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.




Part 2

Hi,

Auds here, abstinent and sober one day at a time, by the Grace of God, these fellowships and my own effort.

Oh Lord, let me focus on the task at hand. I don't seem to be able to begin writing. Let me begin by thanking you for the safe homecoming of my nephew James, who arrived in the states from Iraq yesterday. May I now be of use to you.

Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we TRIED to carry the message.

This is the first half of step twelve and I have many thoughts about how to describe a spiritual awakening, the 12&12 says that there are as many ways to experience that spiritual awakening as there are people who have them. For me, it happened at my first meeting. I had been denying God's existence and telling him at the same time that if he existed he would do something for me.

As I have told you, a substitute chairperson told my story at my first meeting. (See my step one.) I was shocked, but in fear I began to admit that God did exist and I had been abusing him regularly for years. Scary place to be. So for me steps one and two happened pretty quickly in my recovery. Someone in the program told me that my best thinking had gotten me to the unmanageable life I had been living and what did I have to lose by allowing God to man the tiller while I rowed the boat. Somehow that vision helped me to think of "turning it over."

My first sponsor told me that if I could not walk down the street without trying to avoid someone I would not be able to stay in recovery. So the fourth and fifth steps helped me to know myself and begin to take responsibility for my own actions. I began cleaning my home as I began to clean up my act. So two things a day I didn't want to do turned into a manageable life, a clean house and restored friendships. Asking God to remove from me every defect of character that stood in the way of my usefulness to Him seemed easy to do. Of course, I didn't do it perfectly.

I loved the line "those flaws that stood in the way of my usefulness." Was there a loop hole here? I think not! I believe that my higher power doesn't want me to be perfect. I am too apt to get uppity when I think all my character defects are removed. So my higher power allows me to grow progress, not perfection is the goal here. My eighth and ninth steps allowed me to walk with my head up. I cleaned my side of the street and for the most part healed old wounds. One financial amend was not accepted and I whined to my sponsor about that. She wisely told me that I could only do my part and how it was received was not up to me. hmmmm Okay eventually I accepted that I could not control every person place and thing. I didn't like that fact but I could accept it. eventually.

Steps ten and eleven keep me "on the beam" both in my contacts with others and my God. So now I look back at where I started. Living in dark rooms by myself, passing out from overdoses of sugar and alcohol. In monumental debt. Hiding from pain, and human contact. Feeling hopeless, and constantly making excuses for my unmanageable life. Locked doors and phones left off the hook. Promising myself tomorrow would be a better day but it never was. Doing the same things over and over thinking the outcome would be different. Total alienation.

Lets see my life now: Rooms of sunny warmth, sometimes too much company! Days filled with beauty and hope. No reason to make excuses, so I am able to look everyone in the eye, safe in the knowledge that I am hiding nothing from them.

If my life was a total black hole when I was into my disease, who filled it up. I had no control over my eating or drinking. Now I have total control up to that first compulsive bite or swallow. It would be hard to deny that I believe my higher power gave me a gift. I didn'r get it for myself. It would be hard to deny that I feel His presence often. So I guess the first part of step twelve is evident to me that I have had many spiritual moments and minor miracles in this program. So what are your experiences with spirituality have you had a thunderbolt or a slow recognition, looking back that God is doing for you what you could not do for yourself?

Look at the promises on page 84 of the AA big book. Ask yourself how many of these promises have come true for you?

Do you feel a new freedom or a new happiness, Why?

Have you stopped regretting the past, but realize its usefulness to you? Would you have the life you enjoy today if not in the program?

How is your serenity? Do you know moments of grateful peace?

No matter how far we have slid into degradation that degradation allows us to identify with others and they with us. The saying it takes what it takes makes me grateful for all the times that I thought God must not know what he was doing. When I identify, I give a newcomer hope. Isn't this a wonderful thing?

Now that I am trying to share hope with newcomers and old timers alike I feel useful and needed. A very good place for me to be. How about you?

The self pity that permeated my every waking moment has been put into perspective by loving sponsors and yes sometimes sponsees. I can now actually LISTEN, WITHOUT THINKING OF WHAT I WILL SAY WHEN THAT PERSON STOPS TALKING. I can actually be interested in my fellow creatures I mean truly concerned, and I can look for ways my higher power wants me to be helpful or butt outful. The last is so hard when I just know that my way is the correct way. hmmmm. There all sorts of paths to doing the next right thing and sometimes it is hard to see that my way is not the only way or the right way for someone else. So can you see yourself caring more and more for your fellow man? Is this a spiritual awakening? If not why not?

