Dear Fellow Travelers,
Step Twelve Essay
What a trip this has been for me and hopefully for whoever is still with
us. I realized at some point during this trip, that many years, or at
least many memories of them, are gone because my tortured mind was not
capable of storing what it could not feel. I'm just now remembering
something heard some years ago about our inability to grow emotionally
because the disease held us captive to the age at which our disease took
over any free will we at one time possessed. How very sad and no wonder
our lives were unmanageable; we were adults operating with the skills of
children. Not all have suffered so much, and we now have an opportunity
to change our lives for the better. Let us take it.
The twelve steps, have led so many from the depths of despair from
abusing alcohol, drugs, gambling, and now are adapted for compulsive
overeaters. Because we were desperate and doomed to die a slow death by
our own hands, we were ready to follow those who came before us. Allow me,
dear God, to say a few words about those who, still in their desperation,
opt for surgery of various kinds to solve their food addiction. I will
not ever be able to endorse or even think of allowing such a method to be
used under the guise of recovery. Perhaps if a person may honestly say
they have sincerely walked the road of happy destiny, really worked and
went through ALL 12 STEPS, and still had no relief, then and only then would I be able to endorse such an action. I live every day with the results of one type of surgery and the results were, as expected, tragic.
Having expressed my opinion regarding any type of surgical procedure
to lose weight, the reader needs to understand the writer has had first hand experience
with several people and none were of a positive nature. There are those whose immediate situations are left with little hope of surviving. These, while rare cases, should be addressed. May the God of your understanding grant the wisdom to make a decision which should be made only by the doctor and the patient. Go gently and with peace into the night. My heart and love go with you. I will say no more; case closed.
When first we took those small shaky steps, ever fearful that this would be just
another failure, who would have imagined we would wind up here, the
beginning of the rest of our lives. Slowly our hearts and minds have been
changed, and mostly without our knowledge - it just happened as if by magic or
maybe miracle. The steps of the program have led us to admit we needed to surrender, to do a thorough self-examination, have prepared us to let go of our defects and have led us to make a sincere effort to restore our self-worth by making good all our
misdeeds, unless we would hurt others. What a trip!
Slowly we turned ourselves over to the God of our understanding, not in
step three, for there we made only a decision. In the 4th through 9th
steps we prayed many times for wisdom and courage to make things right
from our past life, and for that same wisdom and courage to do steps
10, 11, and 12 on a daily basis. Having had a spiritual awakening, think
about what that statement says about you, yes you out there. If you think
you have not changed, ask your harshest critic; there will be your proof.
We just need an open mind a "suspension of disbelief." When we accept
the challenge of leading a spiritual life, the feelings of boredom and
suffocation are lifted and we look for others to help.
There are people in business who howl their disapproval at practicing
these principles in all our affairs, but they soon find the honesty they
fear brings newer and better business, because God is directing things.
AND WHY NOT. A certain men's O/A group made up of such businessmen
tried to conduct their every day business like an O/A meeting. All but
one had smiles after the trial period. The one who did not started to
mend his ways too late and is, I believe, in a federal prison. The days
that disappeared like a blur now have different directions, ones we can
be proud of. This is not the special case, but the normal sum of doing
the next right thing.
Sharing the wealth of what the program has given is paramount to keeping
our emotional and spiritual health in fighting trim. I promise if you do
not give away what has been given to you, you will wake up one morning in
the throes of a full living relapse that might take years if ever to
recover from. I have always, and do now, believe my God will never forsake
me. However some folks whom I greatly admire for their many years of
doing the right thing, live in semi-fear that they may have another
relapse to do, but not another recovery. I choose to live what days left
to me fear and guilt-free.
Perhaps the most important thing I have learned is that WE CANNOT KEEP
WHAT WE DO NOT GIVE AWAY. Please know that this is handed to us from the
AA BB, which I consider my textbook for living.
Service, service, service and then more service. Give what you can - make
coffee, set up chairs, lead or speak at the meetings you attend. Please
become a sponsor, and do so without fear, because you are responsible only
to offer what you have learned, the results belong to God and to God
alone. At whatever step you are on there is some poor soul who knows
less than you - grab their hand and remember the wartime incident when the
wounded hero told the coward who ran from battle, "Coward take my coward's
Thanks for hanging out with me. The person behind me will do this much better; I know because they told me so. AND WHY NOT.......Danny