Step Two

1997

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

Step Two Contents:

Introduction
Part 1 and Questions for journaling
Part 2 and Questions for journaling
Part 3 and Questions for journaling
Part 4 and Questions for journaling

Step Navigator:

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Step One Index Step Three

 

Step Two ~ Part 1

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

Hello all WTS loopsters!!!!!!

My name is Steph B and I am a gratefully, joyfully recover-ing compulsive overeater. I will be sharing my experience, strength and hope (e/s/h) on step 2 during the month of February. First I would like to thank Florence for setting the tone of rigorous honesty as she shared with us on step one. Her shares have touched us all and sparked our desire to refrain from compulsive overeating. I ask your prayers that I may follow the pattern she has set. From what you all have been sharing on the loop, I believe that we are off to a fine start with our yearly study of the steps.

Some brief background information. I have been in OA for two years. I count time from when I consciously desired to be free from compulsive overeating and recognized it as a disease. I was familiar with the twelve steps because I had attended Al-Anon for a drinking father and later a drinking spouse. I use the word *for* because although I read the steps and attended meetings, read literature, I never realized it was *my disease and always felt that all my problems would be solved if my dad, and later my spouse, would just quit drinking. Or if that didn't happen, if I would just lose that weight.! It was a year after the death of my father and several years after the divorce from my husband while I was attending a class on kids, alcohol and drugs, that I realized that *I was the sick one. <grin> big surprise. I began to read non-OA stuff on eating disorders and confronted my disease through the workbook "Love Hunger". I fell apart without support trying to do this on my own and spiraled down into a deep depression. Still attributing part of my problems to the influence of alcohol on my life I began attending Adult Children of Alcoholics. it wasn't long before I began searching for an OA group and that was, has been and continues to be a real problem. They really don't exist where I live. There is one which meets haphazardly once a week about 35 miles from where I live. After the drive and the effort to get there and being met by locked doors started to erode my commitment, I began going to AA open meetings about a year ago; however I don't share there. It was through those groups that I found Rozanne and the other on-line groups. Working with a counselor who works her own 12-step program and serves as my sponsor) I have progressed through the steps. I have maintained a 3-0-1 (three meals a day, nothing in between, one day at a time) abstinence since May of 1995, albeit with a few slips. My food plan is not releasing as much weight as I would like and this is something I know I have to address, but I am learning sanity around food and this is very much recovery for *me. I am learning to be happy. I love this program and the people in it and I am ever grateful that I found it.

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Step Two ~ Part 1

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

As I begin this discussion I feel that it is important to recognize that we are all different and unique human beings. We all are approaching this step with different attitudes and from many different backgrounds. There are those who have a little (or big) problem with the idea of God or Higher power and fear that this is the time for the religion. There are those who say no problem, I have a strong faith system let's get on with the show. And there are still others who are confused because they are somewhere in between. To all of you I must make three statements. First. OA is *not* a religion. We will never tell you *what* you have to believe. Even the Twelve Steps are just suggestions from people who have attained and continue to maintain abstinence from compulsive overeating. Secondly, to get abstinent and progress in recovery you don't have to take all of Step #2 (or any other one) all at once. The reason this program works as it does is that it is not tailored. You work it at your pace. It is a really good time to talk your feelings and doubts out with your sponsor. All that is required of you is that, thirdly, you keep a truly open mind. After all what have you got to lose except that unmanageability and all that excess weight. Be patient with yourself.

--Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.--

SANITY, what is sanity? I would like to begin the discussion with this word because it is the one at which I bristled the most when I first began working the steps. Sure I could admit my life was "unmanageable"--at least the food part was and yes, if I looked very closely and honestly I had to admit (and later accept ) that there were a lot of other parts of my life that were unmanageable. But insane??? me ??? no way. That was for those others, the ones who purged, or drugged themselves, or vomited, or overexercised. I was just overweight. Even if it was more than 100 lbs what did that have to do with insanity?

