The Recovery Group

Question Twenty

Dear Web Visitors and Recovery Friends,

My name is Donna and I am a compulsive overeater. I am going to be sharing with you my own experience, strength and hope as it relates to Questions 20-30. I have been a member of OA for about 20 years now. The responses that I will give to the questions represent my own views ... they may or may not echo yours. I hope you will share your responses with your home loop. I am honored to share these words as my service. I pray you will find something useful in the words that I write.

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


A. No person could believe in God and defy Him.
B. For recovery we need a faith that works under all conditions

In his book 'A Hunger for Healing,' J. Keith Miller (a 12-step member who is an author and psychologist) tells of going to an OA meeting and describing the disappointment he felt in not being able to live up to the high standards of his faith. His definition of HP demanded a consistent striving toward perfection -- and he knew he was not making the grade. An old-time member bluntly responded to him: "then you'd better fire that old God of yours and get one that will help you through recovery!" Although at first he was startled, Miller used that comment to launch a journey of discovery of the true nature of HP and the place of a higher power in our daily recovery journey.

To me this question goes to the heart of how I define HP - and what part He can and will play in my recovery. Like Miller, I was raised with certain beliefs and very high standards. My spiritual leaders (chiefly my mother) frequently pointed out my inability to meet those standards. So I came to the OA program with a fixed concept of HP Who judged me and found me wanting. I believed that in my own faulty humanity I failed God.

When I first came into Program I would have disagreed with the first of these statements. I believed sincerely in God. My faith was sure. And yet because I am human I felt that I showed defiance -- since how could I call myself a follower of this holy God and at the same time be a flawed human addict who daily disappointed God and my loved ones? But through the years of being part of this Program I have learned like Miller to "fire" my "old God" -- the rigid perfection-demanding God. I have come to know the mercy and acceptance of a HP who lets me be the person I am -- and Who accepts and guides my life whenever I offer it to Him. I have come to believe that God is always ready and eager to offer His help; yet never chiding me or resentful when I willfully wrest back the controls of my life.

I wholeheartedly agree that faith is a key ingredient in my recovery. I believe that when I "let go and let God" He will take the reins and lead me to my best destination. So far I have not yet been able to sustain abstinence from compulsive eating for longer than 7 months. During that 7 month period I felt as though I had attained my spiritual Everest. I thought I had discovered the Answer for my life; the Solution for the ravages of my addiction. But then my daughter became ill and died 7 months later from cancer. It rocked the foundations of my newly renovated faith ... and I was left with guilt and grief that I chose to remedy with a relapse. In the years since as I struggle daily with my willingness, I have learned that faith does survive if we want it to. And that faith is sometimes all of the Program I have left. But I have also learned that on those days, my faith is enough.

By definition faith implies trust. We trust our HP even when we are challenged. We trust when we are abstinent. We trust when we relapse. We trust and believe that the Power that we choose to govern our lives is intent on our best results and that we can reach out each day for enough to sustain us. The portion we then receive (of food or of fellowship or of strength, faith, hope or love) is exactly what we need for that 24 hours. And our faith in that portion is what we must hold onto.

Love in recovery,


Thirty Questions




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