Step Two

Came to believe a power greater
than ourselves could restore us to sanity.







Leader's Share and Step Questions


On to this week's step - Step Two - Came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Despair, hopelessness, anguish, misery, desperation, depression, failure…. These are not words that you might think would describe the adventure I talked about. Do not give up – I am good on my promise.

Living in the Insanity of Our Disease

My life was a mess before recovery. I felt all of those emotions at one time or another. I lived in total denial I was in trouble. I also thought I was so smart I could figure out my problems. I became addicted to finding insights that I was sure would fix my life. None of them gave the relief I was looking for. I was always desperately searching. Yet, I would not give up. I kept obsessively searching for relief. I would say I lived in the insanity of denial and arrogance.

I would like to say at some point I had a moment of realization that I was powerless and my life was unmanageable, and the miracle of healing happened. I cannot say that. I did not happen that way for me.

I can say though that the concepts of distracting myself by over-analyzing everything, obsessively trying to find the answer and not feeling my feelings came into my life and I started to change how I looked at my search. Having no friends, children in trouble, the divorces and living in constant chaos and crisis were pretty clear signals I was doing something wrong.

I grew to understand I was living in insanity.

Believed a Power Greater than Myself Could Restore Us to Sanity

The trouble with knowing I needed help was I did not know where to find help. I was always looking for someone to save me. I was always disappointed when the latest person I had put on a pedestal as a perfect example of how to live a good life did something human. I would immediately put them on my “cannot trust” list.

It was not until I started going to OA after an inpatient eating disorder program years ago that I opened myselt to a Higher Power. Many times I have cried out, “What is it that I need to understand to get out of this pain?” I got answers and I was rewarded with a small measure of peace and real wisdom. I was on to something.

Step Two

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

The spiritual principle of Step Two is Hope. The vehicle that took me from insanity to the happy traveling woman’s adventures I live these days was hope. I finally acknowledged my life was unmanageable and I lived in the chaos of the insanity of my compulsive overeating. I also acknowledged help from others was not working – I am sure my attitude had a lot to do with it – no one could fix me and looking to others to do that was asking the impossible.

I know hope is not about thinking positive. Hope came from my heart. It is based on a belief that I can be restored to sanity and even though I cannot describe where I came to that belief I felt it. Things that come from your heart can be that way. Hope filled my heart.

I believed a power greater than myself could restore my sanity. Each one of us defines a power greater than myself differently. For me, it is God. You do not have to believe in God to recovery. If you have confusion about this I highly recommend reading Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, Chapter 4 – We Agnostics. It clears up the whole power greater than ourselves issue. It was comforting to me to know that my HP was able to restore my life, my sanity.

What happened after I took Step Two

In my recovery my HP took me down paths that eventually led me back to OA last year. With it came a new strength in the form of willingness. I found it easy to say, “I am willing to do whatever it takes to recover.” That was my part in my HP restoring my sanity. I did that part with all my heart.

That is all any of us need – willingness to believe. It is our hope. So, my dear friends, that is how I came to the greatest adventure of my life – living a life filled with freedom and happiness and excitement. Whether you feel you are on an adventure or just doing the hard work to support your recovery know your willingness will guide you to what you need and what your HP has prepared for your recovery. It will true out to be the greatest adventure you could ever imagine!!!

Questions:

  1. Do you continue to expect different results from the same behavior? Define insanity as it relates to your compulsive overeating.

  2. What does your unmanageable life feel like?

  3. Are there other areas of your life that are insane or unmanageable?

  4. Are you able to believe a Higher Power can restore you to sanity? Why or why not?

  5. How does your Higher Power communicate with you?

  6. Have you experienced sanity being restored? What happen?

  7. What can your Higher Power do for you and what can your Higher Power not do for you?

  8. Is something holding you back from believing your sanity can be restored? Describe.

  9. What is living sanely like for you? Can you visualize your life living sanely? Explain.

My sharing on the Questions:

  1. Do you continue to expect different results from the same behavior? Define insanity as it relates to your compulsive overeating.
    Insanity for me is simply looking to food to solve my problems.

  2. What does your unmanageable life feel like?
    It feels imperfect, crazy-making imperfect. It feels like I would go so out-of-control that I would suddenly go poof and disappear or I would get so angry I would burn to ashes. I feels like I was betrayed and I wanted to crush the perpetrator. It feels like being so unimportant I was like a bug swatted into oblivion without a second thought.

  3. Are there other areas of your life that are insane or unmanageable?
    I have been addicted to insights mentioned before, shopping, telling others what they needed to fix your life and I was always judgmental.

  4. Are you able to believe a Higher Power can restore you to sanity? Why or why not?
    I only was willing and hoped at first. Now, I know it was my HP. I have seen my life turn around in ways I never, never expected. Even the good relationship with my husband got better. He even talks about his feelings these days. My sister and children have healed difficult relationships that had lasted for year. I could not have done it myself – believe me, I had tried.

  5. How does your Higher Power communicate with you?
    I ask a question and my HP pops a thought into my head when I least expect it. I know then it is my answer. It is always loving and caring.

  6. Have you experienced sanity being restored? What happen?
    I found myself saying, I am willing to do whatever it takes to recover and meaning it. That was the most sane thing I ever heard myself say. I have never felt deprived with my plan of eating. I have be able to stay with it comfortably since last spring letting go of 70 pounds. I am comfortable in my new slimming body. I am able to find new ways to deal with my emotions rather than eating over them. I am free and I am at peace.

  7. What can your Higher Power do for you and what can your Higher Power not do for you?
    My HP cannot put the right food in my mouth. My HP cannot use a OA tool when I am struggling. My HP cannot make my troubles go away. My HP cannot give me peace. My HP can just guide me to the questions I need to ask and the answers I am looking for. I have to do my part

  8. Is something holding you back from believing your sanity can be restored? Describe.
    When I was living an unmanageable life I believed my HP could work miracles. I just did not believe I deserved it. I also did not believe I could give up my comforter - food. I was sure I would die.

  9. What is living sanely like? Can you visualize your living your life sanely? Explain.
    If you would have asked me this question a few years ago I would have said I had no clue. I had really never known what it was like to live sanely. However, I also knew that if I could not visualize it I could not work toward it.

It was my hope that gave me a dream. I would visualize that I would find peace and my desperate searching could stop. It was a dream that I would be able to face my failures and turn them into success in that one area I was so lost in - my compulsive overeating. It was a vision that came true.

Suggested Reading

You can purchase them at http://bookstore.oa.org/. You can also download PDF files of the 12 x 12 and the OA Step Workbook there.

  1. The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous Step Two – Pages 9-17.

  2. The Twelve-Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous, Pages 11-20

  3. Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 4 – We Agnostics

  4. Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. xxvi, p. xxviii, p.12, pp. 30-43 (“More About Alcoholism”), p. 92, p. 550

  5. Pamphlets you can order:
    • Fifteen Questions
    • A Guide to the Twelve Steps for You and Your Sponsor, pp. 4-5

Second Step Prayer

Higher Power,
I know in my heart that only You can restore me to sanity.
I humbly ask that You remove all twisted thought and addictive behavior from me this day.
Heal my spirit and restore in me a clear mind.

Coralee






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