Being a linguist, I decided to look at the word 'insanity'. I knew immediately that it was the opposite of sane, but what is sane. Ahhh, yes it means "healthy". Was my life really healthy? Umm, not really. Even for me who is a very hard nut to crack, the two failed angioplasties and a double by-pass in less than six months did sort of give me the message that my life-style wasn't healthy. Could that mean that I was insane? Good question. For a year after the medical problems I was a "good" girl. I adhered to a very strict diet counting grams of fat, reading labels and basically scared Sh--less to eat anything that wasn't on my plan; and the weight came tumbling down. But I did nothing to heal my emotions or work on spirituality. Well, that first compulsive bite came...I don't even remember what it was. But I didn't die!! Surprise!!! Soon I was very much back into the old habits and the weight was climbing. Maybe I am insane? I was given a second chance at life and I'm destroying it. Would a sane person do that?? Does a sane person steal food from her children? When I was honest I could admit that I had done that more than once, not just the jelly beans from their baskets, but the slices of bacon and the cookies portioned out so that I would always have the most. Does a healthy person eat spoiled, burned, moldy food? Looking even farther back, does a sane child steal money from parents to buy candy? everyday? and during adolescence a milkshake a day? Does a healthy person say no to a date so that she can stay home with a bag of cookies. Does a healthy person lie about going to the library so she can go to Burger King and binge and not have to bring anything back to anyone else? Is it healthy to go to a doctor, who is later arrested for pushing amphetamines, who fills you full of colorful pills so that you can "burn" the fat? When the answer to all of these came up NO, NO, NO-- then I found my answer. I really was insane.

This was really the first part of step 2 for me. Admitting and accepting that I was insane. After that the rest of the step would have been a breeze for this very religious person. Well, it wasn't . In the following weeks it will share on how I tried to cure this insanity and how I finally came to believe that a power greater than myself could and *is restore(ing) me to sanity.


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Step Two ~ Part 1: Questions

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

  1. Am I looking with complete honesty at my relationship with food and its place in my life?

  2. Is my relationship with food healthy in the sense of "life-giving"?

  3. What are some of the ways I have acted irrationally with regard to food?

  4. How has my behavior around food affected my social life?, my people to people relations? my children?, my spouse?

  5. Is my plan of eating nurturing or self destructive?

  6. Do I behave "insanely" around food?

Thank you for this opportunity to look deeply at my program and how my Higher Power is working in me. When I first signed up for this step about six months ago little did I realize how much I have changed; setting aside old ways and putting on new. But my friends who see me question why I am glowing and so delightful to be around instead of the morose, depressed, self-centered, angry individual I was. I just grin and say I don't know, but I love it. Thanks to all of you who are my group. As one of our own says keep coming back it works if you work it. Until next week.

Paz,
Steph B

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Step Two ~ Part 2

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

Hi WTS'ers!!!!

Steph B here, a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater and food addict. It is very hard to be here. This sharing is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Hard because I have to put into writing some things I've never really defined for myself. I want to thank all of you who are working the steps and those who are sharing on line. This is definitely one of those cases where I find that I am receiving much more than giving. I must again state that I am not OA; this is nothing official. I am another addict who is struggling, as each of you is, to surrender to a higher power my feeble attempts at control of the universe and my disease.

Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Previous work on Step One with its discussion of unmanageability and last week's work on insanity have left me feeling drained. Beating up on myself and finding weaknesses has never been a problem for me. I have always readily found fault with myself (and just as easily with others). So In working the Steps this wasn't much of a problem for me. These early discussions are to help us focus on the problem and I darned well knew I had a problem. The first time through the steps I breezed through the first three steps. I knew I was a mess and I knew someone, not me, had to fix me because I sure couldn't.

So I emerged from my look at unmanageability, reluctantly admitting my insanity and began to search for solutions. I was conditioned as a child to search for solutions. There is a solution for every problem -- you just haven't looked far enough or dug deep enough. God helps those who help themselves. Through the OA literature I somehow got the message that all the old solutions wouldn't work. But what would?

From very earliest childhood I knew there was something wrong with me. Once puberty hit and I started gaining weight, my parents tried all the usual and not so usual "cures". At age 14 I got my first ballet lesson, not because I had been begging for lessons since I was seven, but maybe I would learn poise and loose some weight. At 15 it was membership in the Athletic Club so I could exercise. Faithfully I would go to swim lessons and have a burger, fries and candy bar on the way home. At 16 it was John Robert Powers modeling school where I was measured, prodded, brainwashed and learned the grapefruit diet. There has been such a feeling of inadequacy and not fitting in with all this. Later followed Weight Watchers and TOPS. I did avoid the Fasting program at the local hospital mainly because I didn't have the money. All my friends who lost such incredible amounts of weight and looked so good have gained it all back just as I would have. So those won't work. Where do I go now???

