I am a returning member, back in OA after many relapses over the past fourteen years. Earlier this year, after almost a year of abstinent recovery and losing two thirds of the weight I need to lose for my health, I began experiencing painful and disturbing digestive symptoms. It took months for doctors to diagnose the trouble, and in the meantime, I was struggling and fearful. One doctor suggested my diet might be making my symptoms worse, but the foods they suggested I eat instead were some of my binge foods. I struggled with alternating panic and hopelessness every day. I was losing where once I felt I was winning! I was sad to find that, as the doctor had suggested, the more frequently I ate processed food at my meals, the less my symptoms flared up. I tried healthier processed options, but soon found that I had very few options if I wanted to feel well.
I prayed. I shared carefully, concerned that my story might trigger others, or discourage the newcomer. And the fat slowly crept back around my middle where it had lived for so long before. I pursued the peaceful serenity I craved and, from time to time, found it. When I reached out for my Higher Power, he was always there.
I started again at Step One. Talking about my fears and disappointments helped immediately. I was shown that now was the time to dive into the Fellowship. I made time for every member who asked for help. I surround myself with recovery. I can’t survive this alone. I watch my sponsees grow and change and go on to help others, and I watch them do better than I can do right now. I have found new peace in this renewed humility. I have no control over my weight, my food, or my recovery. My Higher Power has it all in hand.
— Keiley P., Queensland, Australia
Lifeline, September 1, 2018