Dear Fellow Travelers,
I. Trapped inside the box
The place where we have found ourselves is not a happy one. Many things have brought us into this place of perdition, and there has been no offer of a way out or even a helping hand. We begin to think that we cannot stop our eating disorder, whatever form it may take, and that it will undoubtedly be the death of us in due time. There likely have been periods when we were able to white knuckle, often heroically. We have gained and lost sometimes hundreds of pounds, but nothing permanent has been achieved.
The mechanisms by which we have become ill are quite beyond our control, and these mechanisms will continue to make us sick so long as we continue to give them power over our lives. And the general culture says to us and to everyone in it that there is no other way, and that to hope so is futile.
As we look about us, we may note that almost everyone in this culture -- and it is a world-wide culture -- is also sick. The few that are not seem to consist of those who are, in fact, in recovery. The medical model has not made us well. Medicine has never been able to do much with alcoholism, and medicine seems unable to do much with the growing problem of obesity, which is nothing more than the symptom of the growing problem of dysfunctionality expressed through food.
In this step workshop, it is my desire to say to you that we have been trapped inside a box, and that in order to recover from the illnesses caused by this situation, we have to get outside of the box.
The first step is to admit that we are trapped in it, and that it is making us sick, and that we have, in and of ourselves, no way to get out. We are in Hell. Some of us may go on believing that there is no way out until our disease kills us. My prayer is that we will come to believe, to put up a brave hope, a provisional faith, that there is a way out of this box, and that if it is not a way we can make for ourselves, nevertheless, we can accept the guidance of a Higher Power, however we may understand that, who can lead us out.
Look at your history.
Once upon a time, you decided (most likely as a child) to survive, rather than be overwhelmed by the insanity of the world. You decided to use food as your drug of choice. It worked for you, You have survived. But now things have changed, and the past still controls. What was once a way of survival has now become a way of death. You cannot seem to break the control of the past. The tapes in your head are the only tapes you have. You will die if you keep them, and you will die if you erase them with nothing else around.
Describe everything about the box you are/were in. If you are in recovery, green your memory. If you are just starting out, keep you work to remind you later.
Share with the group as much as you feel you can -- make it like a short qualifying talk.
II. Finding that there may be a way out, if we can accept it. 2-3
III. Getting out and staying out. 4-9
IV. Life outside the box. 10-12
John, Step Leader
WTS 2001 Study