Something must be working for those who have gained abstinence and continue in their recovery. They say and the literature says "a power greater than ourselves." Did I believe in a power greater than myself? Of course there was a power greater than I. I knew there was a God. Wasn't I a good Catholic? Didn't I pray every day? I went to church five days a week. I was a leader in the church. Many looked up to me. Hadn't I studied theology and philosophy? Couldn't I answer everyone's theological questions. Wasn't I a good buddy o the bishops and those in power? I knew there was this power. And the power would restore me to sanity. End of Step Two on to Step 3 etc....

The trouble was I hadn't really taken Step Two. I didn't realize this until I got hung up on Step Six. I just wasn't making any progress. My sponsor suggested that I return to the beginning and start with each of the steps again. Step One was okay. Two seemed okay, I didn't get hung up on "insanity". However, between the first time I did Step 2 and the second time, my whole concept of God and religion had been put to a very severe test. I had thrown out all my beliefs and was starting from scratch. I really didn't have a clue about this "power greater than ourselves". So I began to take a good look at it again. I could readily see that my feeble prayers weren't being answered. Hadn't I been praying for years to be healed of this insidious disease--yet the madness prevailed. If there really was a God and He was all powerful and he really did love me and want the best for me how come I was still plagued by these horrible compulsions. Why was I totally obsessed with food? Was food really my God? Time to take a good look at what I really believed or knew or thought I knew.

About this time those wonderful photos taken by the Humble telescope were being printed. They showed huge clouds of gases that were forming into nebula. Those wonderful photos drew me to the awesomeness of a power outside of myself. No doubt in my mind that there was this power. In addition to this I am blest to live in a part of the USA where I can be in daily contact with nature; hiking, biking, skiing, just viewing the creative genius of a power that I couldn't possibly emulate as shown in the fragile beauty of a wildflower. The God of the Universe the creative power I had no trouble accepting these. But could this power care about me???

My concept of God had evolved through a strict religious upbringing. God was the one who made me and the world and everything in it. God was the one keeping track of all I was doing good or bad on his great big blackboard. God expected me to be perfect as he is perfect. Only I wasn't perfect and therefore God couldn't love me, or so I thought. I had struggled through a disastrously violent marriage with very sick children who nearly died on me three times. During those years I came to know that there was a power greater than I to whom I could turn when the going got rough. It was during an emergency room experience with one of my children that the slogan "Let go and Let God" came to my mind. I had heard it because my mother had begun to attend Al-Anon. Well It was the first time I had ever tried to pray that way. Just telling God that I trusted him to do the best for my baby and leaving the outcome in his hands. Wow! It worked. My child was healed. Now I had this whole new way of praying. Trouble was I wasn't real good at using it until it was a horrible emergency occurred. My mother later said that I was giving things to God on rubber bands, letting them bounce back into my control. Probably was. Well, was this God the one who was the "power greater than ourselves"? Umm could be.

I apologize to all of you for the disjointed organization of this, but it is the way I struggled with this step. It easily shows one of my greatest obstacles in working this step and it is that of intelligence. I was gifted and cursed with above average intelligence. I tend to try to solve everything with a logical intelligent answer and sometimes the answer just isn't to be found through intelligence. Sometimes, many times, the answer is through faith. Quoting from OA "For Today" the reading for Jan 17,

"We should take care not to make the intellect our God"

--Albert Einstein.

