STEP TWO, PART 1
Hi. I'm Penny, a compulsive eater and food addict.
*****Nudge time: Do you have a sponsor? Are you going to meetings (either f2f or on line)? Are you using the other tools?
Just nudging you : *****
When I came into OA I did not believe there was anything greater than myself. I was totally self-reliant, never wanting to depend on anyone because it meant I was weak, I'd owe a favor and probably get screwed in the end. "I can handle it," was my creed. I hated asking for help; it felt shameful to accept assistance. If someone thought I needed help, I wasn't doing enough and needed to do more. My philosophy was "Worrying is good, worrying is productive, I worry, therefore I care."
OA's suggestion that I needed a Power greater than myself to recover made me crazy. I equated that Power with God, and I had a serious problem with God. God had pulled the rug out from under me a bunch of times. God had chosen to ignore my prayers, especially the ones about not gaining weight. God had caused millions of people to die - or at the very least had not stopped centuries of outright slaughter. God had taken loved ones away from me. God was demanding, jealous, vindictive, cruel... and totally disinterested in me. The only area where God was clearly more powerful than I, was in punishment, because I couldn't do anything right and was always in need of being punished by God.
Coming to believe in a positive concept of God and accepting that I wasn't the be all and end all of the universe took time and a process.
I had to recognize that many of my beliefs about my own personal power were illusions and delusions. This was a painful process because I had to face some serious flaws in my belief system; my transformation began with food. I had tried every diet and yet I kept getting fat. No matter what I did, I couldn't stop eating. *I* couldn't control this.
I had to admit that all the worrying in the world got me no closer to reality. What I thought was a way to control my destiny and keep loved ones safe was not only not working, it was making me crazy. Not asking for or accepting help was creating chaos and, as my sponsor pointed out, potentially offensive to people who wanted to help me out. I had to be "on" 24/7; I never slept a full night because I was up worrying about this or that; I was a wreck. My way wasn't working.
But God? Like many OA's, my first source of power outside myself was my sponsor and other OA's. I had slowly come to trust these people. And yet I knew I needed something a little more reliable and available.
Again I had to let go of some ideas. I needed a concept of God that was not only stronger than me but also would have a personal relationship and care about me. My sponsor suggested a "want ad." As the OA 12&12 says, "Some of us began by asking ourselves: 'what do I need from a Higher Power? What would I like such a Power to be and to do in my life?' "
My want ad read like Mary Poppins: Wanted. 1 God. Always available. Willing to answer prayers and be yelled at. Loving, patient, honest, trustworthy. Willing to be concerned about the personal details of my life.
For a brief time I got stuck in the religious aspect of God because what I had taken in about God as a kid didn't jive with my wants. I finally reconciled these seemingly opposite viewpoints by searching my religious teachings and - gratefully - discovering that I could let go of my pediatric view of God and could find a more mature approach within my own religion.
At the end of this process, I found myself with a Power greater than myself - I called it God - that was strong and caring enough to restore me to sanity. The next part was coming to terms with being "insane."
Questions for Journaling/Sharing:
1. Based on your behavior with/attitudes towards food and the rest of the world, do you think you need to be restored to sanity?
2. What are your needs in/of a Higher Power?
3. Do you still hold any unhelpful ideas about God? Can you share them with the group?
4. Are you willing to replace those old ideas with ones that work?
Yours in recovery,