my anxiety, of all the things i was going to have to give up.   i made myself a little crazy with all that thinking, truth be told.

Read more...Resisting Change

Don't Wait for It... Make It!

of this be sure: you do not find the happy life. . . you make it. - unknown

DRATS!!! does this mean i also have to give up waiting for my White Knight?   and Mr. Right?

i guess it means i also have to stop waiting around for my "real" life to start.

Read more...Don't Wait for It... Make It!

You owe yourself

You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other people. - unknown

as i continue my readings in the BB, it strikes me over and over how 2 things are emphasized.   one that this is a spiritual program. and second, that we recover when we reach out and help others.   that's pretty remarkable.   unheard of back in the day - only "professionals" could help. then Bill W. came along and found that it was really only other alcoholics that could help other alcoholics.

Read more...You owe yourself

Light a Candle

“Those of you who have been fortunate enough to get another 24 hours clean/sober say a prayer for those who are not so fortunate.   and don't forget to thank the Higher Power that made you one of the fortunate ones today.”

it's friday.   a new day.   it's not thursday any more, so whatever happened yesterday - let it go. whatever you have planned for the weekend - don't obsess about it.   be right where you are now.

Read more...Light a Candle

Changes

Count your blessings, not the calories.   Weigh your options, not your self-worth.   Starve your self hatred, not your body.   Hate the disorder, not yourself.

the source of my COE disease was a childhood filled with so much hatred, and anger, and pain.   in the beginning it was inflicted on me from others.   but i'm a fast learner, and within no time at all, the voices of my haters were in my own head.   and i was hating on myself.

Read more...Changes

Stepping Outside

Sometimes you need to step outside, get some fresh air, & remind yourself of who you are & where you want to be. - unknown

this is also what is known as hitting the "pause" button.

it's impossible to live in this world without stress.   we all of us have triggers - those hot button things that turn the volume up on our COE.   people, places, or things.   i can't even write examples of them here, because doing that is a trigger for me.

Read more...Stepping Outside

A Goal Without a Plan

A goal without a plan is just a wish. - Unknown

how many times have i said, "I really need to lose this weight" or "my plan is to cut out sugar. . . " or "this time i'm going to stick with it. . . "

good intentions.   and things I really meant at the time.   but, honestly, what good are even the best of intentions without action?   without a solid and equally good plan.

Read more...A Goal Without a Plan

Wisdom – Courage – Dignity

Knowing when to walk away is wisdom.   Being able to is courage.  Walking away, with your head held high is dignity. - unknown

how many times have i lowered my head, averted eye contact, slinked away quietly from people, places and things, out of shame.   standing in line at the grocery store, or a restaurant or convenience store, overweight, buying junk, i have felt the stares of the people around me.   heck, i've felt myself stare at myself from inside my head.

Read more...Wisdom – Courage – Dignity

Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous), page 58

I believe that peace, joy, and serenity come from living in the present moment in conscious contact with my Higher Power.     But it requires a daily and moment to moment decision to turn to my Higher Power for guidance, direction, and strength.

Read more...Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous), page 58

Addiction and Recovery

Addiction begins with the hope that something out there” can fill the emptiness inside.” - unknown

i guess that means that recovery has layers.   first we have to see that the reason for our addiction has something to do with filling up an emptiness or a need in us.   then we have to figure out what that need is.   then we have to figure out how to either live with that need, or full it some other, more healthy way.

Read more...Addiction and Recovery

Twinkie ® Problem Solving?

I can honestly say that I never solved a problem by eating a Twinkie®.   The 3 or 4 minutes it would have taken to solve a problem, or make a phone call, or make an amends or whatever, can easily be replaced by driving for half an hour so I can grab some food that I definitely don’t need.

