Welcome Home, recovery family! Welcome back to being willing to DOing whatever it takes to recover! There is a solution or "SOUL-lution!" I thank God you are living in the solution, and DOing your part for your daily fit spiritual condition, so that you too will be blessed with the daily reprieve from compulsive overeating! Nothing, nothing tastes as good as abstinence feels.
"Abstinence": "is the action of refraining from compulsive overeating and food behaviors while working toward a healthy body weight." Abstinence is a daily reprieve based on our daily fit spiritual condition. Abstinence is "HOW" we eat. We no longer BINGE. (Believe, I'm, not, good, enough).
"Food Plan" : the foods we eat to support our freedom from Bingeing. Food Plan is "WHAT" we eat.
"Daily Fit Spiritual Condition" : Comes as a result of working the simple 12 Step Program, practicing the spiritual principles in all of our affairs and using the Nine Tools.
"9 OA Tools": A Plan of Eating, Sponsorship, Meetings, Telephone, Writing, Literature, Action Plan, Anonymity, Service, We use the tools on a regular basis, to help us achieve & maintain abstinence and recover from our dis ease!
"Our Disease" : a truly fatal dis ease which is two fold in nature; rarely has been seen such an obsession of the mind and an allergy of the body which triggers off our compulsion to overeat.
I once again stepped outside of my house this week to go to the Doctor struggling to breathe with a sinus infection and respiratory infection, cellulitis in my legs and pressure sores & wounds. Although I no longer am bed bound as I was at 745 pounds I do sleep in a Hospital Bed so I can raise the head to breathe and elevate the legs and knees for swelling. My Medical Supply company ordered me a new mattress, however it was for a 120 pound woman, so when I woke up the next day, the mattress had literally burned my skin right off of me, so I received my first and prayerfully last "bed sores," or pressure wounds. However as a result of these issues, I was so blessed to have a small day trip with my Son. I was blessed to see how the city had changed. Buildings gone, new ones up. Beautiful sunny, clear day, with alot of people going in every direction. It shows me how time marches on whether I am well or totally isolated & homebound. I love seeing the clouds, the beautiful Mountains, flowers, trees, and all our Heavenly Father has created. When my Son took me home from the Doctor, I took one step out of the car, and fell to the ground. Oxygen tank went rolling and purse and all, and down I went. The beautiful thing is this time, it didn't take a long time to get up. I pushed on the car seat, and used my upper body strength to get up, to see how weak I really am. Thanking God nothing broke. My spirit did a touch, because I don't like my Son to see me like that, weak. broken. I am working so hard to get well, however life happens. It is messy, and he unfortunately has seen me in MUCH BIGGER messes! I told him this time, if offered I will go into Rehab, and get even stronger and better, so a Social Worker will be coming to my home to see if I qualify insurance wise for inhouse Rehab for 2 weeks. If not then I will have a new team of Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists in my home. I am willing to go to any lengths to get well. I will most definitely be outside of my comfort zone. I don't like for anyone to see me, look at me, gawk at me, stare at me, comment about me, double take me, shake their heads at me. Say, "Oh my God!" to me, about me, my weight, my size, my condition; however, if this is what it takes to be willing to be willing to go and get well, and not go backwards in my mobility; I will DO it!! My abstinence is based on my daily fit spiritual condition;on all three levels, ( our recovery is like a three legged stool, and it takes the three legged stool analogy here to keep me in physical, emotional and spiritual balance. So I will do, and am willing to go to any lengths to maintain my daily fit spiritual condition). You do not want my 500 pound life! Remember this dis ease is progressive and deadly. I still have faith to survive, more than survive.. Live and thrive as "ALL things are possible with God, " and life is SO worth the living! Every abstinent day is a miracle, breath is a miracle, says the woman on oxygen! All we are is breath, and it is SO so precious! Please get well and carry the message, Oh friend, I pray you DO.. (Action required). <3
God is bigger than even me, and He will carry me through ALL, ALL, I must endure to get well. My knees are badly injured again from the fall, my hands, and muscles are torn, however, not even my pride is bruised, how could I have pride, when humiliation enters right? I have before I must say, (that self righteous monster) However, humble before the Lord I lay, and humble before the Lord, He got me up! So I thank God, I am learning to lean on Jesus, finding more power than I'd ever dreamed, I 'm learning to lean on Jesus. I let me down all of the time, people, places, things, they all let me down, however, God/Jesus/Holy Spirit; ALL powerful All knowing, ALL present;God has NEVER let me down! (My H/P).
We are beginning another Step that will require that kind of willingness; a willingness to go to any lengths to recover! I am so blessed to have a 230 pound weight release, and I so wanted to get weighed Monday, because I am sure it is even more now, however I will not be able to stand up, and I do not have a way to weigh wheelchair, me and calculate my true weight. So as soon as I am able to stand and weigh I will share. How about you? Do you have a healthy weight release to share with the Group. Please do. Hi my name is Linda F. I am a low bottom compulsive over eater anorexic in Recovery. Maintaining a 230 pound weight release for 5 years, through the help of OA as God continues to lead me through this 12 Step miracle working Program. I hope you bless me to continue to walk along side of you while you receive your miracles as well, as you give yourself over to these simple principles. Let's Step on and move forward :)
STEP EIGHT: "Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all."
SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE: Self Discipline; defined as the ability to control one's feelings & overcome one's weaknesses;the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptation to abandon it.
Harm: injury inflicted, unintentional or intentional injury inflected
Amends: restitution, reparation, or compensation
Boy have I greatly harmed myself, my Son, my family, my friends? How could I NOT see compulsive overeating as selfish, and not even realize in total DENIAL;(Don't even, realize, I am, Lying!)? How could I not see the maiming of myself, the slow suicide and self torture ? How come it is so much more painful for me now? Why do I cry tears now that my Son is gone, and I can no longer serve him a hot meal, just turn off the world and have a simple conversation with him? Oh I hunger for that so much now? How could I let the years roll in a bed, and let life just fly by and not fulfill my God given destiny, using the precious Gifts God gave me? How could something as basic as food steal my life? How could I sell myself so cheaply for a meal or snack? Buried alive, I pray to chisel away the pounds and pain and come out healthy and a blessing to all I know and love. How could my Son respect me, when I had no self respect and that is false pride. Self deprecating, self demoralization is still pride, just false pride. How could I not see the Selfishness, rebellion and pride in my life, and allow my precious Son to be injured by me, the most precious gift the Lord entrusted me with? How about my soul? My gifts? I was a top notch, playing in the A Rooms and Hotels and Casinos, opening for all the Stars in Las Vegas, now I want to sing for God's glory and can not yet even leave my Home, How have I hurt my Lord, who shed His precious blood and died for my sins and diseases? I am even putting God on my Amends List. Yes, myself, my Son, and my Saviour; Jesus/God/Holy Spirit. My list is great, and thank You God for the willingness to make amends to ALL. This is our work in Step Eight. A list of all we have harmed and what we did. I nearly ate my life away at 745, now being the 500 pound woman, that and this reality can be quite pain full. However every day lived abstinent and serene is such blissful amends to self, Son, and God. Oh I hope to make such more sweet, precious life giving amends to ALL whom I have harmed, and I am very willing. God tells me to forgive if I want to be forgiven, and I have done the unforgivable, so I am willing to forgive, for I want to be forgiven. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, for a price I could not pay for me, for you. I became willing to forgive my child molesters, the incest of a brother, rapists and those whom I thought I would never forgive by praying: Lord God make me willing to be willing to forgive all who have harmed me, and bless those whom I have harmed with the willingness to forgive me, so we are all blessed with the miracle life giving gift of forgiveness. Bless me to forgive as You freely forgive me, bless me to give forgiveness, with the same measure of forgiveness as You forgive. in Jesus Name Amen. (My H/P).
The great news about Step Eight is we are simply making a list. We are NOT making amends, and amends are never to be made without running it past our Sponsors or Spiritual Advisor. Simply put we need help in assuring our work & amends will do NO harm to them or us!! We need a fresh set of ears on eyes to hear the harm done, and to verify that making amends or even contacting the injured will not further harm them, or ourselves. We are here to clean up our side of the street; the debris from our pasts. At this point we are just list making, we are taking no action in making the amends. So just relax here, breathe, and pray if you are not yet willing to go to any lengths for your recovery and abstinence; God make me willing to be willing to make a list of all persons I have harmed and to be willing to make amends to them all, in Jesus Mighty Name Amen (My H/P).
I remember strangely enough looking forward to righting my wrongs, and getting cleaner and cleaner so I wouldn't have triggers to shoot me right to the food and sugar! Or another BINGE or (Believe, I, Am, Not, Good, Enough) I no longer choose to eat those lies, and am willing to DO the work to maintain my daily fit spiritual condition! Freedom just tastes SO delicious and the calorie count, the carbs and fat counts are just right :) We can go over our inventories from Step Four (if they were safe to keep around the house), or we can simply review our lives and write a new list of ALL the people, businesses, institutions & organizations we have harmed, even if we are not yet willing to make any amends to them. We are simply list making at this point.
When the list is completed, through the same fearless, searching, moral inventory taking we have learned in the past, the next step is taking the action of praying to become willing to be willing to make amends one day at a time, as God presents the opportunity to make the amends to them all.
With willingness begins Step Eight until ALL are included, even though we may never cross paths with some, we place that in God's Hands, and in my experience, God puts them in our paths when the timing is right. I have seen this in my life so many times, and the results are amazing, freeing, and such a blessing of recovery as we continue our spiritual awakening. We must increase our spiritual lives... or Else!!....DEATH! This helps provide even more willingness :) Plus if we are to achieve lasting recovery from this fatal disease forgiveness is required.
