My share on Step Twelve: Hi, I am Cindi, still a compulsive overeater and still an OA member in recovery. How very grateful I am that in today’s world, there is such an organization as Overeaters Anonymous and meetings can be conducted in person, by phone or online. OA has made such a huge impact on my life. I joined OA for the third time in January of 2002, weighing 299 pounds, wearing Women’s plus size 26/28 clothes, unemployed and looking for a way to lose just enough weight that someone, anyone would hire me. What the OA program has given me is freedom from the obsession of food, a weight loss of 121 pounds, the ability to wear a Misses size 12 clothes and a deep spiritual recovery.
Recovery came at a price and the price was facing the truth about my food addiction. The price was giving up self-will, giving up sugar and white flour, giving up the excess food that used to comfort me so. The price was giving up my defects that held me back from embracing change. Yes, the miracle of recovery does have its price but it is well worth it. Sharing my miracle of recovery with others is also part of the cost, for I am not allowed to keep my recovery unless I share it with others through the service of the Twelfth Step.
“Those of us who live this program don’t simply carry the message; we are the message.” OA 12 & 12, page 106.
The principle of Step Twelve is service. I cannot keep the recovery that I have unless and until I give back what has so freely been given to me. Service has a lot to do with my still being in recovery. The joy and happiness that recovery gave to me I freely share with others. My work with sponsees and leading step studies is the most rewarding for me. To help guide someone in the process of working their way through the Twelve Steps and applying those same steps to their daily lives and actually get to see someone grow emotionally and spiritually is a gift. It is hard to believe that twelve simple steps can change someone's life so dramatically, and yet it does over and over.
I will forever be grateful to Bill W and the original members of AA who came up with the idea of the Twelve Steps as a way of living life free from the obsession of our drug of choice. Although my weight loss is the visual change in me, my inner self has changed the most dramatically. Recovery has given me freedom from cravings, from binging and from obsessive food thoughts. My mind is open to new and different ways of thinking, feeling and learning. My heart is now capable of giving love without expecting something in return. On this journey of recovery, I have found the true me, the one that had been hidden beneath a mountain of fat and food for far too long. What I found was a kind, caring, intelligent and creative woman just waiting to be able to express herself in so many different ways. Today, I am the person that I have always wanted to be.
My willingness to work the Twelve Step program, no matter what, allows me to receive and to keep my miracle of recovery. Thank you for participating in this step study and for giving me the pleasure of leading.
Love in recovery,
Step Twelve: 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.
Twelfth Step Prayer:
Dear Higher Power, My spiritual awakening continues to unfold. The help I have received I shall pass on and give to others, both in and out of the fellowship. For this opportunity, I am grateful. I pray most humbly to continue walking day by day on the road of spiritual progress. I pray for inner strength and wisdom to practice the principles of this way of life in all I do and say. I need You, my friends, and the program every hour of every day. This is a better way to live.
Principle of Step Twelve:
The principle of service which underlies OA's twelfth step can now guide our actions both inside and outside program. Here we experience the great truth that when we let go of our need to control people and simply allow our Higher Power to serve others through us, we receive an abundance of joy and strength.
The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous: Page 106
To help comprehend the questions, please read the Step Eleven chapter in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Please also read in the BB of AA, Pages 89 through 103. (Fourth Edition)
1. What message of hope do I want to share with others?
2. What part has service in OA played in my recovery?
3. What has been my spiritual awakening experience?
4. What did I learn about the following principles, inherent in each step, that I can practice in all my affairs:
a. Honesty in Step One?
b. Hope in Step Two?
c. Faith in Step Three?
d. Courage and integrity in Steps Four and Five?
e. Willingness in Step Six?
f. Humility in Step Seven?
g. Self-discipline and love for others in Steps Eight and Nine?
h. Perseverance in Step Ten?
i. Spiritual awareness in Step Eleven?
j. Service in Step Twelve?
5. What is the message I am living?