From the OA NoVA Intergroup Chair - 1216

Dear Friends in Recovery,

The entire point of the program, which is working the Steps, is not just for me to recover. It is to have a spiritual awakening and carry the message. I have been given my life back by this amazing fellowship of Overeaters Anonymous and its spiritual antecedent, AA. No, actually, that's not true—what's true is that I have been given a life I never had, one that I could not even imagine possible. And I owe everything to this program of recovery. My sponsor often tells me that this program is not free. Yes, I don't pay for it the way I pay for other services to keep my body, mind and spirit healthy. But every day I am abstinent I have a responsibility to pay it forward in some way—both to those in and out of the rooms.

I have to admit, I've never been the queen of 12th-stepping strangers or acquaintances. I have one sponsee who frequently tells me about how she carried the message to this co-worker or that person in her faith community. She has a gift for this—sharing the message with grace and enthusiasm. I have tried this many times, but as far as I know it has not materialized in a new face in the rooms. For me it has been about reaching out to those who are struggling in the rooms, those who are in and out and those who have left the rooms. I still call numbers of people whom I haven't seen in years. Sometimes they come back. Sometimes they don't. Maybe they have found peace with food another way. I hope so. I know OA is not the only way. But when I see people return to the rooms my heart is filled with excitement. Not because I think it was my call or text that made the difference. It's because OA is the only thing that has worked for me and countless others for many 24 hours at a time. I feel excited for anyone who wants it to have the opportunity for this full and beautiful life. More than anything I want those who are struggling to know they are always, always, always welcome in the 12-Step rooms. No matter what has or hasn't happened. No matter how much time has passed. There are many loving and welcoming hands extended right now—waiting to pull anyone who is weary of treading water or feels like they are drowning into the lifeboat.  

Is there someone on your phone list whom you haven't seen for a while? Make the call. Leave a message. Your call could save a life.

Remember, together we get better!