Fear was another problem for me but the promises say that fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. Since I have stopped buying unnecessary things that I couldn't afford, the economic thing is so much better but of course there are always those burst pipes or poor construction which causes problems for my home, and pocketbook. Then I have noticed that when you contact people for help with unexpected expenses instead of leaving the phone off the hook that those people are very glad to help you.

I may not always know how to handle situations that used to baffle me but my sponsor is an enormous help with my "intuition." I do sometimes know intuitively how to handle situations but I now know that if I don't know what to do; do nothing. I can be still, do nothing, sit still, allow the sunshine to bring peace to my frazzled self. I can refrain, reflect before responding. Something I learnt from a program person I admire.

Do you listen? How does that help your serenity? I am still learning the listening thing but I am better at it now than when I was swallowing food, drink and insults. Then I returned the insult ten fold. Now when I keep quiet I make space for God to do for me what I cannot do for myself. Am I dependent on God? certainly. But I am dependent on a light switch to bring me light and a furnace switch to bring me heat and I don't feel any slur on my self worth. Why should I not allow my God to be totally necessary to my well being and sanity? Can you now suddenly realize that God is doing for you what you could never do for yourself?

Next week, we will think about the last part of this step. TRYING to spread the message, and practicing to put these principles in our daily lives. Please read the twelfth step in all your AA and OA books. I have found that there is so much wisdom in these books along with paragraphs that I wonder how they got added to these books. You know when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

This share seems short but there are so many things for you to think about and share with me and the loop and your sponsor. You do have a sponsor don't you. If not why not? Sponsors are sounding boards. They tell you things you don't want to hear but you are so glad that they love you enough to tell you hard truths.

Sponsors are guides to places we haven't been and are a little afraid of going there. Sponsors encourage effort. They applaud failure in quests we have tried, where before we made excuses for not trying. Sponsors are best friends sometimes, teachers always and their paths give us hope that we too can climb mountains.

It is suggested that we have both a sponsor and a home group so courage, my friends. Ask someone who has what you want to travel this road of happy destiny with you.

Please ask me questions to address in our final part of step 12. Trying to help others and practicing our principles in all our affairs. As usual, take what you need and leave the rest. Thanks for letting me share.



Love,

Auds






Part 2


Now that I am trying to share hope with newcomers and old timers alike I feel useful and needed. A very good place for me to be. How about you?

The self pity that permeated my every waking moment has been put into perspective by loving sponsors and yes sometimes sponsees. I can now actually LISTEN, WITHOUT THINKING OF WHAT I WILL SAY WHEN THAT PERSON STOPS TALKING. I can actually be interested in my fellow creatures I mean truly concerned, and I can look for ways my higher power wants me to be helpful or butt outful. The last is so hard when I just know that my way is the correct way. hmmmm. There all sorts of paths to doing the next right thing and sometimes it is hard to see that my way is not the only way or the right way for someone else. So can you see yourself caring more and more for your fellow man? Is this a spiritual awakening? If not why not?

Fear was another problem for me but the promises say that fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. Since I have stopped buying unnecessary things that I couldn't afford, the economic thing is so much better but of course there are always those burst pipes or poor construction which causes problems for my home, and pocketbook. Then I have noticed that when you contact people for help with unexpected expenses instead of leaving the phone off the hook that those people are very glad to help you.

I may not always know how to handle situations that used to baffle me but my sponsor is an enormous help with my "intuition." I do sometimes know intuitively how to handle situations but I now know that if I don't know what to do; do nothing. I can be still, do nothing, sit still, allow the sunshine to bring peace to my frazzled self. I can refrain, reflect before responding. Something I learnt from a program person I admire.

Do you listen? How does that help your serenity? I am still learning the listening thing but I am better at it now than when I was swallowing food, drink and insults. Then I returned the insult ten fold. Now when I keep quiet I make space for God to do for me what I cannot do for myself. Am I dependent on God? certainly. But I am dependent on a light switch to bring me light and a furnace switch to bring me heat and I don't feel any slur on my self worth. Why should I not allow my God to be totally necessary to my well being and sanity? Can you now suddenly realize that God is doing for you what you could never do for yourself?

Take what you need from me and leave the rest. May we find each other on this road to happy destiny! KNOW THAT GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I.

AUDS





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