I had an interesting lunch yesterday and it got me thinking again about the Overeaters Anonymous (OA) use of God/Higher Power. It is a testament to how desperately I needed OA to work for me that I didn't run away and reject the whole program because of all the God talk. I'm agnostic. I used to believe and I appreciate the fellowship of the church I grew up in.
I'm no longer arrogant enough to criticize those who believe, I envy them a little. When my Mom died it would have been comforting to believe in the Christian afterlife. But I don't. It doesn't fit my understanding of the world. I no longer seek to impose my views on others, but I don't want others to impose their views on me.
I've thought since joining that we need another meeting in St. Charles. So, when I get myself together (probably ought to get through all the steps myself first) I'd see if I could start a meeting in my town on Thursday night. I'd love to have a meeting in a non-church building. Somewhere like the public library or community center. And structure the meeting to be less God-y. Not anti-God, just more open to Higher Powers(HP) that aren't necessarily based in organized religion. I just feel there is a need for this type of meeting. Many I've talked to have been interested except for the God factor.
When I first started OA I often talked about my struggle to define my HP. I was given a copy of the Big Book (AA's central piece of literature) and told to read the chapter "We Agnostics" and that it should clarify things for me. I read it, and what I understood it to say was that I shouldn't worry about not believing in God, that I'll come to believe through the program. That is not what I was expecting or needing to hear. Again, it speaks to my desperate need for OA that I didn't run screaming into the night after that.
The book that originally led me to OA was a gift from my therapist, my life coach, Carole. It is an autobiography of a woman's journey losing half her body weight in OA. It told in great detail her triumphs and struggles in the program. After reading this I knew I had to go to OA. What I didn't know then was that the author of the book was in a stricter sub-set of OA, sometimes referred to as the OA Nazis. They stick to a very strict food plan from the old days when OA endorsed food plans. They are known by the colors the pamphlets were printed on, grey sheets, green sheets, white sheets. So I was disappointed at first that I wasn't handed a food plan that I had to follow or else. Turns out that is a good thing for me. Also, The author lives in NYC so she had many meetings to choose from. In the western suburbs of Chicago there are fewer meetings and long travel times if I wanted to go to a meeting every day. I go to two now. I'd like to go to a third, but I don't want to make the drive on a work night.
So, my second potential OA project. I always thought that I could write a book about my weight loss success. One problem with that is that I have to achieve success. Another problem is that my story has to be interesting enough to have an audience. Maybe what I need to do is write something for fellow agnostics doing OA. There are probably already books out there, there are bound to be AA books like that. Although there are no official OA books about it. I wonder why. I wonder how hard it is to get something into the official OA lit. I've read a few really interesting unofficial books that had permission to use the OA name. Anyway, somehow it seems like I could research and write something like this. Even if it is just a separate OA blog.
So, to sum up, I want to start a new meeting and write a book. No problem. I'll just add those to my to-do list. I should get to them sometime around 2014.