I came into OA an angry atheist and have morphed into a happy agnostic. I grew up internalizing an angry, vindictive god who tried to trick children into sin to test them. (I'm sure this was not what was taught, but it was what I heard.)

It took a while for me to share about HP in meetings or with my sponsor. As I began working the steps, I used the group as my HP or G.O.D. (good orderly direction). This worked fine. I got abstinent and lost 70 pounds. The steps work if you work them. Over time I began defining HP by what it was not: not mean, not vindictive, not a bean counter, nor a score keeper. I resigned from the debating society and focused on the process of the Twelve Steps. I realized I was not HP. That everyone had their own HP, and it was NOT me.

I found that writing a daily thank you letter to my HP kept me grounded and gave me perspective on my life and program. I'm not comfortable praying, but I don't mind writing HP—listing things that I am grateful for and turning over those that I need to turn over and not take personally. Meditation centers me, and my morning ritual sets me up to enjoy my day.

I've had my weight off for over 20 years—what a gift. I continue going to meetings and sponsoring. I sponsored people with different belief systems and faiths. My own sponsor and I agree to disagree. I don't need to change her and she doesn't need to fix me. We can love each other as we are. OA accepted me just as I was—fat, angry, the worst mother in the world, and completely unlovable. Boy, has my perspective changed!! I'm at peace with myself and my life. I feel accepted and loved for me. All those years ago I had no idea I could actually enjoy life. I am incredibly grateful for OA.