Years ago I started on a surprising journey when I went to my first OA meeting. I walked into a group of people with different cultural and spiritual backgrounds, and they were a loving group united in their desire to stop bingeing, purging or starving. The affection these people had for each other and OA gave me hope that I could claim recovery and courage to work The Steps and tools.
Nine months later, I became Intergroup representative for my meeting. What I found amazed and mystified me – people with different opinions hotly debating. When the discomfort became tangible, one person called for “group conscience” and a request to join hands and say the Serenity Prayer. The tension would drain, and we would agree to table a vote until next month. I learned that group conscience occurs not when people suppress their opinions, but when all those thoughts and feelings are expressed openly. I learned to express my feelings openly in a trusting atmosphere, which gave me willingness to get a sponsor and start working The Steps.
Two years in Intergroup gave me loving friends, and I’ve served on convention committees and am again a meeting rep. Last year, a friend pointed out that I qualified to be a Region 3 / World Service Delegate. I thought, “I like conventions, I’ve served on committees, I have the vacation time, I and like to travel. Why not?”
My first Region 3 Assembly was confusing – reading bylaws, proposals, reports, and applications. Everyone who’d served before was helpful and supportive. I joined a committee in the morning, and in three hours we set goals and made plans for the next assembly. We voted, debated, and accomplished elections and decisions in one day.
I got to see how Regions connect with Intergroups and World Service. The one-day assembly was both chaotic and orderly, and the spiritual connection was strong. I came home with a passion for carrying the OA message on a larger scale, committing to my own abstinence, and working The Steps.
I’ve endured a lot of life’s bumps over the past year, but I know without doubt that doing service at a higher level kept me from a possible dangerous relapse. When I do service, I remember what I needed as a newcomer, what was valuable to me in working The Steps in the past, and I wake up to the truth that I still need those things today to live in recovery.
The founders of AA knew they couldn’t keep it unless they gave it away, and when I contribute to the survival of my meeting, my Intergroup, my Region, and OA worldwide, I am giving away the only solution I ever had that worked. Grateful Servant and Recovering Food Addict
– Kim G.
Originally published June, 2009.