Frequently Asked Questions
1. WHAT IS THE OA HOUR OF POWER?
- The OA Hour of Power is a phone meeting and a fellowship of men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. We follow the precise directions in the textbook, Alcoholics Anonymous.
2. WHAT IS THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE HOUR OF POWER?
- As stated in Tradition 5 (The Long Form), our group “ought to be a spiritual entity having but one primary purpose-to carry the message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers”.
3. WHAT IS “THE MESSAGE”?
- The Twelve Steps, if followed precisely as written in the Big Book, will help you find a Power greater than yourself. Through that Power, you will have an experience sufficient enough to enable you to recover from compulsive overeating.
4. WHAT IS THE “BIG BOOK”
- The “Big Book” is the nickname for the book entitled Alcoholics Anonymous.
5. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE BIG BOOK?
- “To show other alcoholics precisely how we recovered is the main purpose of this book.” (AA foreword to 1st edition)
6. WHY SHOULD I READ THE “BIG BOOK” IN OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS? I’M NOT AN ALCOHOLIC.
- We find that compulsive overeating (just like alcoholism) is the end result of a living problem which can be solved through a spiritual solution. Thus, when we change the words “alcohol” to “compulsive overeating” and “alcoholic” to “compulsive overeater” we find we can identify absolutely with what the Big Book says about our disease and the spiritual solution.
- The Big Book’s foreword to the third edition tells us “the basic principles of the AA program, it appears, hold good for individuals with many different lifestyles.”
- We stick to the Big Book and, occasionally, the AA Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions as these present the Twelve Steps in their purest form. The first 100 to recover from alcoholism followed the exact path outlined in the Big Book. The spiritual “program of action” in the Big Book has enabled millions to recover now for 73 years and it can work for you too.
- In an attempt to not confuse, dilute, or distract us from the spiritual message contained in the Alcoholics Anonymous textbook, we generally avoid literature other than the Big Book or the AA Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
7. ISN’T THE BIG BOOK ANTIQUATED?
- The big book was written in 1939 as a collaborative effort by Bill Wilson and others who recovered from alcoholism. Although some of the words and phrases sound dated, we find that, just as with other spiritual literature, the concepts in the Big Book are timeless. While four editions of the Big Book have been printed: 1939, 1955, 1976, and 2001; according to the preface of the fourth edition, “because this book has become the basic text for our Society and has helped such large numbers of alcoholic men and women to recovery, there exists strong sentiment against any radical changes being made in it. Therefore, the first portion of this volume (the first 164 pages) describing the AA recovery program, has been left largely untouched.” The truth never changes and will make you free.
8. WHAT IS THE “GOAL” OF THE 12 STEPS?
- Through the 12 steps, as written in the Big Book, the “goal” is to put a compulsive overeater on the path to a Power greater than themselves. That Higher Power will help to restore us to sanity through a spiritual experience. The Big Book authors call this power God.
9. DO I HAVE TO BELIEVE IN GOD TO BE A MEMBER?
- No. Per the Big Book, pages 47-50: “When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies, too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book.…….We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. “Do I believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?” As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built….. In our personal stories you will find a wide variation in the way each teller approaches and conceives of the Power which is greater than himself. Whether we agree with a particular approach or conception seems to make little difference. Experience has taught us that these are matters about which, for our purpose, we need not be worried. They are questions for each individual to settle for himself.”
10. WHAT IS A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE/ SPIRITUAL AWAKENING?
- Dr. Carl Jung, prominent psychiatrist, describes a spiritual experience on page 27 of the Big Book: “Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them.”
- The Big Book has an entire appendix (Appendix II) devoted to this very subject. In short, they define these terms as a “personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism.” The appendix further describes a spiritual experience as “a profound alteration in our reaction to life; that such a change could hardly have been brought about by ourselves alone. What often takes place in a few months could hardly be accomplished by years of self-discipline. With few exceptions our members find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves. Most of us think this awareness of a Power greater than ourselves is the essence of spiritual experience. Our more religious members call it “God-consciousness.” Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems in the light of our experience can recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual principles. He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial. We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.”
