Came to believe
that a Power greater than ourselves
could restore us to sanity.
STEP TWO~QUESTION #1
Read Step Two. Discuss and reflect on the idea: "This is the rallying point to sanity."LEADERS SHARE:
When I first started program over 2 decades ago, I did not think I was insane. I learned bit by bit (sometimes very small bits) that I did not act in a sane fashion when I am in the food. Eating 1-2 dozen of a food item when most people have 1 or 2! To really tick me off, some people would only have a half and throw the rest away (I thought they were really nuts!). Also, when I grazed all day until an item is all gone hoping nobody would notice I ate it all is totally nuts.
Step #2 tells me that God can restore me to sanity. This was a hard one at first because I was raised in a "fire breathing" church and I thought that God would have nothing to do with me. Also, later on before joining OA 23 years ago, I joined another church but I felt that I was standing on the outside looking in. I did not feel that I was a part of the fellowship. How can God help me in that setting? People in program have a lot of suggestions on overcoming this. One that worked for me is to act "as if". I did that and I knew that the serenity prayer worked when I really needed it. Also, when I asked God for help (which was seldom), He was there for me. I went to a men's retreat about 6 years ago and the topic was prayer and meditation. I became closer to my Higher Power than I was ever before in my life. I actually wanted to go back to church, but procrastinated for about 5 years. Today, I know that God will be on my side no matter what and that He does not rank people into different classes. If
I seek His help, guidance, and direction in my life, He will be there for me just like He would be there for anybody else who asks for the same.
Today, I pray for the willingness to do God's will and ask Him to keep me out of trouble. I know that God really does love me as His child and a lot of other people really love me too. Today, I know that I am not a freak on the outside looking in.
STEP TWO~QUESTION #2
Read Chapter 1 in the AA Big Book "Bill's Story." "Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning." Discuss and reflect on the idea that making a new beginning each day is testimony that we believe in a Higher Power.LEADERS SHARE:
Belief in the proven fact that a power outside of myself can restore me to sanity with regards to my food seemed unthinkable at first. My first spiritual experience was in 1981 when a dessert item was placed in front of me when on an airplane. I prayed about it and shortly afterwards, a flight attendant asked me if I wanted her to take the item. I have had several experiences since that point, but my head wants to forget things like that in a hurry! Today, without god I am toast! When I pray each morning, my day goes much smoother. When I am in a hurry and forget, well - my day goes accordingly.
God is a very important part of my recovery. The spiritual aspect of my recovery is one of the legs on a 3 legged stool. the other two legs are physical recovery and emotional recovery. If one of the legs is shorter or longer than the others, I will lose my balance when I sit on the stool. For years, the spiritual leg was the short leg on the stool. After falling off several times, I had to work harder on that leg to bring it to the same size as the other 2 legs.
STEP TWO~QUESTION #3Take time out today and plan a "special set of moments" during your day. Time alone, time with a friend, time in meditation. Discuss and reflect on the idea: "We know how to feel bad and we are learning how to feel good." LEADERS SHARE:
While I was a young adult, I was told that I always seemed to have a chip on my shoulder. I remember feeling resentful towards people who seemed to be happy all the time. I felt everybody else was happy and I was miserable all the time. I have learned to take a special time every day for prayer and meditation. This is something I started approximately one year ago. This is something I wondered how I did without for so many years. When I forget to do this, my day seems to be more chaotic. I take time out to talk to people I consider as friends. Not many people are on that list because I been taken advantage of before.
Today, I have several gifts. I do not focus on areas where I do have a gift. I focus on those areas where I have a gift and ask god how I can use these gifts to be of maximum service to god and my fellow human beings.
STEP TWO~QUESTION #4
"Service leads to sanity." Discuss and reflect on how service has kept sanity in your life.LEADERS SHARE:
Service has made me feel that I am a part of whatever I have given service to. As a child, I was always told that I was just taking up a space and would never amount to anything in my life. Sometimes, I feel that people preselected me to be in the lower class, no matter what I did or how well I have done. I remember in grammar school not being wanted on anybody's team and I was always the last one remaining on the bench when teams were selected. Today, the feeling of not being accepted or being rejected still brings out feelings of not being wanted or liked by anybody. This has been the cause of my depression for most of my life, thinking that everybody hates me.
Giving service allows me to be a part of life. I give service to my Friday night f2f CR eating disorders meeting by being the small group leader. I also give service to the disabilities ministry at my church, helping others feel that they are accepted and loved - a feeling I never had as a child or young adult. Giving service is the real ticket to freedom from bondage of self. Being depressed and lonely is being held bonded to myself and is a very dangerous place for me to be and drives me to eat compulsively.
God is the one that can restore me to sanity. Giving service is, in my faith, serving god.
Two recent things that has happened to me resulting from giving service:
1. I shared at a men's ministry meeting that the church is the first church I ever felt welcome in and a part of. All of the other men in the room all said out loud "you are welcome here." I wanted to cry right there, because I knew I was in a good place and feeling accepted and wanted is so important to me.
2. The person who heads the disability ministry told me that I have a lot to offer others. I wanted to argue against her statement. This was god speaking directly to me through her. God really does care about me and he does not want me to feel depressed or lonely.
I have an 8x10 inspirational poster where one of the lines reads: "God is Crazy About You!." I know with God in my life, I can live with a reasonable degree of sanity. When I am left out or feel excluded, I need to focus on my real friends. Real friends do not leave me behind. Those who need me from time to time may leave me behind, but they are not true friends.
Love In Recovery,
The Twelve Steps
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