Step Two

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

Leader's Share and Step Questions

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Recovery,

For those of you who copied me on your responses, I want to say that I really enjoyed reading each personís shares on the step one questions. Reading the responses really made my program grow last week. I consider each and every one of you to be a blessing in my life. I will continue to read the responses throughout this step study.


    1. List the areas where your life is unmanageable because of your compulsive overeating. Are you ready to surrender the areas on your list to your higher power?

    2. Discuss and reflect upon the concept of insanity as it applies to us in program.

    3. Discuss and reflect upon how we use the substitution method of accepting the presence of a Higher Power by substituting food or other substances/objects. How have you looked for substitutes all of your life? Are you still looking?

    4. Discuss and reflect upon your childhood exposure to any religious concept. Create a listing of your negative feelings and create another list of your positive feelings as they relate to early religious experiences. What conclusion do you reach when you reflect on these two lists?

    5. Create a list all the reasons you can think of for believing in God. Create another list with all the reasons for disbelieving in God. What conclusion do you reach when you reflect on these two lists?

    6. Discuss and reflect on the following concepts: a) Those who won't believe; b) Those who can't; c) Those who have lost their faith. In which category do you find yourself? What must you do to change?

    7. Discuss and reflect on why a change in attitude toward a Power Greater than yourself and a few simple actions are necessary if you are to change your life.

    8. Discuss and reflect on the following concepts as they play a part in your spiritual life: a) Intellectual self-sufficiency; b) Wandering from faith; c) Self-righteousness.

    9. Discuss and reflect on the idea that a compulsive overeater has to be "pretty badly mangled before they commence to solve their problems."

    10. Discuss and reflect on the following concepts: a) No person could believe in a Higher Power and defy it; b) To recover, we need a faith that works under all conditions.

    11. Discuss and reflect on why willingness is the way to a faith that works.

    12. Discuss and reflect on why happiness and satisfaction cannot come unless the compulsive overeater gives up control.

    13. Step two says we ďcame to believeÖ.Ē Is there anything that is currently standing in the way of you coming to believe that a power greater than yourself can help you? What steps do you plan to take to overcome anything that stands in your way of believing in a power greater than yourself?

    14. Why must you fully complete step two in your heart before beginning step three?


The biggest area my life was unmanageable was my financial insecurity. This is very strange because of my degree in accounting and my 34-year career as an auditor. However, the sense of poor self esteem and self worth made me feel financially insecure all the time. My compulsive overeating manifested poor self-esteem and poor self worth. Surrendering my financial insecurity over to God has lifted this problem from my life.

In order to accept step 2, I must allow God to restore me to sanity. At first, this was hard because I equated insanity with mental illness. Working the program, I had to come to the realization that eating 3 to 4 dozen donuts each day is total insanity. Also my other food behaviors (such as grazing) were considered to be insane. Because I am powerless over food, God can restore me to sanity by surrendering my food to Him. By Godís grace, I have not binged on donuts since March 1980.

I used food as a substitute to fill the void that only God can fill. Until program, I looked to substitutes to fill the void all the time. Today, I am not using substitutes.

My childhood exposure to religion was a total mess. When I attended Sunday school as a child, I could not follow along with what was being taught because of my undiagnosed 70% hearing loss. Later on after the age of 10, I was constantly being picked on and teased by kids who went to church because of my hearing aids. This made me want to avoid church for many years.

Positive feelings as a child:


Negative feelings as a child:

    Hypocrisy, being picked on by kids who went to church

    Church is for other people, not me because I could not measure up

    I did not belong

    I was told by my teachers that I was only taking up a space in life

Based on the above, it is a miracle from God that I attend church today and I am very active in the church.

Reasons for believing in God; His awesome power to heal me from my addiction, I see His presence in other people, and seeing miracles being performed in program.

Reasons for not believing; Hypocrisy, being asked to leave my church when my children were diagnosed with autism in 1982, and people in church who consider themselves a class above other people because of who they are.

I see the reasons for believing are from observing Godís actions and the reasons for not believing is strictly based on human actions.

There are those who will not believe in a supreme being under any circumstances. These people need to be loved and allowed to observe Godís miracles on their own. Those people who cannot all have various reasons for not wanting to believe. Again, the solution is love and allowing them to see His miracles. Those who lost their faith all have very strong reasons, such as traumatic events, and the solution is the same. I never lost my faith, however I did not go to church for 20 years except for weddings and funerals. I was able to attend church again after I was able to work through the resentment resulting from being asked to leave my church in 1982.

My attitude had to change, no question! I never believed that God was interested in my personal problem. I always thought He was interested in the global problems affecting the world. I had to earnestly ask God into my heart and believe that He unconditionally loved me no matter what and He wanted to help me through my hurts.

I thought I was self-sufficient ever since I was a child because I always had to fend for myself and I had nobody to turn to. I had to work through everything on my own, thus making me feel self-sufficient. After joining a church in 1977, I never wandered from my basic beliefs. Although my behaviors would wander off the path, my beliefs did not. I used to be self-righteous because of my perceived self-sufficiency. I thought I was right unless someone else disagreed with me. When someone disagreed, I apologized and then changed my opinion.

This is a program that requires self-examination and soul searching through some pretty ugly areas in our past. This is why a person needs to be mangled by this disease in order to seek the solution that the program offers.

I believe that nobody can believe in God and defy Him at the same time. This is an impossible thing to do, either we believe or we do not. My faith must be applied in all areas of my life and recovery. Even issues not relating to food requires the same degree of faith as food issues. My faith works in all circumstances because all things are possible through God.

I must be willing to rely on my faith to work on and solve the issues in my life, including food. It took a while for the willingness to actually kick in, but when it did miracles started to happen. My growth on the physical, spiritual, and emotional levels all blossomed.

I can never be happy if I think that I am in control. This is because I am powerless over food, people, events, things, outcomes, weather, etc. Being in a state of acceptance is the way to peace and serenity in my life.

There is nothing in the way for me believing that God can help me. God has performed miracles in my life so far and I believe that I will see many more of His miracles in my life and in the lives of other people.

Step two tells me what the solution to my problem is. Like step one, where I came to fully understand the problem, step two gave me the solution and step three is where we apply the solution to our problem.

Love In Recovery,

Dennis Tisdale

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