Here are questions that relate to Step 2.
1. What is your reaction to the claim that you have a need to be restored to sanity?
2. From where, in your opinion, does your insanity come? How does it manifest itself?
3. How can accepting and admitting your insanity be a blessing?
4. This program leaves it wide open for us to understand God as we will. Given that a Higher Power is likely to be bigger than our mortal brains can really comprehend, focusing our thoughts on certain characteristics of a HP will be, at best incomplete. However, also given that most of us have some sort of image of God before we walk into this program, whether that be positive or negative, I think it could be useful to focus on the attributes of a HP that we believe could help us in our need to regain sanity. As you consider believing that there might exist a HP which could restore you to sanity, what would the attributes of that HP be?
5. Do you believe in such an HP? What did it take to come to a place where you believe that? Did you have to change your pre-program understanding of the characteristics of God?
6. If you donít yet believe in such an HP, what would it take to believe that such a HP exists?
7. What would make you think that God would care about your food, your life, YOU?
8. The principle underneath this step is HOPE. How does hope play a role in your ability to take this step, and in your recovery as a whole?
9. What role has other peopleís belief in a HP played in your recovery?
10. How has your belief in an HP that can restore us to sanity helped someone else in their recovery?
11. What freedoms and joys come with honestly taking this step?
12. Once you take this step, are you done with it?
Here are my answers to these questions:
My trip down the mountainside (see Step 1) convinced me that my understanding of how life ought to be lived was, indeed out of control and crazy. And my losing 25 lb and gaining 30 lb in half the time convinced me that my behaviors around food were crazy. I once sat beside a Ďnormieí at a buffet table. I was newly abstinent and had strict plans for what I would eat at this buffet meal. I followed my POE, and was quite proud of myself. I sat down and inhaled my plate in Ďnormal timeí...which for me was about 2 minutes. My normie friend arrived just after I began eating, took about 3 bites, and played with her food for the next 20 minutes ( I was DYING inside watching her).....then she said, ďI think Iíll stop here, I want to save room for dessert.Ē THAT I understood.... She came back with a 7 layer chocolate concoction.....cut 1/8 inches thin.....took two bites and said, ďThis is too rich. Iíve had enough.Ē THAT I DIDNíT UNDERSTAND! Clearly, I was not, and would NEVER be, a normal eater.
I am the child of two alcoholic smokers...my sister just quit smoking...I suspect my brother is alcoholic...the genetics arenít promising. Nurture, nature...I am not sure, but clearly I have the addiction tendency. This is where the insanity comes, I believe. It has manifested itself in compulsive eating, compulsive shopping, procrastination, perfectionism, fear, fear, fear, codependency and a deep seated feeling of inadequacy and self-loathing.
By accepting and admitting my insanity, I am freed to be able to seek help. I can look to my HP for help and acceptance. My fellows and sponsor can help me by accepting me just as I am. I can laugh WITH my fellows at my foibles, without shame, and with kindness and generosity to myself. I can release the template of insanity that I used to pattern my life...a template learned at the feet of my alcoholic parents....and learn to embrace a healthier format for living my life, based on the 12 Steps. This is a huge blessing.
I came into program believing in a God who was loving and generous...just not to me. I was outside Godís sphere of influence, for some reason. I didnít see this as unfair; it was just the way it was. As I did my recovery work, I fired that old God....spent some time in spiritual confusion where I didnít know what God was but I knew what s/he wasnít....and eventually I was able to embrace a new, and evolving, understanding of God. My HP loves me, and loves others, is inclusive, not exclusive, is not the property of any faith tradition, has a great sense of humour, is kind to me, gives me emotional and spiritual healing and strength to help me deal with the physical realities of living on planet Earth. God is eternally patient, and yet can wield a hefty ďholy 2 by 4Ē if I get too far off the track by ignoring the more subtle messages. God has my back, and Godís dream for me is the most wonderful thing beyond imagination. God is trustworthy and faithful, even when I am not. God is NOT, (as a fellow 12 Stepper told me early in program) LIKE MY DAD.
I do believe in this HP, and it took a lot of writing, drawing, sharing otherís HPs, and hard, hard emotional work to get rid of the manure that kept me from this belief. It was among the hardest work I ever did, but it was worth it.
I think that God cares about my food, my life and me because I believe that God uses me to help others....and God wants me to be the very best I can be so that others will want what I have. This does not mean God expects me to be perfect...rather, I think it means that God wants me to be HUMAN....and to do all I can to stay plugged into Godís power. If I am plugged into Godís power, there is NOTHING that that power canít or wonít help me with, as long as I pray to have my will be aligned with Godís. I know God cares about my food, my life, me because I have gotten into the habit of looking for the miracles that about in my day, and which I all too often take for granted.
Hope has been the backbone of all my recovery work. One definition of hope that I like: Hope is the feeling that you have that the feeling that you have isnít permanent.(Jean Kerr) As I take Step 2, I hope that I wonít feel insane forever. I hope that HP is stronger than this insanity, and that HP will care enough to help me. I place my hope in the structure of the steps...and base that hope on the recovery that I see in my fellows who have gone before me.
As I have watched others allow their HP to Ďgrow upí and become a HP who can and will help them, as I have watched other people stay stuck because of their rigid belief in a HP that isnít helping them....it gives me the courage and hope to allow my HP to show him/herself to me in ways that help me accept and trust. Sometimes I have had to borrow anotherís HP until I could grasp that I have access to an HP of my own who will give me exactly what I need....without strings, without me earning or willing it.
I have had sponsees, in particular, become willing to re-think their images of HP, based on what I have shared with them about my HP and my journey to spiritual healing. As people see me in recovery, they have asked me how I got it, and I have shared my journey...and my relationship with HP, that is integral to my recovery. I believe that has given them hope that they, too, might be able to access that power.
When I take this step, I am free to accept release from a life of craziness. I am free to put down the responsibility for keeping the world turning singlehandedly. I am free to explore the characteristics of a HP who could and WOULD restore me to sanity. I am free to accept the insanity of my life, and hold it lightly and with humor, instead of dragging it around like a millstone in shame and fear. I am free to take the next right stepóaccept the help I now know is available for the asking.
As much as I would love each step to be a one time and Iím done, I have come to know that this stepóalong with 1 and 3...and several others...HAS to be a daily endeavor, if I wish to stay in the sunlight of recovery. Humans are a forgetful people....and addicts more so....and so I am never going to be DONE with this step. And, given the blessings and freedoms it offers, why would I want it to be? This week, I will intentionally set aside time every day to meditate on this step and be grateful for the blessings and freedoms that come with honestly and hopefully taking it.
Hugs to all, Lainey
The Twelve Steps
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