Read more...Twinkie ® Problem Solving

Voices Of Recovery, March 17

“The insanity of trying to fill the emotional emptiness and the spiritual void with food consumed me.”
“…a humble thankfulness that the craziness of my life managed to take the path that led me to God and to my daily recovery”
I am grateful for the OA program,

Read more...Voices Of Recovery, March 17

For Today, January 20

When a man’s willing and eager, God joins in. Aeschylus When a job or situation or personal problem seemed too hard, I used to say, “I can’t do it.” In OA I have tapped a source of power greater than myself.

Read more...For Today, January 20

Sharing My Problems and Challenges

I have no problem sharing my problems & challenges. Something that I do have a problem with is the “sharing” of my time & attention.

Read more...Sharing My Problems and Challenges

For Today, August 6

"When the student is ready, the teacher appears".

I have heard that phrase many times over the past 35 years.   I know it has been true for me.   Many times I did not know the sponsor I was working with would have the knowledge and experience to help me through the problems I would have 6 months down the road.   

Sometimes I can identify God's hand in my life and that is usually after the situation is resolved.

Read more...For Today, August 6

My Mission Statement

What is my "mission statement" for continuing with my abstinence and OA program?

I cannot thank God enough for my program.   It has truly saved my life, so to abandon this program would be like abandoning a lifeboat that isn't even close to shore that came to rescue me from a shipwreck. If I jumped back into the sea I would drown and kill myself trying to do it my way.

Read more...My Mission Statement

For Today, March 4

"God is directing this show and I don't want to miss my cue."

I sing in a large choir.   It's vital to keep your eyes on the director so we know when to come in and when to cut off.   We have to be familiar with the music, listen to the singers around us and watch the conductor.   When we are in sync with each other, the music is touching and beautiful.   When we are not "tuned in" the mistakes are noticeable and the music is not soothing.

Read more...For Today, March 4

For Today, August 5

I myself believe that the evidence for God lies primarily in inner personal experiences.  -  William James

What a beautiful reading this morning.   I believe we develop faith as a result of our experience with the Steps.   Seeing people change and do well is a powerful motivator for doing the work.

Read more...For Today, August 5

For Today, January 6

"The philosophy of waiting is sustained by all the oracles of the universe."   Ralph Waldo Emerson

This meditation talks about all things happening in their own season or their is a time for every purpose under heaven.   The philosophy of the program is really a miraculous thing.   The steps have given me guidelines for living that I never would have had a clue about if I had not come to the program.

Read more...For Today, January 6

Hypocrite

The Big Book tells me plainly that I must maintain Spiritual Fitness to keep recovered. I don't know that I would call myself spiritually "fit," but I am, at least, out of the spiritual ICU. As a result of this, I have recently caught on to something wonderful. My Higher Power speaks directly to me! When?

Read more...Hypocrite

Reflections on Winter Dreams Retreat 2017

I am sitting in my car on the grounds of the abbey, feeling such inner peace and joy, listening to the beautiful bells ringing in the background, seeing the light dusting of snow on the grounds and the sun shining so brightly. I am just not yet ready to leave.

Read more...Reflections on Winter Dreams Retreat 2017

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

I would like to express a little pre-holiday gratitude today.  Today's For Today talks about the miracles of program and the joy of giving it away.  I have experienced many miracles in program and today, I want to share some of them with deep gratitude.

Read more...Gratitude and Thanksgiving

Tiny Packets - Big Problem

I completely understand the problem with water flavorings. I have recently only in the past month have had to surrender Truvia©, protein powder, and artificial flavorings and sweeteners. I lost all of my weight using sweeteners and since I first came in, in 1988 it has never been a problem. I recently had switched protein powder and there was something in it that began to bother me. I started to use protein powder at every meal and snack as I don't eat meat and I began to put Truvia© on everything, I mean everything.

Read more...Tiny Packets - Big Problem

A Spiritual Awakening at Winter Dreams Retreat 2017

God is Principle. Good timing given the topic of the WDR this year: The Principles of OA. After the workshop on Steps 2 and 3, I have a stronger definition of my HP and a new name: Deus (Divine Energy and Universal Spirit), which means God.

