The Recovery Group

Question Nineteen

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.) Read page 35 in the Big Book.

B.) Discuss and reflect on the idea that compulsive overeaters have to be pretty badly mangled before they commence to solve their problems.

Page 35 speaks of a man, who even at the late age 35, and having never showed signs of compulsive behavior or alcoholism, suddenly finds himself in the downward spiral of drinking and destroying his life. Even upon getting help from fellow sufferers, he tries again and again to stop drinking on his own; he is sure that he can do it himself.

As I've mentioned before, it took me so long to come to believe that God could do for me what I could never do for myself. I mean, I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears that this was happening for so many others, but I held on to my old ideas. Fear, I guess was my stumbling block; fear of giving up all that I believed and letting myself walk a new road into a new place.

This pretty much draws the picture that I have seen in the rooms of OA for all my years; a behavior that I have exhibited as well...that I could surely, surely do this myself. I have seen such pain, tears and feelings of failure. Why? Because at some point in every addict's life they are sure that once they have got the "picture" they can now go ahead with life and remain abstinent. I wish this were true. But, the truth is that I have to (and I will speak in the "I" because I cannot speak for anyone else) remain ever aware that I have a disease that awaits me at every turn. I have a disease that tells me: sure, we can do this together...we don't need anyone else. Ah, but my disease lies to me.

With everything that I have learned in the Big Book, in the rooms, and on the 12 step loops, the one thing I know for sure is that I am only a moment away from picking up the trigger foods that beguile me with their color, their aroma and their taste. I need constant affirmation of who I am, I need to hear others stories of the good times and the bad, I need to know that I cannot do this alone...but with Higher Power's help, I can sustain another day. I need the connection to other sufferers, for it is in their eyes that I can see the truth of who I am and not waste another precious day running back to the food, thinking that, "I can just have one."

Yes, I was pretty badly mangled when I came back in the rooms in 1998, and yes, I had to hit a pretty bad rock bottom to begin listening again. I had to put aside all my "know how" and become as humble to listen and learn as the dying can be. Then and only then could I begin to hear again. I am always reminded of the last paragraph on page 570 of the Big Book, which states, "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance---that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer

I pray that we can all recall the truth of this, and stay constant to our program as we walk our journey together.

Love in recovery,





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