My mind can easily get in my way. It tries to be logical. It figures problems and thinks it has the answers. then my life becomes chaotic. It is only when I let go and let God that I feel serenity. It is only when I give up that I see the answers God puts before me...."-

So as I progressed through this Step 2 for the second time I gathered all my concepts of God together and somehow, albeit in spite of my intelligence, I have found a power greater than I who is restoring me to sanity. This is *my* power greater than I. My HP is awesome in power and gentle and beautiful in inventiveness. My HP doesn't inhabit any particular church nor is she/he the sole possession of a single religion. My HP didn't create just to have religions. She/he wants to establish a relationship with me. She/he loves and cares about everything about me. My Higher Power is restoring me to sanity--one day at a time! I invite you all to search for your own HP and to describe it. Next week I'll try to share about what it is like to have a Higher Power, that is unless my HP has different ideas. :)

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Step Two ~ Part 2: Questions

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

  1. Can I accept that what I have been doing about my food problem isn't working?

  2. Have I accepted that I need to look for a power outside myself for solutions?

  3. Describe the Higher Power you need to help restore you to sanity.

  4. What are some of the obstacles to my belief in a higher power?

  5. What are some of my false gods? food? intelligence? another person?

Thanks for being here and allowing me to share. May you have a good and abstinent week.

Paz,
Steph B


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Step Two ~ Part 3

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

Hi all WTS Loopsters!

Hope you all have had a week of progress as we continue our work on the steps. Just came home from a Saturday f2f meeting scheduled for 1:15 p.m. at the local library in the basement. In some ways it was very like the first OA meeting I ever attended over four years ago at the same place, and in others it was so very different. The reason I begin with these words is because this week I would like to look at the first three words of Step Two, i.e., "Came to Believe". Many people have written on these three words over the years. There is a wonderful book used in AA by the same title. Today I feel drawn to share my e/s/h.

CAME. Well, I described the circuitous route I took to OA through Al-Anon, ACOA and counseling in previous shares. When I came to my first OA meeting there was no doubt in my mind that I needed to be there. I knew I needed a fellowship to work the Steps. I knew that I needed the spirit of a group and the unconditional love of fellow sufferers. So after looking for a meeting for about three weeks, I finally came to one announced for 11:30 am in the basement meeting room of the library. Off I went to the meeting--a little fearful, a lot curious, and even a little hopeful. Never having been to the basement of the library, I asked at the front desk and followed directions down some narrow, cement lined stairs. At the bottom was a firedoor which I opened. This led to a long tiled, hallway with several doors (at least seven) breaking up the institutionally green-painted walls. Not one door had a sign on it. It was eerily quiet. I glanced at my watch, yep, it was 11:30 am on the dot. OK now just brace up, take courage and go check out some of these doors. I turned to my left and went down the hallway; stopping, listening at first, and then trying the doors. Not a sound, not a peep! I retraced my steps and began the way down the hallway to my right. About three-quarters of the way down I found a door with a small (3x5) card on the wall by the door. It said, "Public Meeting Room". Please ask for the key at the main desk for any scheduled meetings. I tried the door. Not a budge. I listened at the door. Nary a whisper. Damnit!! *I* came to a meeting. Where was the meeting? Who were these people to put announcements in the paper and then not show for a meeting. Humpf! How was I ever going to get well if those people didn't do their part?? After several attempts on successive Saturday mornings and meeting with the same results, I gave up on OA meetings for about six months. Then I tried announced meetings in another town about 25 miles to the south. Again, no meeting to be found. About a year later, still very much aware of how much I needed a fellowship, I tried a noon meeting in my town. I went three times and found no meeting. Six months later (two years after first attempt) I came to my first meeting which was where it was announced to be (35 miles from home) and there were people there!!! I thank my HP for continuing to draw me to the meetings. I wish I could say that the first meeting was like the ones described in the OA Big Book where they say they felt welcomed and at home, however it wasn't. I did know that I was among fellow sufferers. There was no talk of recovery only of slips. There was no talk of abstinence only of blown diets. However, I kept reminding myself that ALL of us were sick. I couldn't keep expecting perfection out of others. It soon became physically impossible to attend these meetings. I am night blind and winter came and I couldn't see. So I began to try a newly announced Saturday morning meeting--again locked doors and not a body to be seen. Meanwhile I began working the steps with my counselor as my sponsor. Progress, not perfection. Both my counselor and I agreed that I needed the fellowship of a group, however attempt after attempt was met with locked doors and no people.

