12th Step Within & Relapse

12th Step Within work is about reaching out to those in the Fellowship who still suffer and addressing relapse and recovery of our members. Its purpose is to strengthen Overeaters Anonymous by sharing information and ideas that generate recovery within the Fellowship. Those who give 12th Step Within service encourage existing OA members to become or remain abstinent, to work the Twelve Steps and to give service to the best of their ability. Doing this service increases the quantity and quality of recovery in our Fellowship, thereby assisting our own spiritual journey. 12th Step Within does not focus on attracting new members; it explicitly supports the ones we already have. Anyone who is abstinent and working his or her own recovery can do this service. No special qualifications are necessary; only willingness is needed.

We can all help carry the message of recovery through abstinence and working the Steps by:

  • Being well ourselves
  • Giving service, sponsorship and friendship
  • Encouraging membership retention
  • Attending meetings and OA events

Ideas to help members in relapse

  • Hold workshops, retreats and conventions
  • Sponsor personally or by phone / email / zoom / whatsapp
  • Focus on membership retention
  • Buy the Twelfth-Step-Within Handbook for more information and ideas, workshop formats, etc.
  • Provide literature that addresses Twelfth-Step-Within concerns

Some useful related literature

(available at the Literature Shop)

  • Members in Relapse
  • Recovery Checklist
  • Recovery from Relapse Meeting Format
  • Welcome Back
  • A New Beginning: Stories of Recovery from Relapse 

12 Step Workshop and Study Guide

The Twelve Step Workshop & Study Guide can be useful for groups to use to help people to work the OA Steps and promote recovery amongst those members still struggling in our fellowship.

Twelfth-Step-Within Handbook

The updated Twelfth-Step-Within Handbook contains many new features, for example, Been Slipping and Sliding – A Reading and Writing Tool, which includes 30 questions for use in daily writing and discussion with a sponsor, and the Recovery Insurance Policy — a pledge between two OA members to support and be accountable to one another — and suggestions for Planning a Sponsorship Workshop. This handbook is available for purchase via OAGB Literature and also provides information about starting a Twelfth-Step-Within committee in your area.

There is also a formal Twelfth-Step-Within Committee, created at OA’s 1985 World Service Business Conference. The committee members meet annually at WSBC and work on related projects throughout the year. You can find more information about this at www.oa.org/membersgroups/twelfth-step-within/ .

If you are a still-suffering OA member, please remember you are not alone. Reach out for help – there is a lot available. Try speaking to other members who have what you want and ask for help. Many worldwide OA Regions and Intergroups have websites where you can download good shares as podcasts etc. Contact your local intergroup and ask what support they can offer. Ask those with good recovery what worked for them. Attend retreats, workshops or Intergroup meetings outside of your local area to meet new OA members and refresh your programme.

Here are some shares from OAGB members.