Step Twelve

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of working these steps, we carried the message to other compulsive eaters and practiced these principles in all our affairs.


Hi, I'm Dodee and I'm a compulsive eater.

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The AA 12 x 12 starts by saying that the theme of this step is "joy of living" and that it is a step of action. And that we do work for which we are not promised a reward.

The first words of the step assume that we have had a spiritual awakening. The AA 12 x 12 also defines that term. It says that there are as many types of awakenings as there are people in recovery, but the thing that they all have in common is that we are now able to do that which we could not do before program.

The word in the 2nd phrase that is jumping out at me is "tried". If we say that we "carried the message", it implies that someone receives it, but the way it IS worded, it is our job to try and we can leave the part about receiving it up to our HP.

When I came into OA, I was told that the group would "love me until I learned to love myself." My work was to recovery. Almost right away there were others coming into OA with less recovery than me. I was shown by example how to accept each of them just as they were.

In early AA, they went to bars and hospitals, seeking out drunks to tell about the program. As a rule, I think that we don't go to eating places, seeking out compulsive eaters. So how do I carry the message? I make sure that there are meetings in my city. I do enough service so that when a newcomer looks in the paper or on the internet and hears about the group in my suburb, it will be there. I can also assure that my group is following the traditions, so that the message they hear in my group is OA. I do service on TRG. I sponsor. Although we don't promote OA, we do make sure that compulsive eaters can find out how to find us when they are ready.

The next part of the 12th Step is to "practice these principles in all our affairs."

I wondered what the principles were, when I first read that. Then the OA 12 x 12 came out and I discovered a list of the principles in there.

Step OneHonesty
Seven Humility
Eight Self-Discipline
ElevenSpiritual Awareness

If I live my life by trying to follow these principles to the best of my ability (with the help of my HP), I will have a happy and useful life.

Any service I have performed since starting OA has given me back more than I have put out.

I thank you for allowing me to lead this step study and look forward to reading the next one.



1. Have you experienced any spiritual awakenings? Can you describe the changes in you? Does "joyful living" describe your life?

2. Have you received service from other OAs?

3. Do you do service for others in the program?

4. What does working with newcomers do for you and your program?

5. What kinds of service can you do for veteran OAers?

6. How do you "carry the message"? Do you think it means you personally or your group?

7. Have you experienced growth in practicing the principles of OA?

8. Are there some principles that are harder than others?

9. Can you share a 12th Step experience -- in spiritual awakening, in carrying the message or in practicing the principles?

Step Eleven

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