Step Three

Made a decision to turn out will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.



Step 3: Made a decision to turn out will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.


It's a choice now, isn't it? Before, we knew of no choices. If we ate, we were compulsive eaters. If we ate and purged or exercised excessively in some way, we were bulimic; if we didn't eat, we were anorexic. Whatever way we went, we had a compulsive eating disorder.

Often, because this is a disease of isolation, we found ourselves not only disconnected from that which beyond us/outside us, but we had plenty of rational arguments to back us up. Trouble is, none of those arguments did us any good. We remained compulsive eaters.

This in a general way is the story of many of us. It is also my story.

Mostly, I ate. Sometimes I went on a diet that was actually a form of anorexia. I have been known to vomit on purpose a few times. I was so disconnected I had become something of a cynic. Nothing was going to do any good. If there were a God, this God took no interest in me, and my problems. Why should I take any interest in God anymore? Of course, I had gone through many times when I would ask God to help, but never waited for the answer.

But the day I walked into these rooms, I was confronted with a choice. If I stopped trying to control, to rationalize, to be disconnected and isolated, then I could chose what was, at that very moment, being put in front of me. Someone told me that if my old God didn't work for me, then fire that one and get another who will.

This line of thought led me to see that the old God was one of my own making. No wonder I found no use for him (and him he was). If I had made a God in my own image, and I couldn't care for myself, how could I expect this God to help me? So I made a decision. I had no idea who my HP might be, but if this HP could do for me what others claimed this God had done for them – and I could see the results for myself – then it was time for a change. If nothing else had ever worked for me in the previous 54 years, it was time to take another direction. What did I have to lose? If it didn't work, I was no worse off. If it did, the only thing I had to lose was my weight, and I had much to gain. So I made the choice. I decided to believe without much concern for definitions. It was a "just do it" situation. Do it, or die. If I knew I was going to die staying as is, then this one last best hope was all that was left for me to choose.

Not bad for an old philosopher, who wanted everything carefully defined before he would accept the possibility of it!

And what is a Higher Power? For me, HP has become the archetype of my being connected to the power, the energy of the universe. When I first arrived here in the rooms, I was disconnected from myself and everyone and everything around me. My choice that day, April 9, 1993, was to reconnect. All connections are spiritual, as far as I can understand. So if I had to become spiritual to recover, spiritual I became. And that has made all the difference to me.

My own image is of being surrounded by and permeated with light. It is both within and without. It is my connection to all things. And when I let that Higher Power take control, as I did that day at my first meeting, my whole world changed, and I changed with it. I lost an addition; I gained serenity and joy and health.

As one philosopher suggested, if it didn't exist, we'd have to invent it. Well, I can't prove a thing. But this is what worked for me.


Step 3 questions.

1. Think about your isolation as a compulsive eater. We speak of the loneliness, the isolation. We feel that we have been wounded by life, and people may hurt us again. We withdraw. And this is not the path to recovery. It is the highway to addiction and death.

Write about your experience of isolation, of being cut off from others and from self. What was it like being a child with this disease? How do you relate to people as opposed to food today?

2. Are you ready to make a decision? Have you concluded that nothing else has worked, and that this is your own last best chance? Do you have arguments that stand in the way? Are they of any real use to you, or do they serve mainly to rationalize your addiction?

3. A decision made without direct evidence is a decision of faith. It may or may not be religious. Spirituality is a human understanding in any event. It is our connection. What does faith look like to you? Do you have faith by assenting to certain statements, or is faith an act of being, and courage, and hope? Describe your feelings about all these things. Some of you may have religious answers, and some will not. Tell what you tell from your own experience, not from external statements.

4. What do you think it would feel like (of what does it feel like) to be reconnected?

5. Do you see others in the program who have what you want? What do they do about a Higher Power? I would wager that all of them have some kind of Higher Power, though there will be many different understandings of HP. What sort of HP do you need to help you recover? Do you need to fire the old one? Note: This does not mean stopping what you already believe. It means adding to it, so that you can begin to see your HP at work.

6. Can you see that you don't have to understand everything in order to move from addiction to recovery? Can you trust those in recovery who seem to have what you want? Could they be in recovery and still be in the Big Lie of addiction, or has their honesty, openness, and willingness given them something else? What might that else be for you?

7. What does good recovery look like to you? Are you willing to believe that the route others have taken just might be the one for you?

8. We have some choices to make, and the reason it was so easy, seemingly, to me was because I had reached absolute rock bottom first. There was nowhere to go but up. Are you prepared to see your addiction in those terms? Have you ever said, "I'm just not ready yet," or, "I have to back away – I just can't get my abstinence down right"? Have you any other excuses that are no more than the disease talking?



Step Four

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