Writing Out My Gratitude List


April 16, 2021

Writing Out My Gratitude List

Many sponsors encourage members to make gratitude lists to aid us in the recognition of what is going well in our lives, rather than focusing on the things that make us unhappy or uncomfortable. My sponsor encourages me to remember to make a “Gratitude List” – especially on the days when things aren’t going as well as I would like!

Over time, I’ve come to look forward to this journaling exercise. It helps me to realize and appreciate that life is far sweeter when the time is taken to notice the little things. It’s all those little things, when taken together, that add up to the “joy” in my life.

When I woke up this morning, despite the blinds being closed, I noticed that the sun was shining brightly and that the day was promising to be one of clear blue skies and warm sunshine, even though we were experiencing cooler weather. When I took a moment to open the sliding door out to my balcony, I happened to notice that there were birds singing and that the orange roses in my backyard were in full bloom. I absolutely love orange roses! Whenever they bloom so profusely, I feel as if they are telling me, “You are loved!” And, seeing the beautiful day that was unfolding before me, I was able to give thanks for those lovely blooms and for the joy of birdsong in the early morning air.

When I came downstairs to make my abstinent breakfast, I gave thanks for the soft kitty that padded down the stairs after me, eager to be held and petted. Seeing the bouquet of fresh flowers on the kitchen table that I’d received only a few days before, reminded me that my sweetheart was a gift that I never expected, and someone special that I never wanted to take for granted.

As I sipped my morning tea, I opened my daily reader and found these words of comfort, “We have no program of diets and exercise, no scales, no magic pills. What we do have to offer is far greater than any of these things – a fellowship in which we find and share the healing power of love.”

I consider the fact that before OA, I had never experienced the kinds of friendships that I’ve since encountered within the rooms. In OA, I have truly found my tribe – people that not only understand me, but that fully accept me, without judgment. And for this fact, I give thanks to my Higher Power! I no longer live with the dirty secret that I’m a compulsive eater – that sugary/doughy foods are my crazy addiction! Instead, I accept that I have a disease, and that within my OA program there is a solution, if I care to seek it!

I used to think that I would never know a life where I could be myself, or dare to share my secrets, or disclose the source of my shame – that I ate until I was ready to burst. And yet, within OA, I have found a life of meaning and grace. I have a loving sponsor that has helped guide me through the steps, and to unflinchingly face my worst fears. And, I’ve been able to release weight and worries that I thought would be my lifelong burden.

Today is something special. I now know that each and every moment that I’m alive, and able to do whatever lies before me, is a true gift. My sponsor frequently reminds me that my abstinent life is not something I earned, but rather something that I was given in exchange for doing the footwork – for working the twelve steps of our program, and remembering, always, to seek God, clean house, and help others.

Such simple concepts, and yet, not so long ago, I was so reluctant to give this program my full attention, assuming it would never work for me. But despite my reluctance and my fears, I’m here without all those extra pounds, and able to hike, bike and swim distances that I could not have before imagined.

I’m grateful – so immensely grateful! I came looking for a way to control my eating, and what I found in OA was a life beyond my wildest dreams! Now I can look myself in the mirror and feel content knowing that I’m loved and loving, things I never thought I would ever feel about myself. That by simply being me, I’m enough.

So many things to be grateful for: my sponsor, my abstinence, my sweetheart, my wonderful son, my many true friends, my cozy home, my cuddly cat, my newfound mobility, and my peace of mind! I actually know what it means to have food neutrality. Thank you Higher Power – and thank you, OA!

By Francine in Willow Glen

How have you used the tool of writing to aid you in your recovery from compulsive eating?

Please send how you’ve used writing as a tool of recovery to blog@oasv.org. We look forward to hearing from you and to sharing your story of experience, strength and hope with others on this amazing journey of OA recovery from compulsive eating through the Twelve Steps.