There was one exception. On a Tuesday evening I skipped my aerobics class to attend one announced for the same time as my class. I made it to the church and found the room and entered where there was a man playing with a big box of literature and two women sitting there. In the course of discussion I learned the women were first timers and the guy was explaining the meeting to them. He stated, "We don't read any of those steps or traditions or anything like that. We just sort of share on how our week has been going and promise each other that we will do something for ourselves during the next week. Like go to a movie or something." This was definitely not what I wanted or needed. I felt so sorry for those newcomers that I directed them to the meeting 35 miles away and told them to be patient. You may ask why didn't I start my own meeting? Well, I'm a very controlling person and I had been struggling to get out of leadership positions. I had been praying that my HP would show me the way. And I had not felt that I was to start my own group. This is when I began going to AA regularly 3 times a week. There I came and heard HOPE which is what I had been searching for. I applied the principles to my program. I was very up front with them about why I was there and they were supportive however asked me not to share since my addiction was not to alcohol. That was difficult and hurt. But to use one of their phrases, "I learned to listen and listened to learn" It was after one of these meetings about six months after I began attending that I learned of Rozanne on-line. It has been here that I found home. It has been in on-line meetings that I have found the unconditional love and support that is described in all the literature. So I CAME to the meetings and thanks to your love and support I have progressed in my program.. In January of this year I noticed an announcement in the paper for a new OA meeting to be held in the basement of the library on Saturdays. I immediately whispered a silent thank you to HP so glad that I hadn't started one on my own. I have been wanting a f2f meeting for so long I was thrilled. I committed myself right then and there to go to every meeting on Saturdays. I went the first Saturday and there were three women there! What a joy!. The next Saturday the door was locked and there was a bewildered newcomer also looking for the meeting. We chatted about OA for awhile and I invited her back for the next week. That week there was one woman who was on her lunch hour. The next week one, and the next week two etc. Today I was met by locked doors. As I sat on the bench and waited to see if anyone would arrive I began to talk to my HP about this week's share. Shortly I dozed off. A half hour later I awakened, refreshed and with this plan in mind. I thanked my HP for the progress I could see. The serenity to doze off, the freedom from anger at others, the willingness to share and the quiet assuredness that all is in her plan. How different from four years ago. The circumstances hadn't changed, but *I* had.

CAME TO: This awareness of two things, 1) my insanity and 2) a power greater than myself, came about as all things have in this program--gradually. That is because it is a process. My sponsor said I couldn't proceed with steps 4 and beyond until I was abstinent. OK what is abstinence.? " For you, "she said," try three meals a day and nothing in between, one day at a time." OK says I, determined to make this work. First thing I began with prayer, "God free me from my obsession with food, rid me of the compulsion to overeat" I began every day with that prayer and ended each day with the thanks to my greater power for doing his/her part to remind me. I laugh when I read my food journal now. My three meals were three binges with breathing space in between. I often felt that I had better stuff something else in since I could "get hungry" before the next meal. A funny thing happened though. The binges began to shorten and the amounts began to lighten and after a while what I ate began to appear like a meal a normal person with a healthy appetite would eat. Shortly after I began my 3-0-1 program a friend offered her cabin in the wilderness for me to have some r and r. Great I thought--time to get involved with nature, hike, fish, go tubing down the river and my food would be limited to what I brought in. Off I went with my very carefully planned food for three days. (It probably would have fed a family of four for the same time period). As I was stashing my stuff in the kitchen, I opened a drawer and what was there horrified me. A whole drawer of Hershey's chocolate bars--no nuts, just the way I love them!!! I knew these were here for those who may have needed quick energy in the winter in case of being snowbound. Oh God how am I going to survive these three days with all this chocolate?? You take care of it , I can't! Than I continued with my unpacking. I went to the river and contemplated it, breathing in the strength and spirit of my greater power. It was getting late so I didn't take any great hikes. Just went and got a glass of icy cold water and sat down with my book. Some flies began buzzing around me and I would brush them off. A couple landed on bare legs and took a couple of big chunks of me. I slapped them off and they came back. Soon I had a good 10-12 bites. That's when I realized (I've always been a bit slow) that these were no ordinary flies but blasted deer flies. Inside I went looking for some salve. Of course the first drawer I open was the chocolate--not now I need salve! Well to make this story as short as possible I suffered a nice allergic reaction to the bites and when I left three days later all puffed up with hives and oozing bites I was about ten miles down the road when I realized that I hadn't even thought of those damn Hershey bars and hadn't even had one. Thanks God! But next time does your answer have to be so painful? I share this as an example of how I slowly and painfully "came to" , i.e., became aware of my greater power working in my life. As the fog of food lifted and I became more aware of my surroundings and as my meals became more normal and my thoughts filled with things other than my next meal, I came to see how my God loved me and was answering my prayers, not necessarily the way I wanted them answered, nevertheless they were answered. In the last six months I have actually forgotten to eat a meal a few times. Who would have ever thought?