Read more...A Spiritual Awakening at Winter Dreams Retreat 2017

Where was God?

I died many years ago.  My life experiences were not the worst.  Compared to some, I didn't have it so bad.  But that was not how I experienced it.  My upbringing, my genetics, and the circumstances of my life caused me to crash.  I was basically the walking dead, though my stubborn heart continued to beat whether I wanted it to or not.

Read more...Where Was God

For Today, April 23

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King

This program is a way to find a path to a Higher Power.  I did not have a working spiritual connection before I came into program. I knew prayers and had some information on the religious rules.  There was not much comfort in a God that could get you if you made a mistake.

Read more...For Today, April 23

Voices of Recovery, October 21

The healing power of OA begins with the Fellowship.  When I heard at one of my early meetings that I never had to cry alone again unless I wanted to, my world shifted and healing began.

Read more...Voices of Recovery, October 21

Voices of Recovery, October 26

Before program, I often suffered from anxiety.  I don't mean normal anxiety, I mean crazy-ville.  Sometimes I could feel my throat closing on my way home from work.  I would sometimes find myself pacing at night, looking for ways to distract myself until the insanity passed.  I couldn't concentrate at work, and my frequent irrational fear took a real toll on my personal relationships.  How tiresome I must have been!  More than once I found myself in a doctor's office, or even the ER, for imagined crises.  These doctors would listen but send me on my way.  Clearly something was wrong, but none recommended mental health services.  Though I was suffering, treating my anxiety was out of their bailiwick.

And of course I ate.

Read more...Voices of Recovery, October 26

For Today, September 25

"Peace and diligence, like faith, move mountains."  William Penn
 
All the slogans we hear - One Day at a Time, Let Go and Let God, Easy Does It are all meant to slow us down and help us to have patience in this instant society. A lifetime of sad limited thinking can't be overcome in a short time.  Those patterns were in place for years and have deep grooves.

Read more...For Today, September 25

based on Taste of Lifeline - I Am Ready

 Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

 Hmmmm, as I consider removing the defects of character, I start to think, “But I might need Fretta the Worrier.” Then I realize it is not Fretta the Worrier I need, but her sister Paula the Planner. “What about Freda the Fearful? Doesn’t she protect me from doing things that harm me?” No, I think that is her sister Edna the Experienced’s job.

Read more...I am Ready

Voices of Recovery, September 17

When it comes to abstinence, willingness and wanting are not the same.  I may want to eat three slices of pizza for lunch (who wouldn't?), but I am willing to eat my pre-planned, abstinent lunch.  Why am I willing, even when I don't want? There are several reasons why, and there are probably some of which I am not even aware.

Read more...Voices of Recovery, September 17

Voices of Recovery, September 23

How well today’s Voices of Recovery sums up life pre-program:  overeating, fat, demoralization and sickness of mind, body and spirit!  When I reflect on my past eating and diseased spirit and mind, I sometimes try to pinpoint when it started or what event or events are “responsible” for my ever-deepening decline.

Read more...Voices of Recovery, September 23

For Today, August 7

"OA teaches me to take people as they are."

 One of the first slogans I learned is "Live and Let Live."   Simple wisdom that helps me to keep things in perspective.  This has helped me in all my relationships - particularly with relatives.  The traditions teach us to accept people as they are and treat them with courtesy.  Good guidelines to follow.  We read a few statements like this before we begin our monthly intergroup meeting.  The one that always makes people giggle is "If we were all the same, we would not all be necessary." 

Read more...For Today, August 7

For Today, September 14

"How do I know what I can be or have?"

My mind is limited by many things.  Having a beginner's mind is a goal to strive for. It enables me to treat my days as discovery walks with God. If I don't pack too much into the day, then I have the opportunity to notice what is in front of me. To be a more thoughtful person.

Read more...For Today, September 14

For Today, June 15

"The truth shall set you free."  
                      The Bible:John

This is true but first the truth may pinch.  That still happens today when I notice one of my character defenses in play. That's where Step 6 and 7 come in.  I get to practice different behaviors and as I do, a new foundation for living is built. 

