For Step Two, I’m going to recommend that you take some time and read the chapter “We Agnostics” in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. This chapter does an expert job at explaining the action of taking the second step, which is to commence to live life on a spiritual basis, and that includes practicing faith in a power greater than ourselves.
As it says in that chapter, “to be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live life on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face”. I have always said, there is no happy ending for the life of an addict who is not on the path of spiritual recovery. And since this is a spiritual program, if we intend to work it, living and working with faith is how life gets turned around for us. The chapter continues, “Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe that there is a power greater than myself? As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way” .
There are many good slogans that relate to the principle of step two, which is HOPE. One I have found very true, and useful, is utilize don’t analyze. The Big Book purports the premise that doing what spiritual people do produces the desired results – if you want what we have, then do what we do. Trying these spiritual practices will convince you. Not trying them will surely keep you in doubt. In AA there’s a sign that has the word “THINK” upside down, because we need a whole new way of thinking. That’s why a God, or a power greater than ourselves, other helpers, meditation, literature, practiced faith, a sponsor, other fellows can and will restore us to sanity.
In my OA 12 & 12 I have many things underlined in the Step 2 chapter. They all seem to boil down to fear of letting go and letting God help us with our lives. Control issues are characteristic with addiction, which is why letting go is so hard for us. In many of your shares, as well as my own writing, we talk about fear of letting go of the food, fear of what’s on the other side of that way of life. Fear of not knowing any other way to live than to continually comfort ourselves or entertain ourselves with recreational eating. Fear of boredom, fear of feeling our feelings. First, we can ask God to please remove our fears (that’s what I’m doing, because I have many, many fears at the moment). Second, this program suggests we get a sponsor, attend regular OA meetings, stay in touch with other recovering COEs, believe in a higher power just because we do need support if we are going to let go of the food – we can’t do it alone. Allowing others to help us is the start of being restored to sanity, enlarging our world beyond what we thought we were capable of.
Questions for reflection:
If you can agree that you need to be restored to sanity, what would sanity look like in the various areas of your life: family, friends, work, finances, health, education, community, etc.? If one of these areas stands out, write about that.
What is my idea of sanity with food? What specific food insanity would you like a higher power to lift from your life?
What are your concerns about living life on a spiritual basis?
What can you share, now, about the connection between compulsive eating, life, and faith?
The Twelve Steps