11. HOW DO I KNOW IF I “QUALIFY” FOR THIS PROGRAM?
The answer to both of these questions should be YES.
- 1. When you start eating compulsively, do you feel that you lose control over the amount you eat? (Are you able to stop once you start?) When you are eating do you lose control over the amount of food you eat?
- 2. Have you lost the power of choice in whether you eat compulsively or not? (Even when you don’t want to or know you’re not “supposed to”, do you still compulsively overeat?) Are you able to stop compulsively overeating and stay stopped?
12. WHAT IF I DON’T QUALIFY? WILL SOMEONE STILL WORK WITH ME?
- We have found that without the lash of the disease and the gift of desperation, those who are NOT real compulsive overeaters will NOT do the work; they will not follow the directions in the 12 steps. It will be up to individual sponsors to determine whether or not they wish to work the steps with you if you are not a real compulsive overeater.
13. WHAT IS A SPONSOR? WHAT DOES AN OA HOUR OF POWER SPONSOR DO AND WHY DO I NEED ONE?
- A sponsor is your teacher for the textbook of Alcoholics Anonymous. They offer guidance through the Twelve Steps in the way the authors of the Big Book intended.
- An Hour of Power sponsor has gone through all twelve steps (with their Hour of Power sponsor), following the precise directions from the Big Book and has had a spiritual awakening which has REMOVED their desire to compulsively overeat. An Hour of Power sponsor continues to practice these principles in all their affairs through the life-long daily practice of Steps 10, 11, and 12.
14. WHAT DOES AN OA HOUR OF POWER SPONSOR NOT DO?
- A sponsor guides you from the Big Book only and encourages you to seek the God of your understanding and God’s guidance and direction in your life. A sponsor does not give advice or direct your life (that’s God’s job).
15. HOW DO I GET AN OA HOUR OF POWER SPONSOR?
- To contact the OA Hour of Power fellowship, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your phone number and a sponsor from the OA Hour of Power will contact you within 48 hours.
16. WHEN DO YOU TALK ABOUT FOOD/ FOOD PLANS?
- As a general rule, we don’t. Remember that this is a spiritual program that offers a spiritual solution, so we focus on the spiritual path. There is no need to discuss the symptoms of the disease; they are not the issue. Without a spiritual experience, we compulsive overeaters are not able to follow a food plan, so why talk about it? The Big Book clearly states on page 64 that when the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically, so we have a lot of work to do spiritually and the rest will fall into place.
- We feel that a food plan is between YOU and the God of your understanding. If you ask Him, and are willing to listen, God will show you what to do. It has been our experience that part of the spiritual awakening was knowing exactly what to do with the food. When we allowed God to direct our lives, our compulsive overeating was REMOVED.
17. WHAT IS ABSTINENCE?
- As defined by Overeaters Anonymous, abstinence is the action of refraining from compulsive overeating.
18. WILL THE OA HOUR OF POWER HELP ME LOSE WEIGHT?
- Theoretically, if one is no longer compulsively overeating, they will lose weight. Please keep in mind, our primary purpose is to carry the spiritual message (the Twelve Steps) and spiritual solution (coming to believe that a Power greater than ourselves will restore us to sanity) to the compulsive overeater who still suffers. The results– including weight loss and restoration of sanity– will be determined by your Higher Power and your willingness to seek His will in your spiritual path.
19. HOW DO I JOIN THE HOUR OF POWER?
- As stated in Tradition 3: The only requirement for O.A. membership is a desire to stop compulsively overeating. If you are a compulsive overeater and have this desire to stop eating compulsively, please join us in the OA Hour of Power.
- We strongly recommend either joining us live Monday through Friday from 12-1 pm Central Time as we read and share from the Big Book or the AA Twelve and Twelve or listening to our recovered speakers share their stories of recovery in relation to Steps 1, 2, and 3 in our Newcomer’s Meeting held every Saturday at 9am Central Time. In addition, you can listen to previously recorded meetings at any time.
- See “Meetings” for more details including telephone numbers for live and recorded meetings, as well as sharing IDs for previously recorded meetings.
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