- “God, grant me the willingness to see my imperfections as a means of getting closer to others and to You.” Overeaters Anonymous. Voices of Recovery (p. 86).
Why is it that it is so hard for me to admit it? My weakness is that I am a compulsive overeater, and a person who does not fully accept these imperfections of myself. I would rather cover it and hide it (or think that I am hiding it anyway). This is me. I am powerless over this enemy because this enemy is me. I lived in this isolation that my weakness brings to me for a long time. It goes something like this. . .
“Nobody else struggles with this kind of thing, I am out here alone, all by myself”.
But then suddenly, I came into a group of people and the first thing that they say is, “Oh, you have this weakness also?”
A little nervous and perhaps for the first time I say, “Y-e-s?”, and I begin to wonder what their reaction will be.
“Oh, that is cool, we all have that here. Hey, welcome home! Isn’t being a compulsive overeater just the worst?”
And they go on to make it sound as though, it is just an ordinary thing and you soon realize, that where I thought I was alone, there are a whole bunch of people just like me. In a weird sort of way, we all are here on our own little island of “weakness” and someone hands you the group tee-shirt and all of the sudden, they snap a group photo and now you’re a part of a family. Welcome home!
Membership requires your confession (Step One) but that is down the road a little way; being accepted by this group is based solely on being present, just showing up, and it happens the very first time you come. They even go as far as to say, “That confession part, if you need to wait for a while before you say it, that is totally fine with us, just keep coming and hang out with us, we promise you’ll have a place here with us. Welcome home!”
At first, you’re thinking, I know I am kind of a weird because I am this way, and therefore all these other people must be weird too, but as you listen and spend time with them, what you find is there are some pretty amazing people in this group from all walks of life, in all types of situations and circumstances with pretty cool stories, and one thing that they all have in common with you is that they fight that same weakness that you have fought with. Being with them then starts to feel like home!
A wise fellow once said that two are always better than one and that a three-cord strand can’t easily be broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). That’s the beauty of this thing, we don’t face it alone. Can a ragtag group of people who are flawed and defective, really fight against something this big that you have lost to most everyday of your life? Can they really help you overcome it? You bet that they can!
“How?”, you might ask, well first of all victory is not found in these people’s skills or abilities. Victory comes about only because of their weakness. When I am weak, then and only then, is it that I am strong. Why, because my Higher Power, has overcome the weakness that I can’t overcome. And so, people like David, Jennifer, Barbara, Rick, Richard, Al, Michelle, Becky, Connie, Margaret, and a host of others around the world have found that their Higher Power or as we call him, “HP” has helped them to overcome. “HP” He is the leader of this bunch of this rag tag group of folks. They can tell you how HP helped them, and if you’ll let Him, HP can help you as well.
Our group then, is a collection of weak people who have come to understand that a power greater than themselves can move on their behalf and they can be set free from this weakness. We don’t live on that island alone, rather we all share life together in our weakness and marvel in the power and strength that our Higher Power has. As we like to say when we invite folks to join us, “Welcome to Overeaters Anonymous, welcome home!