When Cecilia and I were pondering topics for the 2018 NoVAtions themes, January was a no-brainer. It is undeniable that some of us are going to be dealing with lost abstinence or some sort of binge. The holidays overwhelmed us, and we stumbled and fell. How do we get up on our feet again when we can’t seem to pull ourselves out of the quicksand of compulsive eating? How do we face our OA friends who seemed to make it through the holidays fine? How do we forgive ourselves for our failure, our reaffirmed status as total losers? How do we deal with relapse?
While I am not the most experienced voice in the room, I’m the one sitting at the keyboard, so listen to what I say (I’m repeating our literature, anyway): the most important thing is . . . Read More
Dear Friends in Recovery,
As we begin a new year I am reminded of how January 1st always held the tantalizing promise of a new me. A better me. A thin me. As I ate and drank my way through the holidays of 1998, I did so for the first time without seeing that magical date as my salvation. You see that was when I finally gave up all hope for a better future. I abandoned myself to food (and alcohol) because I knew that I was utterly defeated. What I couldn't know then was . . . Read More
After a year of abstinence in OA, I told myself I was doing well: weight loss - check, meal plan - check, sponsor - check, home group - check, but then it happened, I invited friends over for Christmas dinner, made home brownies for them, and the minute they left, I inhaled five of the brownies. At the next OA meeting I attended, when the call went out for those with a year or more of abstinence to raise their hands, I couldn’t. “What happened?” I asked myself. “How did I get here?”
What I didn’t understand then is that relapse is a process, not an event. The binge was . . . Read More
“I was traveling down the freeway one day, feeling quite in control,” writes P.W., an OA member from New York. “My blood pressure and weight coming down somewhat. I decided to pull off and buy a snack in a vending machine. But when I put the money in the vending machine, it wouldn’t give me the snack. It got stuck on the edge of the shelf and would not come out, no matter how much I pounded the machine! Once again, Higher Power had done for me what I could not do for myself.”
A New Beginning: Stories of Recovery from Relapse. Rio Rancho, NM: Overeaters Anonymous, 1998.
MEMBERS IN RELAPSE
“We all need to be loved and accepted, not because we are abstinent, not because we are at goal weight, but for who we are. This is especially true of OA members who are still suffering. They have been in program for some time, perhaps for months, maybe even years, but either they have not yet attained abstinence or they are in relapse. When asked what helped them most, people who have gone through this painful experience agree on one thing: being loved and accepted—even when they were compulsively overeating, even when they were falling apart emotionally, even when they themselves felt hopeless and unlovable—was the key to their eventually loving and accepting themselves.”
"Members in Relapse." OA Pamphlet. Revised 2/2009. Accessed November 9, 2017.