CAME TO BELIEVE --OK, I had this greater power out there somewhere and it could sure keep me from eating Hershey's and a few other great things, but could this power *really * restore ME to sanity? One of the things I dealt with was would this totally awesome God who created the nebulae of the universe and the delicacy of the ferns give a darn about me? Why should he? she? These doubts assailed me whenever I was feeling particularly unloved and full of self-pity. That good old martyr syndrome. So I started putting out fleeces like old Gideon in the bible, testing God. Let's see if you really care. Nothing major like world peace or turning me svelte over night (same amount of energy required), but something small, yet personal. I remembered years ago when I used to pray for God to show me parking places. I had the kids and the heat and had read that God would do things like that and so he/she did--any time I remembered to ask. OK, HP let's see you do your stuff! Do you, the God of the universe really care whether I get a parking place or not? Well for the next month or so any time I remembered to ask, I got a parking place down in front, near the entrance to wherever I was going. Thanks God. Does the God of the universe give a damn whether I abstain or not? Well, whenever I turn the food over to my greater power, I am freed. Sometimes I have to keep turning it over and turning it over. And sometimes, many times, I have to ACT, get up leave the room, do something else with my hands, make a phone call, write a letter. When I cooperate with my power the obsession lifts. It is usually only in hindsight that I can see the workings of my greater power. This past week I have been under unusual stress, both at work and at home. Of course the food image spring out to haunt me. I even reached, unconsciously, for a cigarette the other night and I haven't had a cig in over seven years. Time to pray and turn it over. Yesterday I was going nuts with a desire for some chocolate. Students had given me several pieces of candy throughout the day and I did what I always do now. I threw them in my junk food drawer, which I never touch, but from which anybody needing a lift can go and get something. It was empty at the end of the day. I decided that I would make a piece of chocolate part of my dinner on Friday evening. So I rummaged through my son's bag of Christmas candy, he is one of those normal ones and found a small Hershey's bite size bar. Great I thought. So after I ate last evening I sat at the computer and unwrapped the bar and broke it in half. I popped half in my mouth and savored it. Soon I was involved in reading my e-mail and surfing the web--trying to download something and searching for technical advice. Now, just about an hour ago, when I was cleaning this desk, I came upon the other half. I was just so amazed that I hadn't eaten the whole thing. I had no desire for it today so out it went into the trash. Thanks God! Yes I came to believe that my greater power can and will restore me to sanity, inspite of myself, if I but ask.!!!

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Step Two ~ Part 3: Questions

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

  1. Describe COMING to your first meeting. Was it what you anticipated? Was it what you needed at the time? If you haven't yet attended a first f2f meeting, what do you expect to encounter?

  2. Describe how you felt when you were (are) under the influence of overeating? How did it affect your thinking and actions?

  3. Describe how you feel now that the fog has lifted when you CAME TO.

  4. What are some of the barriers I put in the way of my greater power?

  5. Have I taken the time to reflect on how my greater power could be working in my life? If so, share your most memorable insight -- how you CAME TO BELIEVE.

Thanks for your patience and thanks for this opportunity to reflect deeply on the workings of my greater power. May you all have an abstinent week and don't be afraid of fleeces.

Paz,
Steph B

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Step Two ~ Part 4

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

Hi everyone!

I am Steph B, a recovering compulsive overeater, and I'm here with the final installment on Step Two. I want to thank all of you for your wonderful, thoughtful, spirit-filled shares as we have continued our journey toward recovery. You have given me so much that I am again energized and recommitted to this program even if I am the only one at our local f2f (face to face) meetings.

This week I feel led to tackle the bottom line with Step 2. What to do if you don't believe in a higher power, God, a great spirit? What to do if this greater power might possibly exist but you really doubt that it could care about you? The words "ACT AS IF" keep bouncing around the groups in answer to these questions and I want to share about my experiences with acting as if.

