From the OA NoVA Intergroup Chair - 0317

Dear Friends in Recovery,

Even though Merriam-Webster lists the words surrender and compliance as synonyms, they feel really different to me. Compliance to me is a rigid adherence to rules; surrender is relaxing and letting go. One feels tight and constricted, the other feels like peace and freedom.

Before I came into the OA rooms, I spent years complying with diets, self-help programs, and various treatments or advice from experts for my problem—which, by the way, was that I was fat and had nothing to do with the fact that my whole life was a mess! I believed that if I rigidly complied with rules and directions I would get thin, and that would make me happy. But I just white-knuckled it, complying my way from one plan to another, growing more discouraged and desperate by the day.

And then one day I decided I was done complying. I'd just eat and drink whatever I wanted. Sure, I'd get even fatter, but maybe if I stopped fighting I'd finally feel the contentment and ease I craved so badly. But of course that didn't work as a long-term solution because the inevitable backlash of self-loathing erased any of the so-called pleasure I got from eating and drinking. BUT what I didn't know then was that when I stopped fighting, I had begun to surrender. It was the beginning of the end of me trying to manage and control the food (and anything else outside of my control). The surrender led to a real willingness to put down the fork, get a sponsor, and work the steps, which has given me a life I could never have imagined. What a gift!

Remember, together we get better!
Jess W.