There is something very special about this program of ours – it is the strength brought forth by my Higher Power, God, the courage of those I have been blessed in meeting within and outside of the rooms, and finally it is my willingness to let Go and let God. That being said it is difficult for me to let go at times, to be teachable and listen and take the actions needed. But I was sick and tired enough to surrender to faith and trust. I have been in the program and abstinent for almost 11 months now and I love the opportunity to be of service and learn how to live a “normal” life. Food is no longer an obsession, it is one of the tools for my healthy wellbeing. I am far from perfect, I do my best in all my affairs, I work the program, use the literature, work the steps, have a sponsor, enjoy our fellowship, and trust that life ahead will continue to get better and better, or, rather is it me getting better at it ;0). Thank you all for the gifts of this program.
Share my program during pandemic
I am learning the importance of living FOR TODAY – ONE DAY AT A TIME, of EASY DOES IT and the perspective of HOW IMPORTANT IS IT? Also practicing becoming more flexible and open to change. I have attended more meetings on a regular basis – and have taken on new commitments. I’m also holding on more closely to my commitments and sponsors and to accountability. It’s been a wild ride at times – but even more grateful than ever for abstinence and for OA and the 12 Steps!!
ESH Share Attitude Adjustment
At first, the pandemic challenged my relationship with God. I was angry; I lacked acceptance; I only focused on what I was missing. But as the pandemic has gone on and I’ve stayed in program, stayed abstinent, and stayed connected, I’ve repaired my relationship with God or at least been forced into more surrender. I’ve said the acceptance passage from the Big Book so many times and prayed way more. It also has inspired a daily meditation practice. I might not do it 7 days a week, but probably 5 to 6. Sometimes it’s a 5 minutes meditation but I aim for 12-15 minutes. When I do it, it gives me peace and a deep level of serenity.
I’ve had to have more acceptance about my food being imperfect, my life being imperfect, things not going the way I want them to. Also patience. PATIENCE has been the theme of this pandemic and connecting as much as possible to my inner voice, God, my spirit, the goodness inside of me that is eternal and loving no matter what is happening in the outside world. I’ve heard that if a problem brings me to God, then it has served its purpose. As much as I complain about the pandemic, and online meetings, and lack of in-person contact, and missing hugs and all of that, this time has also brought me connection to nature, connection with my family, appreciation of OA, a deeper commitment to gratitude and attitude adjustment. . . and a new boyfriend who completely supports my program 🙂
Recovery in COVID-19
This is a great question. Actually for me, my program is stronger than ever despite all the stress from the outside world. Once upon a time, when people were free to come and go as they please, hold hands, HUG each other and safely not wear masks, I went to 2, occasionally 3, face to face meetings per week. But then the world turned upside down and all the meetings closed. I heard of something called zoom. Didn’t know what it was but it would help me stay connected. I started to go to online meetings meetings EVERYDAY. This has been a blessing. It gave structure to my day. I know where I will be most mornings as well as a few evenings. Electronic contact has even strengthened my step 11 – conscious contact with God because I can go to a Religious service. I learned this new-fangled zoom thing and was able to do more service. I can host or cohost as well as lead or speak. I can go to meetings far and wide and have met fellows from all over the world. Although I dearly miss my face to face meetings and the accompanying hugs, I am hopeful at least some zoom meetings will remain or go hybrid. This format would have been a blessing when I was convalescing last year and couldn’t get to a meeting. Peace and abstinence to all.
Powerlessness and the solution
I want to, first of all, say how grateful I am to be here. It is because of the experience strength and hope of two women on the Ocean and Bay Intergroup who encouraged me to attend. Every day I woke up powerless over compulsive eating, binging, night eating, stealing food and powerless to stop. I was so desperate and hopeless. I was not one to “keep coming back.” I was defiant and left OA for long periods of time, for years. I got a lap band – then had it taken out. Tried countless diets. Finally came back to OA in 2013. I’ve had a few relapses. Hit a painful bottom in 2017, not just because I could not stop eating but I was emotionally, spiritually and mentally messed up. I could not stop eating. Accepting step 1 and then going on to trust my HP was the beginning of walking through the arch of recovery. Then working the steps. Everything that we learn in this program I embraced. Often my addict didn`t want to, but the grace of God gave me willingness and the honesty to do what my sponsor suggested. Service to other compulsive overeaters and OA is key for me staying in recovery and remaining abstinent. I have lost over 150 lbs have wonderful spiritual connections with my fellows and with myself and with the God of my understanding. Thank you OA
How has your program changed with the pandemic?
My service role grew (as I am the webmaster of my IG) as we scrambled to get all the information about the virtual meetings on line. I felt good knowing that I was supporting people getting to their meetings. It also put me in contact with many people I hadn’t known before, so I enjoyed that.
I have ADD so it is very hard for me to concentrate on online meetings. I find myself multitasking, especially because my real-life job is computer based.
I miss physically seeing “my people”, the hugs and support and before & after meeting chats. Also, if I get dressed and drive to a meeting, I am physically making a commitment to be present. I can focus (for the most part) much better at an in-person meeting.
There have been some silver linings to online meetings . I have really been enjoying going to meetings all over the country at whatever time suits my schedule. Particularly the NYC and LA meetings. It makes me excited to see and hear the diversity of the program that I don’t normally get locally.
I also have been doing more service and am thrilled to see all the IG participants represented at the Region 6 meeting. Who knew there was such a hotbed of service in Ontario?!
OA in the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about some changes in my program, the main one being of course that my home meeting is online. I haven’t adapted as well as some others as far as seeking out online meetings out of my physical neighborhood. I miss the human contact of seeing people’s faces in the same space with me, of being able to give hugs, and I admit hearing the Serenity Prayer online, with all these voices cutting in and out and being out of sync is very annoying (?). On the plus side, I have met and listened to people from outside my geographic area and gained much by different points of view. I go to about the same number of meetings per week as before the pandemic, but I find that I enjoy them less (Zoom fatigue, anyone?). Nevertheless, I am tremendously grateful that I can go to meetings online, and that I am very comfortable with the technology. The social distancing aspect requires me to dig deeper into practicing gratitude, reaching out to others, and reading literature. In particular I have relished reading my Lifelines and will very much miss their disappearance.
Share Freedom Within!
Part of the guilty pleasure the pandemic has afforded me is the ability to slow my life down, attend more OA meetings, cozy-up at home within my new and beautiful apartment with my beloved cat, Nikita, doing less laundry (hey! no one sees on Zoom if I’m naked from the waist down!), saving money on gas, easily bowing out of social situations I didn’t want to attend anyway, and, most importantly, the pandemic has allowed me to quiet down and attend to the sacred space within me that communes with God!!!