Step Two

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


Hi friends.

My name is Shlomo and I am a food addict and a compulsive overeater. I think that some words I am using should be defined, so that we understand each other better.

Insanity: Big Book - The peculiar mental state food addicts get into before the first bite of trigger foods.

Obsession: To fill the mind continually. To preoccupy or haunt to the exclusion of contrary ideas.

Powerless (over food): Big Book - Cannot eat trigger foods as the result of an allergy (abnormal reaction) manifested by craving, and cannot stop (or stay stopped) as the result of a mental obsession.

Sanity: from "sanitas" (whole). Mental health. The tendency to avoid extreme views.

Craving: An overpowering desire. (Big Book - after starting to eat trigger foods.)

In this post let us give our attention to the part of step two that says "restore us to sanity." We will return to the first part of this step in a later post.

After the concept of a power greater than ourselves, this was my second stumbling block. I thought sanity was the opposite of insane as in berserk, or totally and irretrievably mad, or nuts. But that is not what is meant here.

The insanity referred to in the Big Book, is my obsession with food which makes me believe a lie that I can eat like any other person, and therefore I act on that lie and begin eating trigger foods again and again, even after I have been clean of triggers for quite some time, and don't crave them.

Insanity is repeating the same act again and again and expecting different unreal results, which is what I do when I start eating trigger foods.

Insanity is believing in a lie contrary to the evidence of my life, and acting on it.

Therefore in the Big Book insanity equals obsession, and sanity means freedom of the obsession.

Here are some quotes:

" ... there was always the curious mental phenomenon that parallel with our sound reasoning there inevitably ran some insanely trivial excuse for taking the first bite of a trigger substance. Our sound reasoning failed to hold us in check. The insane idea won out. Next day we would ask ourselves, in all earnestness and sincerity, how it could have happened." BB page 37.

"However intelligent we may have been in other respects, where food has been involved, we were strangely insane." BB page 38.

The insanity referred to in the Big Book is definitely not what I do under the influence of a chemical substance (my trigger substance). It is not what people do under the influence of their drug of choice. It is the act of taking the first bite while not under the influence of cravings, but under the influence of my mental obsession.

I definitely want to be restored to sanity, i.e., to be free of my obsession with food, since if I were free of the obsession I could stop eating my triggers and not want to eat them.

Can you visualize such a state of affairs of not even wanting to eat triggers?

I never could, and I never could understand it. How can a person such as my wife be satisfied with a small piece of chocolate and not want more, or a small piece of cake, or a very small portion of ice cream, or two potato chips?

In my twisted thinking I thought something was wrong with her. I could also stop sometimes like she did, but never because I was satisfied. It was only because I struggled to stop, and I always lost the struggle eventually.

Not being able to stop eating without a struggle after I began, was not my insanity. It was the manifestation of my physical disease.


1. Read the Jay-walker story in the Big Book, third edition, pages 37-38.

Do you find that the illustration fits you if you substitute compulsive eating for jay-walking?

Share on how the insanity of your obsession with food affected your life, and manifested in your feelings, thoughts and actions before joining program.

2. Sometimes we change obsessions, or add obsessions, and thus our insanity, manifests in other areas as well.

Did this happen to you? If it did share about it.

3. Was your obsession ever removed after joining program?

If yes, than what were the actions that led to the removal of your obsession?

4. Can you imagine your life without your obsessions?

Try to describe such a life. How do you suppose will your actions, feelings, and thoughts be different?

If you already have such a life, describe it too.

Have a nice day.


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