Dear Friends,

My name is Mari and I am an addict. My drug of choice is food and I am grateful to have found Overeaters Anonymous and the Twelve Steps. Mostly I am grateful that I have found hope. Thank you for letting me share my Journey to Recovery with you.

The camelias have been beautiful all over the island and the azaleas are in full bloom here at our beach Paradise. Summertime is here almost and I am so blessed to live in this special place.

"Made a searching and fearless
moral inventory of ourselves."


The Twelve Steps of Recovery

Sunday, we admitted we were powerless over food. Monday we came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Yesterday we made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. And today .... the Fourth Step. We begin having to do some footwork. Everything is not going to be about just plain faith. We're going to have to get busy. Footwork doesn't just do itself. We must prepare for the step which most OAers seems to dread ... and because we dread it .... we begin to procrastinate. So hear we go. The Fourth Step.

A searching and fearless MORAL inventory of OURSELVES???? I think of the neighborhood grocery store when I think of doing an inventory. Counting cans of soup and boxes of cereal and punching numbers into a computer to see what are the good sellers and what are the bad. Taking our own inventory is much the same as that. We begin to do some soul searching. We pull out our computers or our pencils and begin to write. And write and write and write. We go back over our entire life and write down everything we can possibly think of about ourselves ... but not just those bad things about us but also the good.

And as those bits and pieces of our character are laid out on a piece of paper or on a floppy disk ... we suddenly begin to see the areas of our life in which we have done things so very wrong. Hurts we have inflicted on other people. Duties we have shirked. Sins we have committed. Some more serious than others. And we are careful not to forget to write down returning that money we found that we could just as easily have kept. The kindness to the elderly lady in the nursing home that we went to see every Sunday for four months. And then back to gossiping on our best friend. And lying to our spouse. And stealing from our employer.

And then off to the other side of the page and remember our agreeing to commit ourselves to one year serving in the soup kitchen and that had turned into five. And on and on we go. And then we rest .... but it is not over.

The next day we begin again ... and we are becoming more courageous. We write down the affair we had ten years ago. And the money we stole. And all the lies. And even things more serious. And as my sponsor used to say ... as the ink came out of the pen, the poison came out of the soul. And so we wrote some more. And prayed. And reflected. My God!!!!! How bad we seemed to be! So we began to focus on some more good things. And suddenly saw how good we were.

Our inventory was taken. Not everything ... but much of it. There will still be things that pop into our minds. And we will forever be doing 4th steps. But never quite like the first one. Never quite as bone-chilling as that lifetime of things some of which we've never even admitted to ourselves.

We have taken our Fourth Step. We have made that searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. And we feel the weight of the world has been lifted from our shoulders. And about 10 pounds off our bodies. And a world of shame from our psyches. And we feel cleansed .... and refreshed .... and wholesome ..... and we are beginning to like ourselves .... No! We are beginning to LOVE ourselves.

Dear God,
Help me to not avoid
taking my fourth step. Give
me the courage to be honest
and do my inventory with integrity ....
and with courage ... and at the same time,
help us to keep loving ourselves from the time
we pick up the pen until we put it down again.

The Recovery Group

Copyright © 1998, The RECOVERY Group