When I last posted here, I was looking for answers. I wanted to know "Why?" Why the hell I had to keep living in the straightjacket of OA-HOW. Why I had to keep calling in my food. Why I had to make three phone calls every single day. Why I had to call a sponsor just to make a simple food change.
I got some great responses here on the blog. (Thank you!) I talked about it on my hook-up calls. I talked to my sponsor about it. I talked to Mrs. Charlie about it. I talked to God about it. And I have come to some realizations.
First of all, I don't have to do this. I choose to do it. For today. This is like Basic Recovery 101. No one is making me do this.
Second, I may not do this the rest of my life. Some members end up leaving OA-HOW. They move into a less structured version or OA and do just fine. There is a woman in my local OA group who did just that, and she's been abstinent for 30 years. Of course, some people "leave OA-HOW" (read: relapse) and their lives dissolve once again into misery. As the AA Big Book says on p. 30, "All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals - usually brief - were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization." So if I ever do choose to make that change to my program, it will not be without much thought and prayer, and much input from my sponsor and my fellows in the program.
Third, God has answered my "Why?" question in many ways lately:
- A member called me out of the blue last week, needing a lot of support and encouragement after he relapsed - big time - and was out of the program for months. I don't ever want to go through what he's been going through.
- My sponsee "stepped up" and became a sponsor himself about a week ago! We did the ceremony over the phone, and it was really cool. (Remember my "Step Up"?) And on Monday he let me know that he's lost 34 pounds so far since working this program with me. I'm so grateful I can be of service to him.
- Last Saturday's accomplishment... I completed a 5K race! In under 30 minutes! My friends, this is a miracle of recovery. This idea never even entered my head until recovery. I am so grateful.
And to go along with that last bullet point, the FIRST EVER PHOTOGRAPH of Charlie O. Edinburgh to appear on this blog, safely "anonymized" for our 11th Tradition protection.
And check this out...
I actually went running again on Monday! It wasn't just a "I'm going to do this one thing and be done with it" kind of thing like I used to do all the time. No, I'm excited about running as a lifestyle, as a fitness program. I'm already planning to start training for a 10K next week! A miracle.
Thank you, my friends, for reading... Thank you for your encouragement and support over the years. And thanks be to God, who has brought me from death to life in so many ways. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the followers of Jesus in Rome, wrote: "Offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to God as an instrument of righteousness." I'll close with the 3rd Step Prayer:
God, I offer myself to Thee, to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy power, Thy love and Thy way of life. May I do Thy will always. Amen.