Category Archives: Step 4

My Resolve

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My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

Went to a rare Thursday meeting last night. It’s a weekly meeting, it’s just rare that I ever go! But since I wasn’t feeling well on Monday, I went. I can’t stand going a full week without an OA meeting.

And I think that God had a reason for me to be there. Last night, we read from The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous. Here is what I wrote in my journal at the beginning of the meeting, as soon as I realized where our focus would be: “Step Four. This is by the scariest step for me. I am afraid to look very closely at myself. I am afraid that I will find that I really don’t like who I am.” What if I look in there and find a person more worthless than I feel on my worst days?

I know that is not going to happen. At least, I know it in my head. It’s just getting that idea to move from my head down to my heart that is giving me fits.

As we took turns reading from the book, one particular line grabbed my attention. “The self-analysis we do in step four is essential to our recovery from compulsive eating” (Twelve and Twelve, page 30.) I highlighted that line in my copy of the book and I made this note beside it—so that’s why I can’t move ahead!

So long as I neglect this step, nothing is going to change. I have to stop ignoring step four if I want to gain any ground in my battle. And let me assure you, I DO want to gain ground here!

The more we read and talked, the more this one thought came into my head—I need to complete a step four inventory before my surgery. I still don’t have a surgery date, so part of me is thinking, “I have plenty of time to do this.” The absolute truth is, though, that I don’t know how much time I have. If I keep putting off this step, I will never do it.

For months now I have looked at my sleeve gastrectomy as a new beginning. Today when I logged on to the OA site (which, by the way, I almost never do—I think this is the third time in the year I’ve been attending meetings that I have logged on) I read a small bit from For Today. Page 248 says, “Nothing that happened yesterday or that may happen tomorrow is more important than NOW.” If that isn’t motivation to work on me NOW instead of waiting for the surgery to start my new beginning!

So I am making a pledge today. I WILL work through steps two and three in The Twelve-Step Workbook. As soon as I have completed that, I will work on my step four inventory. Actually, I will start working on my inventory as I work through those pages of the workbook. Different shortcomings and defects are being shown to me every day. I promise to myself (and to you, my readers) that I will write them down as I face them.

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Afraid of the Steps

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Hi. My name is Annie. I am a compulsive overeater.

Step Four talks about making a “searching and fearless moral inventory.”

I don’t think I am anywhere near ready to work on Step Four, but some of the things are popping up in my mind and my life anyway. It seems that my character defects are jumping up and smacking me in the face lately.

One that is hitting me this week is my tendency toward procrastination. I am especially good at procrastinating when it comes to my OA work. I know that I need to do it. I know that I need to face my deep inner-self. Nothing in my life is ever going to change, not for the better anyway, if I don’t examine the reasons why I eat as much as I eat.

So if I know that, why is it that I keep putting off doing any step work?

Just what is it that I am afraid of?

Acceptance

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My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

This week, I purchased a couple of books to help me in my OA recovery plan.  One is called Drop the Rock.  It was recommended by the other members of my Monday night meeting group.  The focus of this book is Step 6 and Step 7.  On Mondays, we are going through The Twelve-Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous.  As we have just finished with Step 6 and are about to start work on Step 7 (though I freely admit that I am not that far along in my recovery yet), we have decided to start reading Drop the Rock on Monday nights.  I think that working through that might help me to adjust better when it is time for me to fully work those steps in my own life.

The other book I bought is not an official OA book, though I thought it was when I ordered it.  It is called Beyond Feast or Famine: Daily affirmations for compulsive eaters.  It is 365 daily readings to help with overcoming the food addiction.  I started reading it with the reading dated January 18, which is the day that the book arrived in my mailbox.  To be honest, I have not been enjoying the book.  Maybe it is me—I am sure the writings are good, but I just don’t feel like they are for me.  Still, I am pushing through, reading one affirmation every day.  Eventually, I am sure I will come across something that hits home with me, something that I can apply to my own life and recovery plan.

Surprisingly, I found something today that hit home with me.  At the end of the reading, I read the words, “My goal is to accept myself.”  Sure there was more to it than just that.  Something about how accepting myself will help me to stop trying to change all of those around me.  But the words “accept myself” really got to me.  I can’t tell you the last time I really felt like I could accept myself for who I am.  And if I can’t accept me, how can I ever expect anyone else to accept me?

Beginning My Inventory

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My name is Annie.  I am a compulsive overeater.

In my meeting tonight, one of the women introduced herself as “a recovering compulsive overeater”.  I must say, I like the sound of that.  Yet I don’t think I have yet earned the “honor” of using that description for myself.  I am still struggling too much with the first couple of steps to think that I am in any sort of recovery.

I had a bit of a breakthrough this evening, though.  The others in that meeting have completed Step Four and so we were working on Step Five.  Step Four is to make an inventory of all in the past that has led to the addiction; Step Five is sharing that inventory with someone else.  It is that fifth step that has kept me from doing the fourth one.  I can be honest with myself, but to actually admit to another human being what I have done in the past that led me to where I am now….  Scary.  Very, very frightening to me.  But I thought of someone that would be perfect for the job.  She was a good friend in high school, one who I knew I could tell anything to do and I wouldn’t be judged.  Maybe it was because she had to wear two big hearing aids back then, and I didn’t judge her for that.  But I knew that anything I said to her would stay between us.  I also knew that while she wouldn’t try to force me to change anything, she would tell me her honest opinion (lovingly, if it was something I wouldn’t like to hear!) if I asked for it.  In the 15 or so years since graduation, she and I have stayed in touch.  Maybe we are not as close as we once were, but I still feel like I can trust her with this.  When I got home, one of the first things that I did was email her to see if she would be willing to help me with this.  A part of me was hoping she would say no!  But she didn’t.  She said she would be happy to help and that she is proud of me for facing this head on.  And knowing that she is the one who will have my inventory in her hands makes me feel more confident in being honest about the things I see in myself.

One other thing—I thought about two people who I have held bad feelings about for a long time.  A later step in the program is to make amends to those I have hurt.  These two people may not even know that I have had this anger and resentment toward them.  In all honesty, my feelings may not have hurt them in any way.  But I realized how those feelings have hurt me.  Releasing that anger and resentment to God by asking forgiveness from these people will help in my recovery.  So it looks like I will have a couple of letters to work on soon.