By doing the first Step and looking at the word insanity in relation to my food and my way of living , I could readily admit that what I was doing wasn't working. Some people around me were successful in 12 step programs. They had serenity. Their lives were not insane, lived from one crisis to another. They kept saying "turn it over. Turn it over to the power greater than yourself." Well, the God of my childhood surely wasn't answering my prayers. Hadn't I been praying to be rid of this fat, to have some friends, to be pretty, to be happy, etc.? I had been praying like that for as long as I can remember. And here I sat; fat, lonely, full of self-hate, and miserable. "What have I got to lose if I "turn it over"?, I asked myself." --probably won't work for me anyway--if there really were a God or power or whatever out there it would have fixed me a long time ago." I have heard the joke told about the man who was hanging from the side of a slippery precipice which was quickly crumbling away. He shouted, "Help, help! God, are you out there?" and God replied, "I'm here. Let go and I will catch you". And the man shouted, "Is there anyone else out there?" This is the way I have many times treated the greater power from outside of me. I will look for ANY answer rather than letting go. But finally I reached the point where that is exactly what I did. I prayed something like "Well, I've screwed it up so many times and you don't seem to be listening to me, but just in case you are, take me, do with me what you want." And then I mentally threw myself off that cliff and let go, expecting to fall crashing to the ground. There wasn't any bolt of lightning. There wasn't any booming voice from the heavens. And I wasn't instantly thin. But somehow, some way that first day was easier. People didn't bug me as much. I wasn't stuffing myself every waking moment. And so it went, a day at a time, acting as if there were a power out there to catch me as I fell. My life was so turbulent (insane), that I moved into another area well before turning my food over to HP. I was sooooooooo angry. I was pissed off at all the people with whom I was working. I was particularly incensed with my principal, vice principal and the principal of the Jr. High who had promoted another faculty member to be department chairperson when I was most obviously the best qualified. At this time in my life I was still walking three miles every morning. As I stomped off one morning, the thought came to me, "turn it over, turn it over", So I prayed in my usual gracious, loving manner: "God if you give a darn about this, bless C and bless B and bless P. Help them through this day--they sure as hell need your help!" Well I continued to pray that way, acting as if I expected HP to change them and let them see the error of their ways. After about two weeks, I found that I could just pray " bless them" and help them without adding the directions on how to help them. Within a month I could speak to them civilly and almost look at them without my blood pressure climbing. Within six months I was thanking HP that I hadn't got the promotion!! They are still the same nasty people they ever were, but I'm not!. Thus I can live with myself and not eat over it, them or whatever. My HP is changing ME, not the world to suit me, but me to accept the world.

Slowly, very slowly, I am learning to respond to those nudges I get from my higher power. Nudges that lead me in the way I should go. One of the best ways I know that something is being asked of me by my HP is when I resist. This disease is insidious and has a great hold over me. When I want to do what I WANT , then I KNOW that I have to look at the other side and see where HP is pushing, pulling, cajoling, dragging, etc. me to go. One thing I did learn from my childhood knowledge of God, or HP is that she is very polite. He will not interrupt. If I am busy filling my time with, TV, novels, IRC, too much business, I will miss the nudges. I have to take time everyday to turn my thoughts over to my HP. Now some people think that I talk to myself a lot, and I do, but I also have a running conversation with God. And sometimes, more and more often, I stop to listen to what she is whispering in my ear. And it was he/she/it which led me to volunteer to post the shares for February. And as usual my higher power was right on for what I needed. I'm so very glad I listened to the nudge. Next week will begin our discussion of Step Three. Sometime before then you will receive more word on it. Thanks for your prayers and patience.


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Step Two ~ Part 4: Questions

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

  1. What can I do to "act as if" I believed in a greater power?

  2. Do I believe that my HP would really want to help me?

  3. Do I expect my HP to do all the work?? Do I want to stay in the food and yet expect my HP to remove my weight? overnight??

  4. Do I respond to the nudges I receive from my Higher Power, either through thoughts that nag from literature, or a share that was describing me, or a direct suggestion from my sponsor?

  5. What can I DO that I am not doing now?

Paz, (Peace)
Steph B


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