Read more...For Today, June 15

For Today, August 5

"I myself believe that evidence of God lies primarily in inner personal experiences."  William James

The work of this program is all an inside job . Step 12 reads "Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps..."  We don't get spiritual by reading Step 2 and 3.  Examining the literature is a prelude to that opening of the spirit.  

When I came to this program I was very shy and closed down by shame and fear.

Read more... For Today, August 5

For Today, May 21

"Defeat is a school in which truth always grows strong."

I read somewhere one definition of sanity is the ability to see the truth.  This program has the miraculous benefit of helping us to acknowledge the truth about our past and our patterns of living.  That burns sometimes but if I see it I can change.  I work on my thinking and then I am able to practice different actions.

We were blessed to have a beautiful Step Study last Saturday.  People were excited to be learning about the transformation that can happen as a result of working the steps.

Read more....For Today, May 21

For Today, August 6

"I was not spiritually teachable until my illness forced me to look in that direction."

That's the way it is with many of us.  We survive the best way we can until we can't take the pain anymore.  Then grace puts the idea of OA in our path and life opens up.

For me, I got abstinent first and then got into the literature and eventually started working the steps. 

Read more...For Today, August 6

For Today, May 12

"For today: Thank God I have a path to follow that leads me to my objective: a life of sanity and usefulness to myself and others."

I came into this program 35 years ago today. I never thought I would be here 35 years later. What I have learned over 35 years is that growth is not stagnant. We can't rest on our laurels. This program invites to to a lifetime of learning. I learn more about myself each day - where I have grown and where I still feel small. I can take refuge in the fact that the people I enjoy most in my life are still learning too.

Read more...For Today, May 12

For Today, April 11

"Patience does not come easy to the obsessive compulsive person."

This is a timely message.  I'm sitting here this morning with an electric stim machine on my foot.  I have a stress fracture and the healing is very slow.  Over and over it says in our literature we need to develop patience, persistence and perseverance.  What I know about patience I learned in this program.

Read more...For Today, April 11

Pressure to Change
(from the Hillsborough Meeting email group)
 
I often forget, because it's too hard to remember - change happens with time and pressure. When everything is good there's no need for anything different, there's no need for change. Change happens when the present course of action no longer works. 
 
Read More...Pressure to Change

For Today, June 20

"I show respect for myself and others by accepting my mistakes as proof of our humanness."
One of the important principles of our program is humility. One author's definition of humility was to "accept myself as I am". What a relief! When I am able to do that - then there is a real opportunity for growth and learning. I was asked to speak in NYC yesterday. 

Read More...For Today, June 20

Attitude of Gratitude

Before starting program, I became friendly with a coworker who taught me a valuable lesson. I enjoyed her company, but soon noticed that when we were talking, especially in a larger group, she would gently steer the conversation away from my frequent complaints and focus on negative topics.

Read more... Attitude of Gratitude Writing Aug 2015

From Negative to Positive
 
At the height of my disease I was a nightmare. I was very, and openly, critical of people, situations, etc. When I was confronted about my negativity I would say, "I only expect out of people what I would expect from myself." My character defect of perfectionism at its worst. While I wanted to be "perfect" (I now know perfect is relative) I was in crumbles on the inside. I would project what I wanted myself to be on people and situations; I was willful. I did not have the insight not to be judgmental. I was ungrateful about many people/things. I guess I had no compassion.
 
For Today, March 6
 
"I guard my abstinence and my program as though they were my dearest possessions-- and they are."
How appropriate this reading is this morning. I had a lot of contrasts this week.  New Jersey had an extraordinary Unity Day on Saturday.  The 5 intergroups celebrate the day together and 130 people came.  We had 2 great keynote speakers and 12 workshops and there was a heartwarming feeling of fellowship at the end of the day during the prayer at 2:30.

Then the life wheel turned and we had 3 snowstorms this week.   

