Hi, My name is Dennis and I am a compulsive overeater. I am deeply honored to be asked to lead the WTS step study for this quarter.
I started OA in 1980 and left the program in 1982 after declaring myself “cured.” I came back to program on my knees in 1984 and I have been with program ever since. Through the years, I’ve learned that the steps are to be worked over and over. Each time I have worked the steps, I have learned something new about myself. The last time I worked the steps I discovered that I had an issue of anger (or lack of it). I would not get angry when it was appropriate to be angry. I learned that it is not appropriate to apologize when someone runs over my foot with a shopping cart. I learned that it is ok to let out a big “ouch!” and let the other person hear me.
Program has taught me to dispel the lies I was told while growing up. I learned that I am a worthwhile person and that I am no greater or less than others around me.
I encourage each of you to have a sponsor to work with through this study. There is a listing of sponsors who are available to sponsor for the WTS study.
Each Monday, I will be posting a series of questions that pertain to the the steps. The first week, the questions will pertain to step one and the second week will pertain to step two and so on.
I look forward to leading this step study and I am delighted that you are working the steps right along with me.
Love In Recovery,
STEP ONE QUESTIONS:
1. Write on what brought you to program? If you have returned to the program from an absence, what brought you back? Lastly, what do you want from the program?
2. Write about your eating history and how much weight you have gained and lost.
3. How has food affected your life over the years? Write about the fatal nature of this disease and how it has diminished the quality of your life over the years?
4. Discuss and reflect on the idea that you have a devastating weakness. Discuss how this weakness leads you to return to food for your comfort.
5. Discuss the phenomenon of craving as it appears in the three levels of your life: Emotional, Spiritual and Physical.
6. Discuss and reflect on what sort of thinking dominates when the compulsive overeater repeats the desperate experiment of trying just one bite. Discuss and reflect on how this applies to your eating history.
7. Discuss and reflect on the things you must do in order to stay alive.
8. In step one, we admit powerlessness. How is admission of powerlessness the first step in liberation for you? Do you believe the program can liberate you?
9. Why must a person fully accept and comprehend step one before beginning step two?
I first joined OA in 1980 to simply lose weight. I was 26 years old and could not walk up a flight of stairs. I left program in 1982 and returned in 1984 for the same reason, to lose weight. This time, I never left the program and been with the program ever since. I have received so many gifts from the program such as self-esteem and feeling good about myself. I want to continue to grow in the program for the remainder of my days.
I started compulsive overeating back when I was 10 years old. My family moved to a new city and my fellow students or the teachers did not accept me because of my hearing aids. I was made fun of, teased, and beaten up all the time. When it became time to play on a team, I was left to sit on the bench because the teacher or other kids did not want me to participate. During this time, I went to a liquor store on the way to school to buy sweets in order to numb the feelings. I first lost weight in 1975 and gained it back and joined OA in 1980. I gained and lost several times. Most I ever gained or lost was 100 pounds.
Food has affected my ability to be physically active over the years. Also, blood pressure and diabetes are consequences of overeating. These two diseases do have a devastating effect on the quality of my life. One day at a time, I am in recovery from this. However, I must always be mindful of this.
My weakness related to my inability to express my feelings and lack of self-esteem. This weakness has always pointed in the direction of the refrigerator. Through the program, I learned to address my inability to express my feelings and my self-esteem.
I have experienced craving on all levels throughout my life. The physical craving of course related to food. This type of craving tries to make itself into my brain whenever I am at a get together or party. This craving wants my mind to focus on the bowl of snack food on the table rather than focus on the fellowship with the other people there. This craving has left me totally isolated while in a crowd of people because I focused on the bowl of snack food instead of the other people there. My emotional craving would manifest itself in head-trips when my mind wants to go places that may never exist. Spiritual craving used to fill my mind with resentments towards organized religion resulting from the abuse I received as a child and adolescent.
I have remembered the several times I have fallen off the wagon because I had a specific dessert item that wanted me to crave more and more right after I had my first serving of that dessert item. This has happened to me a few times before I got it into my head that I have to stop fiddling around with the program.
I must continually work the steps over and over, give service to the program and to others, remain abstinent, and follow my doctor’s advice at all times in order to stay alive and in good health.
Admitting that I was powerless over food was very hard for me at first. However, as I accepted this truth about myself, I was able to accept the solution to the problem (the 12 steps).
In order to see a solution to my eating problem, I had to first admit that I did have a eating problem. Step one is the admission that I have a problem and it wreaked total havoc on my life. Step two is where we accept that there is a solution. This acceptance of a solution is futile unless I fully grasp in my heart I have a problem.
Love In Recovery,
The Twelve Steps