I feel grateful that early through the OA doors I was told about OA Foot Steps. Until then, I went to numerous meetings, but felt like I had an added layer to my disease that ‘regular’ people didn’t understand. I have bipolar and anxiety. While people may only be trying to be helpful in saying just dont pick up the food. As simple as the instruction is. It had a way of making me feel like program wasn’t for me, because a lot of the times, the loop of mental and physical poor health would send me straight to pre-existing coping strategies of using food.
To say that, I was so pleased when I discovered the Chronic Illness Pain and Sensitivities meeting, then the Mental Health meeting -Is a complete understatement. It was then I felt like I was really home.
It is really important for my recovery that I can be open about both physical and mental conditions. It helps to continually build trust that people really will accept me as I am, because they are also who I am. Until OA, I never really felt comfortable divulging such sensitive personal information for which people could judge me. I still don’t feel comfortable disclosing this in other OA meetings for the creeping thought that, what I say will be dismissed as nonsense. I know this is ‘my stuff’. However, being a part of a marginalised group that can often be portrayed negatively doesn’t help the negative thoughts.
I belong to support WhatsApp groups and have made friends who are just like me. I’ve since joined forums for my health and sought out more support through medical resources and referral. Everything that has led to my positive movement has come from the trust I have felt in those two very important meetings. It reminds me to take good self-care.
I have also more recently found DDA and have gained the comradery of women. Belonging to a women’s WhatsApp group. Its just another layer of building trust and bonding through experiences.
The more trust I gain, the more I believe I am just as good as anybody else. That strengthens my recovery and enables me to give service without fear and with love.
I can tell you something. OA is the longest thing I have ever stuck at when there has been no obligation to stay. That says a lot. That’s real recovery no matter what it looks like. This is my individual journey.