Read more...Writing from FOR TODAY, March 6

For Today, March 28, 2015
(from the Saturday Carteret Meeting)
 
Question: How can I become more willing to let God orchestrate my abstinence, my weight change, and my life?I can stop hopping on the scale, trust my food plan, weigh and measure, quit comparing my body to other people’s, and allow my body to be what it is in each moment. Trees do not fret over the size of their trunks or limbs. They simply do what they are supposed to do and be. A quaking aspen is not comparing itself to the mighty oak and feeling poorly about its skinny trunk. Nor does the oak complain about the size of its trunk and heavy limbs. They grow how they grow, not trying to be any different.   

Read more...Writing from the Saturday Carteret Meeting using the FOR TODAY on March 28

Higher Power
 
My concept of a Higher Power (I am okay using the term “God” - it’s shorter) is in flux. When I came to OA, I was an angry atheist. I felt that life was not fair, there was too little justice in the world, and there was  
 
Read more... Thoughts on HP
10th Step Reflection on Fear
 
While doing my daily 10th Step reflection, I've realized that since I've been in between jobs a common theme is fear of economic insecurity.  
 
For Today, January 30
 
"The best part of our lives we pass in counting on what is to come." William HazlittStay in today. That is an art. In the morning I find some time each day to be still. I set the timer and relax and 

Read more...FOR TODAY writing January 30

For Today, February 2
 
"Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be." Abraham LincolnWell another morning of precipitation - God Bless Us! We've had 3 different storms in the last two weeks. All Different. Today I could call this the strength-training segment of my personal fitness program because it is heavy wet slush. On good days I say to myself  

Read more... FOR TODAY February 2 writing

For Today, January 1
 
“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” Hal BorlandThis is so true – we don’t graduate we just continue. Hopefully continuing to learn and grow. Growing a soul is not a steady upward climb.  

Read more...Writing from FOR TODAY January 1

For Today, January 27
 
"If we find nothing of interest where we are, we are likely to find little of interest where we go." Edwin Way TealeLeo Buscaglia used to say, "If you think your friends are boring and inadequate, it is because you are boring and inadequate. Liven yourself up." I can find enthusiasm when it is not my first response. I can "act as if". I can put on some music 

Read more... FOR TODAY January 27 writing

It is the eve of Passover
 
It is the eve of Passover, the holiday that for us Jews commemorates
freedom to its utmost. In our case, it was God’s love for us that freed us
from bondage. No, we did not deserve it, we were actually a pretty
“unpure” and “unholy” crowd at the time, but He did it anyway. Much of
our story is that freedom from bondage in Egypt, the wandering for 40+
years, and then an ascent into the holy land.   
 
The Ghosts of Holidays Past
 
VOR- 12/20: “….do we let the needs of others govern us while we ignore our own?…have we tried to shift the blame to others?”Reflecting on holidays Past, I see the ghosts of Complacency, Blame, and Misery. Complacency told me  

Read more... The Ghosts of Holidays Past

Space of Thankfulness
 
I live in the space of thankfulness, and I have been rewarded a million times over for it. Prior to finding OA I did try to live each day as positive as possible, but it was very hard to see the good in things. Especially when I couldn’t stop overeating. At this second anniversary of my abstinence and as I reflect back on this year, I can see how I’ve grown spiritually. I know it’s because I started giving thanks for the small things, and the more thankful I became, the more the rewards increased.
 
Jim's Story
 
In July of 2011 I found myself in yet another doctor's office. I had been in the emergency room the night before because I had been bleeding from somewhere on my thigh that I couldn't see; my apartment looked like a crime scene from a TV show. The ER doctor said it looked like a vein that needed to be taken care of by a vascular surgeon. So I found one in my insurance network and went the next day. When they called my name and showed me into an exam room I passed who I believed to be the doctor on the way. The look on his face is one I have seen many times before in my life as a morbidly obese (I really hate that term) person: one of disgust and dismissal.
 
Read more...Jim's Story