Step Two

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


I'm Penny, a compulsive eater and food addict.

*******Nudge time. OA has tools to help us work our program: a plan of eating, sponsorship, service, anonymity, meetings, literature/writing, telephone.
Are you using them? ******

Step 2 says that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to *sanity.* This implies that we are insane.

I certainly agreed when it came to food. Eating out of garbage pails, eating frozen food, doing all the things I did to reach that sense of fullness that never came, certainly qualifies as insanity. My body image was completely out of line. I either only saw myself from the neck up (and thought I looked terrific) or I saw the rest of me and was ashamed, horrified and disgusted. Even when I was thin, I saw a fat person in the mirror. I remember being told once (in a thin moment) that I was petite (I'm 5 feet tall). *Petite?* Hardly - I'm gross. Numbers on the scale took on new meaning - bigger numbers meant failure, smaller ones meant success. I measured my value by my clothing size. If I thought I was fat, I'd hit myself - trying to punch out the fat and the shame.

My attitudes were certainly out of whack. I believed the world was out to get me. I believed I was inherently a failure. I felt, therefore I did. I had no perspective on my assets and liabilities. To make up for what I saw as gross inadequacy, I worked at 150% of capacity, arriving at work earlier and leaving later than anyone else, taking on responsibilities that were not my business, anything to make people aware how much I was (or should be) valued. I lived in fear - always afraid loved ones would die and leave me. I was afraid to ask for help; it meant I was weak. My temper was out of control. I once hit a wall so hard that I popped the nails out - all because I had forgotten to respond to an invitation and I loathed myself for my mistake. I was all-powerful. I could change the weather by worrying about it. I believed that I was responsible for my grandmother's death for many years after she was killed by a driver who had stolen a car and was racing to escape the police. All because I had not said, "Drive carefully," to my uncle before he left my house with her that morning. I was clearly in need of being restored to sanity.

But Step 2 also implies that we once were sane - therefore we can be *re*stored to sanity. Well, I don't ever remember a time when I didn't have fears and anxieties, but I can tell you up front that Step 2 gave me a tremendous amount of hope by assuring me that this Power could restore me to a sense of self-peace and self-perspective. I looked around and saw OA's whose lives were falling apart - and yet they were calm and full of faith. I had to believe that could happen to me, too. Step 2 told me so.

Questions for journaling/sharing:

1. "Insanity is when we do the same thing over and over, expecting different results." Does this apply to you? How?

2. Do you think you're insane where food, body image, weight, etc., are concerned?

3. Do your attitudes and beliefs indicate a certain insanity? How so?

4. How do you feel - what do you think - about being restored to sanity?

5. Do you believe that a Power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity? If so, tell us about it. If not, what do you think might be holding you back?

Yours in recovery,


Step One

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