Method for Living
The first time I entered the OA rooms in the late ’80s, I knew I had found what I needed. I was so impressed by the honesty I heard and amazed by people openly sharing their character defects. It was an eye-opener. I don’t think I even thought about my character defects before that day. I was who I was, end of story.
As I continued to attend OA meetings and work the Twelve Steps, I learned to look at my character defects. I was more grateful for the emotional and spiritual aspects of the program. Weight was not my priority, even though I came to OA to lose weight and now maintain a 25-pound (11-kg) weight loss. This program was so refreshing. I found a method whereby I learned to look at how I was living my life through looking for my character defects, recognizing them, accepting them, and then working on removing them through the Twelve Steps.
I came to learn that my greatest character defect was codependency. I don’t know if I even knew what that meant before OA. I was busy fixing everybody else’s life. Poor me, I spent so much time taking care of other people and their problems that I didn’t even see or understand I was probably hurting them and myself. Being busy taking care of others and their problems, I didn’t have to look at myself.
I have come a long way in my recovery from codependency thanks to OA and the Twelve Steps. It has made such a positive difference in my life. Every day I continue to work on codependency and other defects that I have come to recognize, including perfectionism, impatience, and intolerance. Now that I am aware that I have these character defects, I can work on removing them. Learning to deal with my character defects has improved my life and my relationships so much. I am so grateful to OA for a much better and satisfying way to live my life today.
—Joanie B. (Lifeline October 2015)