The Recovery Group

Question Eighteen

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.) Reread Step 2 (12/12).

B.) Discuss and reflect on the following concepts as they play a part in your spiritual life: a.) intellectual self-sufficiency b.) wandering from faith and c.) self-righteousness.

I do have to smile, because I can talk about these concepts with full knowledge of how they can cause wreckage of the spirit. I've been all of these things, at one time or another, sometimes at the same time.

I've talked about my wandering from faith (in previous questions), and will quickly reiterate that I was an agnostic; a wanderer from faith, and I ended up praying daily for a connection to a Higher Power, and it came and I'm very grateful for that. Why? Because without it the program would be a diet club. Which it's not. Diets never worked for me. Why? Because all I had was me and the food, and I am a compulsive overeater. If that were enough, I wouldn't be here right now telling you that BELIEF MEANS RELIANCE...NOT DEFIANCE. I didn't learn that on the back of a jelly jar.

Now, about intellectual self-sufficiency. Oh, yes, I came into this program; these rooms willing to do anything to get thin. Of course, I loved the people; so warm, so caring. I got a sponsor and dove right into the questions. When I read about "intellectual self-sufficiency" I nodded my head and said, "well, that's not me!" But, I had to drop my first sponsor because she said I needed to stop analyzing everything and give over my defiance to a Higher Power. How dare she?? :-) Oh, I knew everything! I knew that I was intelligent enough to know what was good for me in "that department;" it was the food I needed help with. It wasn't until I kept falling on my face that I finally decided that what it says on page 30, 12/12, is true, "By their example they showed us that humility and intellect could be compatible, provided we placed humility first. When we began to do that, we received the gift of faith, a faith which works. This faith is for you, too."

Now, for the third and final concept, "self-righteousness." I do admit that I looked around me way back when and did feel that those who called themselves religionists were hypocrites, bigots and phonies. I had no use for formalized religion and could not separate that from the idea of spirituality. But, the truth is that I now believe that there is room for all of us in the world, and I do affirm the same feelings as is written on page 31, "In belaboring the sins of some religious people, we could feel superior to all of them. Moreover, we could avoid looking at some of our own shortcomings. Self-righteousness, the very thing that we had contemptuously condemned in others, was our own besetting evil."

As I said, I have been there on all three counts. Seems like a lifetime ago...but then again, it is.

Love in recovery,





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