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A Flower Simply Blossoms

A flower simply blossoms, never once concerned with its appearance.

A flower simply blossoms, not once concerned with its appearance.  Who am I to question mine?

My program has changed a lot over the years, and that change is something that I don’t discuss much.  Mainly because I receive such varying responses when I do share the truth about how my program has evolved over the years and no longer do I seek approval from fellow OA members regarding my program.  In the beginning I kept my food plan very strict, and extremely ridged.  I ate food that was weighed and measured at every meal with absolutely nothing in between.  I kept to a specific portion of specific foods and the truth was that….I loved it!  I did!  It was great!  I felt great and I had what I considered an easy food plan in OA.  But then, about 2 and ½ years into my OA program, I became very ill.  And I was forced to change my food plan.  This was very scary for me because I felt so safe in eating my food plan exactly how I was eating it.  Boom…then came hospitalization, major surgery, and I was pushed out my comfort zone and into the OA program I have now.

One of the saddest things about my life (and when  (more…)

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Daily Bread

Sitting for morning reflection is a time I speak with my Higher Power.

Sitting for morning reflection is a time I speak with my Higher Power.

Voices of Recovery does not ever let me down, and today’s reflection is one that fills my heart with pure joy. The quote is from the OA 12&12 on page 93 and it reads, “What do we say when we talk to God? We say whatever we feel like saying.” Boom!

Early on in recovery I used to be concerned that God might get bored with me rambling on about this challenge or that moment of fear or how grateful I felt or how much I love my cats or whatever. I don’t worry about those kinds of things anymore. Now I worry about really important stuff, like if I sound deep enough or humble enough to God. KIDDING. Well, I’m mostly kidding. I fully admit that there have been times when I have tried to make a situation sound better/worse in the midst of pleading for God to intervene, or times when I have conveniently omitted (more…)

Guest Post

I asked a recovery sister of mine, Megan (pronounced Meegan) H., to write a guest post for Promise of Recovery.  I am honored and humbled by the magnificent words that came forth from her pen.  Thank you, Megan H., for writing a wonderful guest post to share with our recovery family.  You are very special to the Tampa OA community and we love you very much.

Am I recovering?

Perfectionism is a demon that I only recently thought I may want to dispose of.  In so many ways, it has served me well—pushing me ahead in many things I’ve tried which lead to external praise yet internal conflict, even hatred.  A year ago I started this program by enrolling in a treatment center and then realizing what I’d done once I got there!  No more hot French bread??  Ever??  Seriously??!!  Well, actually, no more just for today.  See…I’ve got the lingo.  But I also have the fear.  Mostly the fear that I’m not good enough.  That because I have not had 365 days of perfect abstinence, I have failed.  People outside this program may roll their eyes at this idea because I’ve truly lost a lot of weight.  They think, fine, now have a slice of pizza.  You’ve earned it.

In the meantime, I’m working on steps 10-12 every night with my sponsor where I’m admitting things like purchasing and eating an entire bag of mozzarella cheese sticks.  How compulsive is that?  Or binging on raisins because they are the only sweet thing I can find and I’m dying for some sugar?  To me, this is really, really shameful.  Bad, embarrassing, offensive.  I’m a failure in my own mind. 

But thank God for sponsors!  Mine is an amazing example of recovery and there she is to redirect me to the solution in the Big Book along with loving and accepting the wild food beast I am.  She points out all that  has changed by being in this program.  Of course, the major weight loss, but along with that, a new freedom.  More health, confidence, less medication, more friends and support, and a new spiritual connection that I’ve clogged up in the past.  These things are here for me!  When I slip and slide, it does not automatically negate the hours of service, reading, praying, meditating, meetings and sharing that I’ve done.  I remind myself of this as I learn to love and accept who I am right now.  “And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.”   

-Megan H.

Thanks again, Megan H., for sharing your experience, strength, and hope with Promise of Recovery!  See you at the next meeting!

Freedom from Bondage

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“We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends.” -AA Big Book Pg 87

Woah! Not pray for myself?! What are they talking about?

My early prayers in the rooms of recovery sounded something like the following:

“Dear God, In all seriousness, please make me skinny. I don’t know what is going on with my WeightWatchers program, but it is all crazy and I’m not losing any weight. I want to feel sexy and like my body. At least for once, God, will you please just help me drop some of this weight? I’ve been working really hard at this and if you would just this one time help me…”

The OA program of recovery suggests that I abstain from compulsively obsessing over weight, body image, and food. It was a shocking moment for me when I realized that I obsessively asked God to remove my excess body fat in nearly every prayer I prayed.

OA suggests that if I change my actions my thoughts will follow and those, too, will change. What, then, is an appropriate prayer to be said by a food addict like me?

“Dear God, please help me follow your will today. Remove my obsession over diets and weight management. Make me a vessel of your will today so that I can be free from my mental bondage of compulsive food thoughts. Thank you for helping me. Thy will, not mine, be done.”

Thank you, brothers and sisters for my recovery! Keep coming back! See you at the next meeting!