We may put off this Step, or not want to include someone on the List, because we are afraid of the responses we may get, however we are not responsible for how they may respond, only for our responsibility for righting the relationship. Looking at our side of the street, our responsibility in our broken relationships and harms done is what we are listing. This act of humility & forgiveness opens us up to the willingness to forgive.
Making this list of people we have hurt, we must remember to list the person who has experienced the most amount of pain and who we have hurt the most, and put them on top our list.. OURSELVES!!
Willingness to forgive ourselves and others is what we are praying for as we move forward in our Recovery to the next Step.
SUGGESTED READING FOR STEP EIGHT:
AA Big Book (p. 76-79)
OA 12 Steps & 12 Traditions (p.67-73)
BIG BOOK, STEP EIGHT:
When we made our inventory, we subjected ourselves to drastic self appraisal. We are continuing along those lines and go out to our fellows, and wrong the right we have done in the past to clean up the debris which has accumulated in our efforts to run on self will run riot, and our vain attempts to run the show. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves for maximum service to God! Our man is sure to be impressed with our desire to right the wrong. Not our talk of spiritual discoveries. It is much harder to go to an enemy than a friend, however to us it is more beneficial to go to the enemy to right this wrong. We go to him in a helpful forgiving spirit, confessing our former ill, and expressing our regret. Under NO circumstances do we criticize them, or go over their inventory, we explain we will not recover from compulsive overeating until we have don our utmost to straighten out our pasts. We are there to sweep off our side of the street. His faults are never discussed, just our part in it. We are to be calm, frank and open, we will be gratified with the result.
OA 12 STEPS & 12 TRADITIONS:
We were so obsessed with the food that we did not have time to nurture healthy relationships. We may not have realized we isolated ourselves. Dealing with others was a source of pain, and even in dealing with that we many times turned back to the food and behaviors. If we are to remain abstinent & serene we are to find ways to deal with people that bring joy instead of pain, and Step Eight is part of this process. We are to look at patterns of behavior that caused us harm ourselves and others and allow the healing power of forgiveness to have it's work in us, and in our lives; how to forgive ourselves & others. We can look back at our inventories to help us make the list of all those we have harmed, to make our Eighth Step List. Our Name belongs at the top, then look with complete honesty through our other relationships to look for those we have harmed, look at our side. We make a list of the people involved and the harm we did. Remember our purpose in doing Step Eight is not judgment, rather, mercy and forgiveness. We certainly need to do ourselves the favor of forgiving. We are doing this for we are now asked to forgive ourselves so we can recover from compulsive over eating. We are now asked to admit our failures and deal with their consequences. Talking to our Sponsor and taking their suggestions will help us become more willing to make amends. Our Sponsor will encourage us to think about forgiveness as we work Step Eight. Writing clarifies emotions that have been confused and buried. By setting down our grievances in black and white we put a boundary around them. No matter if it is 2 pages, or 2 paragraphs. If there are still deep resentments, pray! Even if we don't mean it, pray for what we want for ourselves for the one/ones we resent faithfully for 2 weeks and allow God to do a work in us. Having forgiven wrongs done to us, we find the greatest obstacle to forgiveness removed.
The OA experience tells us that recovery depends on successfully working Steps Eight and Nine!!!!
With this in mind turn to God, ask, pray for the willingness to DO the things we fear, to make amends we owe. Having said this prayer sincerely, we are now willing and we move quickly on to Step Nine.
SAMPLE STEP EIGHT WORKSHEET:
(Carefully survey the compiled list of persons and how you harmed them, and then decide exactly what character defect of the Acquired False Self injured and disturbed them. Briefly note beside each person the defects involved. An accurate and really exhaustive survey or your past life will lead to your eventual freedom from the bondage of self).
Eighth Step Worksheet #1
Proposed List of Those I have Harmed
Type of Harm Caused:
Willing to Make Amends? :
Type of Harm Caused: (Briefly describe how the harm came in each of these areas that apply)
Proposed List of Those Who Have Harmed Me
Willing to make Amends?
Type of Harm Caused
Type of Harm Caused
NOW YOUR PART:
QUESTIONS FOR STEP EIGHT:
1. Have I failed to respect others and the property of others? If so how about a safe short list for sharing?
2. What excuses have I used for not looking at my behaviors, my side of the street? What would that look like if you did?
3. Have I been so harmed or condemned by others that I have avoided taking or looking at responsibility for my own behaviors? By whom and how? (a safe list to share please).
4. What role does shame and guilt have in your behavior and in your isolation?
5. What if there is someone, or something you simply find unforgivable in this Step? Will you still pray to become willing and recover, or?? What will that be like for you?
6. What will it take for you to trust the OA experience, and successfully work Steps Eight and Nine, as your recovery depends upon it? What is your recovery worth to you? What will it take to be worth forgiving the unforgivable?
7. Have you held on to guilt, shame, fear, or any other crippling emotion within an incident relationship
8. What is your take away, or something positive about Step Eight for you?
Humble thanks for allowing me to walk along aside of you on this road to happy destiny and recovery!
God bless n prayers,
The Twelve Steps