Below you will find a list of terms and slogans which you may hear in a meeting
Meetings are gatherings of two or more compulsive overeaters who come together to share their personal experience, and the strength and hope OA has given them. Though there are many types of meetings, fellowship with other compulsive overeaters is the basis of them all. Meetings give us an opportunity to identify and confirm our common problem and to share the gifts we receive through this program.
Anonymity, referred to in Traditions Eleven and Twelve, is a tool that guarantees that we will place principles before personalities. The protection anonymity provides offers each of us freedom of expression and safeguards us from gossip. Anonymity assures us that only we, as individual OA members, have the right to make our membership known within our community. Anonymity at the level of press, radio, films and television means that we never allow our faces or last names to be used once we identify ourselves as OA members. This protects both the individual and the Fellowship.
Within the Fellowship, anonymity means that whatever we share with another OA member will be held in respect and confidence. What we hear at meetings should remain there. However, anonymity must not be used to limit our effectiveness within the Fellowship. It is not a break of anonymity to use our full names within our group or OA service bodies. Also, it is not a break of anonymity to enlist Twelfth-Step help for group members in trouble, provided we refrain from discussing specific personal information.
Another aspect of anonymity is that we are all equal in the Fellowship, whether we are newcomers or seasoned long-timers. And our outside status makes no difference in OA; we have no stars or VIPs. We come together simply as compulsive overeaters.
Sponsors are OA members who are living the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions to the best of their ability. They are willing to share their recovery with other members of the Fellowship and are committed to abstinence.
We ask a sponsor to help us through our program of recovery on all three levels: physical, emotional and spiritual. By working with other members of OA and sharing their experience, strength and hope, sponsors continually renew and reaffirm their own recovery. Sponsors share their program up to the level of their own experience.
Ours is a program of attraction: find a sponsor who has what you want, and ask that person how he or she is achieving it. A member may work with more than one sponsor and may change sponsors at will.
The telephone helps us share one-to-one and avoid the isolation which is so common among us. Many members call other OA members and their own sponsors daily. As a part of the surrender process, it is a tool with which we learn to reach out, ask for help and extend help to others. The telephone also provides an immediate outlet for those hard-to-handle highs and lows we may experience.
Carrying the message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers is the basic purpose of our Fellowship; therefore, it is the most fundamental form of service. Any form of service—no matter how small—which helps reach a fellow sufferer adds to the quality of our own recovery. Getting to meetings, putting away chairs, putting out literature, talking to newcomers, doing whatever needs to be done in a group or for OA as a whole are ways in which we give back what we have so generously been given. We are encouraged to do what we can when we can. “A life of sane and happy usefulness” is what we are promised as the result of working the Twelve Steps. Service helps to fulfill that promise.
As OA’s responsibility pledge states: “Always to extend the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion; for this I am responsible.”
We study and read OA-approved pamphlets; OA-approved books, such as Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous and For Today; and we read Lifeline, our monthly magazine on recovery. We also study the book Alcoholics Anonymous, referred to as the “Big Book,” to understand and reinforce our program. Many OA members find that when read daily, the literature further reinforces how to live the Twelve Steps. Our OA literature and the AA “Big Book” are ever-available tools which provide insight into our problem of eating compulsively, strength to deal with it, and the very real hope that there is a solution for us. [You can find all of the above literature online at the OA Bookstore.]
The OA Promise
“I put my hand in yours, and together we can do what we could never do alone. No longer is there a sense of hopelessness, no longer must we each depend upon our own unsteady willpower. We are all together now, reaching out our hands for power and strength greater than ours, and as we join hands, we find love and understanding beyond our wildest dreams.”