Dear Fellow Travelers,
Step Ten Essay
After countless years of searching for a short-term solution to a long-term problem, I have finally found a program that provides the necessary steps of maintenance that were sadly lacking in all my own attempts to combat what I now know to be a Spiritual, Emotional and Physical disease.
In nature the only form of permanence is by way of repetition and so it is with this 12-step program. When it works we are not asked to fix it, but to simply maintain it. No doubt many compulsive eaters can relate to the definition of insanity being doing the same old things and expecting a different outcome. However the promises of this program tell us that if we continue working the steps in our daily lives, one day at a time, we will find permanence in our recovery.
Through steps 1 to 9 we have found a new and healthy way of life, we have found freedom from the deepest of black holes and release from our pasts. We have formed new foundations for a new way of living. We have repaired, healed and closed old and festering wounds and we have learned to love ourselves for who and what we are. Step 10 merely asks us to keep up this good work and to implement all that we have learned day to day with the help of God.
The step begins with the word "continued" thus indicating a requirement for determination, the stubbornness that most of us used to keep ourselves on one diet or another, on one keep-fit campaign or another and kept us searching for that next "miracle" cure will now facilitate our keeping to the program. The journey is far from over, the goals we set ourselves far from our grasp but no longer impossible to reach. We are being asked to stick with the program, even on the bad days, even when it feels like it is no longer working, even after the glow of the newcomer fades.
In step four we learned how to take a personal moral inventory, we learned how to be open and honest about who we are and about our needs. We learned to look deep within ourselves without fear. We learned to recognize our own needs for love, acceptance and love. Step 10 is asking us to keep up this honesty and openness.
In step 5 through 9 we learned to release ourselves from the guilt and shame holding us to our painful and sad pasts. We learned to again be open and honest with those around us. We learned to let go of our pain, our bitterness and our anger. We learned to cleave to God for guidance and wisdom instead of those around us.
Step 10 asks us to take a daily inventory, of our needs and, more importantly, our journey with God, our higher power. Constant evaluation of our willingness to yield to God's will instead of our own is essential to recovery. Prompt action in making amends and admitting our shortfalls, needs to be taken so that we are not duped into rejoining the guilt trip.
Unlike the other steps that have gone before, this one offers nothing new and therefore nothing to fear, we have merely been asked to do and keep doing that which we have done before.... continue the journey, our journey of recovery.