Step Two

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

Leader's Share and Step Questions

STEP TWO: "Came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

Thank you for joining me on the journey of recovery. Your willingness
Is seen in your shares with me and others. I appreciated all of what you have expressed.

When taking Step One, we have waved a flag, saying, "I surrender, I can't take it anymore." No matter what we named any addiction we ended up defeated because of our own self-centeredness. This was taken from the 12 Steps To A Closer Walk With God by Don Umphrey.

All of the first three steps were hard for me at the beginning. As you a saw, I was born in a dysfunctional family. I didn't ask for the abuses and injustices suffered so far. I didn't choose my addictions, but I was accountable for things I couldn't control. This made it hard for me to turn to that God as the power to restore my sanity. It seemed that God wasn't reasonable in his demands. The only way that I can work this step is to be willing to work through the pain and unfairness of life and still seek God. I have to seek him and I will find him. In God's loving arms, I will also find the answers I seek.

I denied my situation of truth that I had an addiction. My thinking was grandiose or intended to be impressive but not really possible or practical. I believe I know better that God or anyone else. I gave up on living and threw myself into self destructive behaviors with reckless abandon. I spent money erratically through my marriage, and my years often the divorce. I operate junk food, sugar and desserts. I tried to find love on the Internet, and only found heartbreak.

Whether my insanity is self-induced or has a more sinister origin, there is a power available to restore me to sanity and wholeness. I found out that my bondage didn't come from outside sources.

Faith is the key to successfully working the second step. Faith didn't come easily for me. I tried everything again and again. It just didn't work. I exhausted all of my resources before I believed. The fact was that I was able to recognize my life as not being honest proper or good or insane. This tells me that there is hope for me in a better way of life. I know that God who is powerful enough to build something better and restore our sanity in the process.

"Saying that we became to believe" suggests a process. Belief is the result of consideration, doubt, reasoning, and concluding. The ability to form beliefs is part of what it means to be made in God's image. It involves emotion and logic. It leads to action. This was taken from the Life Recovery Bible.

I tried doing it on my own, to stop eat compulsively. It didn't work. I went back to bingeing and doing harm to my body and health. I realized that I didn't have enough power to overcome my spiritual malady or obsession. When I was quiet enough to listen, I could hear that still small voice inside myself saying "There is a powerful God, and He is able and willing to help.

I recognized my own internal weakness of compulsive overeating which is the first step to recovery. I noticed other people around me with this same addiction who struggled but then who removed.

Step Two is often referred to as "the hope set." In coming to believe that a Power greater than myself, it can restore us to sanity and we also remember what it was like to live sanely and have the faith to hope that sanity can return.

YOUR PART: Please read Step Two in the AA Big Book: (p. 44-60), We Agnostics. Also read Step Two in the OA 12 Steps and 12 Traditions (p. 9-17).


Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly. Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Well that's exactly what this book is about. It's main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem. We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God. We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. "Do I 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. Faced with alcoholic (compulsive overeaters) destruction, we soon became as open minded on spiritual matters. They flatly declare that since they have come to believe in a Power greater than themselves, to take a certain attitude toward that Power, and to do certain simple things, there has been a revolutionary change in their way of thinking. In the face of collapse and despair, in the face of the total failure of their human resources, they found that a new power, peace, happiness, and sense of direction flowed into them! When he saw others solve their problems, by a simple reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work. But the God idea did. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.


Many of us compulsive overeaters tend to look at this step and say: "Restore me to sanity? I don't need that. I'm perfectly sane. I just have a eating problem." But how sane are we, really? When we look with complete honesty at our lives,we see that where eating is concerned, we have acted in an extremely irrational and self-destructive manner. We have frequently lied about what we have eaten--lied to others, because we didn't want to face the truth ourselves. We have continued to overeat, knowing all the while, we were disfiguring and maiming our bodies. We have isolated ourselves to eat, damaging our relationships and denying ourselves a full social life. Then, horrified by what we were doing to ourselves with food, we became obsessed with everything imaginable, but we inevitably lost control and overate again putting back on the weight we had worked so hard to lose. Those of us who were overweight got plenty of advice from others about how to get to our "ideal" size but nothing permanently solved our problem. We found that no matter what we did to each our turmoil, our compulsive eating eventually returned. Over the long haul, our weight went up and our self-esteem went down. After a while, we became battle-weary and discouraged. Still we could never accept our powerlessness. Our true insanity could be seen in the fact that we kept right on trying to find comfort in excess food, long after it began to cause us misery. Once we honestly looked at our lives, it became easy for us to admit we had acted insanely where food and weight were concerned. More self-examination revealed many areas in which our lives were out of balance. Too much of the time, we had lived in fear and anxiety. Compulsive overeaters are often people of extremes. Gradually, we came to believe we needed to change. In all of life, as well as with the food, we were irrational, unbalanced, insane. If our willpower and determination couldn't change our unsuccessful way of living, what could? Clearly a Power greater than ourselves had to be found if we were to be restored to sanity. Some of us, didn't believe in God. We were invited to define the Power, however we wish and relate to it in whatever way works for us. OA only suggests that we remain open to spiritual growth and show tolerance for others. Ours is a spiritual program, not a religious one. We have no creed or doctrines, only our experiences of recovery. Atheists and agnostics are welcome in OA and have found recovery. People in OA meetings understood and cared about us. We could be totally honest about ourselves and they still accepted us unconditionally. This acceptance grew into love, carrying a power that seemed to stay with us as we left our OA meetings. The love of the group, then, became our Higher Power. This relationship was an Higher Power in which we could believe because they answered our questions, listened to our problems, shared our tears and laughter, and guided us in recovery as they helped us to apply OA principles in our lives. We washed ourselves what, exactly, we needed and wanted God to be to us and to do for us. They we acted as if God were really exactly what we wanted and needed our Higher Power to be. We became willing to let go of any concept of God which wasn't helping us to recover from COE. We had to replace our old ideas about God with a faith that worked. This was both humbling and frightening. Once we took the action and saw it work, we began to believe. The willingness to act on faith, then, was the key to Step Two.

1. What are my objections to trusting God fully with my addiction and my life?
2. How have I tried to control my problems in my own power?
3. Am I willing to work through the pain and unfairness of my life in order to find God and be freed from addiction?
4. Do I believe in God but not really believe God can or will deal with my compulsive eating? 5. How do I feel about replacing my old ideas about God with a faith that works?
6. What have I learned from Step Two?

First Step Prayer:
Dear Lord, Help me to see and admit I am powerless over food addiction. Help me to understand how my food addiction has led to unmanageability in my life. Help me this day to understand the true meaning of powerlessness. Remove from me all denial of my food addiction.

Second Step Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I am having trouble with personal relationships. I can't control my emotional nature. I am prey to misery and depression. I can't make a living. I feel useless. I am full of fear. I am unhappy. I can't seem to be of real help to others. I know in my heart that only You can restore me to sanity if I am just willing to stop doubting your power. I humbly ask that You help me to understand that it is more powerful to believe than not to believe and that you are either everything or nothing. (Pages 52 and 53 AABB).

Gail W.

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