Recovery from Relapse

According to the Overeaters Anonymous 2017 Membership Survey Report, 80% of our members said they have relapsed from recovery at some point in the past. This survey also found that 84% of our members continued to attend meetings while they were in relapse. And yet despite this, 30% have been able to maintain a healthy weight and healthy relationships to food for more than 5 years. But, what happens if you do find yourself struggling, yet again, within OA?

What if You have Relapsed?

A good number of us have known relapse – this is undeniable. And yet, the good news is that no one fails within OA. So long as you remain willing to keep seeking help and are willing to work the program, recovery is possible!

  • Keep coming back – no matter what – recommit to getting yourself to meetings
  • Don’t quit 5 minutes before the miracle – some of us have repeatedly struggled with relapse, yet we can and do recover
  • Call your Sponsor – or get a new sponsor
  • Reconnect – make an outreach call to another OA member
  • Pull out your OA literature or make a new purchase
  • Ask for help – together we get better

What can You Do to Prevent Relapse?

In order to get ahead of relapse – to stop it before it starts – here are some common symptoms that can lead to a relapse. We urge you to watch out for these signs:

Becoming argumentative
Acting cocky (attitude of ‘this can’t happen to me’)
Defiance (thinking you know better)
Failing to keep the focus on yourself (places you at risk of becoming judgmental and expecting too much from others)
Purchasing binge foods
Extreme exhaustion
Forgetting to be grateful for the good in your life
Growing frustration/quick-tempered
Unaddressed grief
Growing impatient
Dropping meeting attendance
Adopting or returning to old/bad habits
Dwelling in self-pity
Use of mood-altering substances
Losing connection to your Higher Power
Failing to pay attention to your spiritual condition
Starting to isolate
Ceasing to pray/meditate
Failing to work the steps
Not continuing to take personal inventory/failing to make an owed amends
Tiny God Syndrome (your Higher Power is not BIG ENOUGH)

Remember – we cannot do this alone.  We get better together.

Making a commitment to your *abstinence – keeping it as your highest priority – helps to ensure long-term recovery one day at a time.

*Abstinence is the action of refraining from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors while working towards or maintaining a healthy body weight. Spiritual, emotional, and physical recovery is the result of living and working the Overeaters Anonymous Twelve Step program on a daily basis.

Before relapse can happen, we urge you to: 

Reach out for help – talk to your sponsor/your fellows/your Higher Power
Grow your Higher Power
Continue/increase your meeting attendance
Get into service – this will keep you coming back and get you out of your head and into action
Revisit/Revamp your Plan of Action
Sponsor others/speak to newcomers
Make daily outreach calls
Revisit/work all 9 tools of recovery
Keep coming back
Attend OA events/workshops
Dive back into the AA Big Book/OA-approved literature/pamphlets:

Been Slipping and Sliding? A Reading and Writing Tool

From Slip or Relapse to Recovery

Twelve Step Within: Fun and Fellowship

Strong Abstinence Checklist

The Simplicity Project

Welcome Back: Suggestions For Members In Relapse And For Those Who Care

Difference Between Abstinence and A Plan of Eating – Presentation

Difference between Abstinence and A Plan of Eating – Workshop Handout

A Commitment to Abstinence

At OASV we have a solution that not only addresses the obsession with food, but that offers a design for living that really works – and we have no dues or fees for membership!

To reacquaint yourself with who we are and how we can help you recover from relapse, why not:

  • Attend a meeting
  • Give us a call at +1.408.940.6278
  • Listen to a podcast (available in English and Español)
  • Read one or more of our blogs
  • Check out Inspired Recovery for recovery stories, poems, and other examples of experience, strength, and hope
  • Visit our bookstore and place an order for one of our excellent books or informational pamphlets
  • Join us at one of our upcoming workshops
  • Check-out the invaluable hand-outs, worksheets, and audio-recordings from a past workshop