I’m Joan. If you knew me before, you’d say, “She’s not the same person I knew four years ago!” and you’d be right! I am a new me. I am the person I hoped I would be, with a sense of confidence and purpose that had eluded me throughout my life. I am joyous, happy, hopeful, and useful. What changed? I let go of my past and applied my talents and potential toward satisfying my needs and straightening my priorities, with the help of my OA fellows!
When I came back into the OA rooms a little over four years ago, I was no different than other people who sat with arms crossed, warding off any light or truth from touching their hearts. I was arrogant, self-righteous, and judgmental. I sat undaunted by the wisdom before me; I was never going to admit I was a compulsive overeater—at least not in this lifetime.
I knew my life would change for the better if I just listened to my Higher Power and worked out my problems with the help of my sponsor.
Then someone started a new special-topic meeting focused on the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. We were to read and share on the first 164 pages. Over and over again, we read. It was easy to relate, and it scared me to death. I could see myself becoming fatter and fatter, sicker and sicker, with less and less control over my body if I didn’t get serious about my disease.
My wake-up call came as I was driving to an OA meeting. I had to find a bathroom because I was having a diverticulitis attack. My Higher Power came through for me. I heard the answer to my problem: “Take care of yourself and stop sabotaging your success in life.” Where did that thought come from! Of course it came from my Higher Power, who always guides me, although I don’t always listen.
I knew my life would change for the better if I just listened to my Higher Power and worked out my problems with the help of my sponsor. A short time later, I did a Fourth Step with my sponsor and unloaded years of fear, anger, and worry. I felt 50 pounds (23 kg) lighter, and my mind was free to take on the challenges before me. I became intergroup representative for my Big Book OA meeting. I started a newsletter for our district, and I began sponsoring.
The person I am today is no longer full of yesterday’s resentments. She is a person who seeks daily to be the OA message. I am forever grateful.