The Recovery Group

Question Sixteen

Dear Web Visitors and Loop Friends,

My name is Shana and I am a compulsive overeater. I am grateful to have found the OA program of recovery and part of my program is sharing it with others.

Please note that previous questions are already up on the web site and can be found at


A.) Re-read Step 2 (12/12).

B.) Discuss and reflect upon the need for open mindedness and why it is essential to your recovery in the OA program.

I always thought of myself as open minded, and so was very shaken to imagine that many of my ideas were not working for me; that if they were I would not be sitting in the rooms of OA crying and asking for help. Yet, the ideas that were being presented to me were so far off from everything that my family considered right, and I was so confused and yet wanted to be well...wanted to be "abstinent" as these new friends called it...wanted to be happy.

Step 2 cleared up alot for me but certainly not at first. No matter how many times I read the words on the pages, I could not imagine that strength lie in dependence on others and a Higher Power. I was taught that to be strong I needed to depend on myself; that I had to get "smarter" so I could make good choices. Then I was told that I was stupid, and of course, if I could I ever depend on me? Ah, yes, a Higher Power. Here I was told that all I needed was an open mind.

I found myself greatly wanting in this area. Question 16 talks about the need for open-mindedness and why it is essential to recovery. On page 27, it states, "Then I woke up. I had to admit that A.A. showed results, prodigious results. I saw that my attitude regarding these had been anything but scientific. It wasn't A.A. that had the closed mind, it was me. The minute I stopped arguing, I could begin to see and feel. Right there, Step Two gently and very gradually began to infiltrate my life. I can't say upon what occasion or upon what day I came to believe in a Power greater than myself, but I certainly have that belief now. To acquire it, I had only to stop fighting and practice the rest of A.A.'s program as enthusiastically as I could."

It is said that defiance is an outstanding characteristic of any compulsive overeater. Here I came to see that one of my character defects was defiance masked as self-sufficiency; that I lacked faith and, of course, found that the opposite of faith was fear. Sure, I was afraid; I could not see the good that lie ahead if I would only take that leap of faith. On page 32, it states, "When we encountered A.A., the fallacy of our defiance was revealed. At no time had we asked what God's will was for us; instead we had been telling Him what it ought to be. No man, we saw, could believe in God and defy Him too. Belief meant reliance, not defiance."

All this I took in over the years, reading and re-reading the steps. Yes, open-mindedness was the key...I did not have to take it all in in one sitting, for I could not have done that and would have fallen away lost again. But, I never walked away, not completely, and sought out what I saw was working for others, and this I did see and wanted what they had. In closing, I will quote from page 34, "Whether agnostic, atheist, or former believer, we can stand together on this step. True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith, and every A.A. meeting is an assurance that God will restore us to sanity if we rightly relate ourselves to Him." I say: Amen to that.

Love in recovery,





Site Map
Recovery Home Page
Big Book Page

Copyright © 1999, The RECOVERY Group