I recently returned from a lovely experience abroad, which included attending an OA meeting in Amsterdam. It was a bit intimidating since my comprehension of the Dutch language is somewhat limited. I attended with a Dutch friend I had previously met here in the US. There were about 10 members who attended, some having been informed that an American was coming to visit their meeting. It was held at an AA club where we shared a meeting room. As people arrived, I was warmly received. It proved true for me that as a member of OA, no matter where I go, I am amongst “family.”
Everyone did their best to share in English for my benefit. It was somewhat difficult to accept all their effort on my behalf. My old feelings of unworthiness tried to interfere. But the sharing was the same, as I hear at our meetings here in Denver. We all share this insane reaction of turning to food as we attempt to deal with everything in life. The format was similar to ours. The topic was the 10th tradition. I was happy to have an understanding of the tradition as I listened and tried to understand the reading in Dutch.
Afterwards some of the sharing pertained to the tradition, some not. The 7th Tradition was collected in a wooden shoe, which tickled me. Then some business matters were brought up. There were open positions in their Intergroup that needed to be filled including a Representative for that particular meeting. It affirmed again the irony that despite the fact that many of us crawl into these rooms feeling hopeless and find in them a fellowship and Steps that lead us to a way out, we are crippled with resistance to becoming active in the necessary work to keep OA functioning and vibrant.
Despite this, Overeaters Anonymous continues to be available to those who seek what it offers…hope. As imperfect as our program can appear to me at times, it is wonderfully perfect in that it has given me a chance to live richly without being destroyed by my addiction, one day at a time.
With humility and gratitude,