I am grateful for the coronavirus. No, thank God, I have not had it, and I know it has caused a lot of suffering, but I’m still grateful. Why? There are silver linings for every cloud. One of them was a recovery event put on in April by the Los Angeles Intergroup of Overeaters Anonymous that they called “Quarantine and Recover.”

What a historic event! (OA history, anyway.) I called in right on time only to be told all five hundred slots had been filled for the videoconference meeting and to try calling back later. I kept on calling like I was trying to get tickets to a legendary rock concert. (I know there are no stars in program, but that’s how I felt.) I was hoping there might be an emergency and someone would have to hang up, or maybe a technological disruption and I could squeeze in. After a dozen rejections, I called the organizer. He said they’d just increased the venue to allow for 650 to attend, and if I called in now, then I could get in, but it would be filled within ten minutes. I got in. Wow!

The program had already started, so I was “rushing to get to my seat,” scrolling past scores of OA members on the screen who were just rockin’ out, listening to recovery. It was awesome. I was breathless. I watched the screens. The number of participants ticked higher and higher till it hit one thousand folks! Oh man. I felt like I was at “OA Woodstock.”

I searched the forty screens of participants and heard four powerful recovery stories from across the nation—New York, California, Michigan, and South Carolina. You could smell gratitude in the crowd. It was electrifying. Some people were crying, watching recovery and grateful to have a seat. I found out later that one thousand is the most you can have on the videoconference platform we were using. It was a spiritual event.

People were there from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK, Italy, Spain, Lebanon, and of course, many states in the US. We were united in recovery. God bless Overeaters Anonymous for bringing together a thousand individuals and God for a spiritual experience of a lifetime. What an awesome silver lining. I am blessed. We are blessed, one day at a time.

Stay safe. Stay abstinent. Stay in recovery. God bless you all.

— Cliff