Monday, December 13, 2010

Epiphany about Step One

OA Step 1:
We admitted we were
powerless over food -
that our lives
had become unmanageable.

I've had a little epiphany about step one in the past couple of days. Here's the thing. Back on April 17 when I went to my first OA meeting and began an abstinence program, I looked at Step 1 and said, "Yep, that's me... I am powerless over food and my life is unmanageable." I had no trouble with it, could not imagine a deeper truth about myself.

Now, however, I find that my mind's been playing a little trick on me. My subconscious mind made a slight alteration in the wording. Here's the version I accepted 7 months ago:

We admitted we were
powerless over binge foods -
that our lives
had become unmanageable.

See the difference?

I turned my binge foods over to a higher power. I gave up trying to control my eating of cookies, cake, ice cream, pastries, pie and candy. As I've written several times, a drastic change occurred, a miracle, an unimaginable blessing. I no longer crave these foods, nor have crazy voices in my head convincing me to have them, nor feel deprived at not having them.

But my other eating? Well, I guess my mind thought I could control that part of it. I could stick to a food plan of three modest meals a day and nothing in between meals. Not so. At first I did fairly well. Lately the kitchen and refrigerator are calling me, a taste of this, a nibble of that, sometimes a handful of nuts or a small slice of bread and butter, my plate piled high with food at mealtimes, eating it all even when I realize I'm full.

Who am I trying to kid? This is not following a food plan; this smacks of compulsive overeating. Oh, not like before.... not the whole box of cookies type of thing. But, when I return several times to the jar of nuts and have just a few more each time? That to my way of thinking is both compulsive and overeating.

back to
the first three steps
1 - admit I am powerless
over food
(all food, binge and otherwise)
yes, true
2 - accept that a higher power
can restore me to sanity
3 - turn my will over
(give the control to)
a higher power
yes, now

I thank my OA group, my sponsor, my walking partner and my husband for various insights that lead me to this improved understanding of my addiction and the process of recovery, especially as held in steps 1-3!


  1. I've been thinking about Step One as well...
    My most recent take on it:
    The Book finds us where we are at.
    It talks to us on that level....
    the beginners level....
    But of course, in the end,
    we are not "powerless" over anything!
    Per se!
    As we go through the steps, we find we have choices - which instantly restore our power to us.
    So maybe in a way,
    the only power we have
    IS the power of choosing again -
    to stay on plan.. to listen to our bodies...
    We can't control our own ego -
    that's what an "ego" is! By definition!
    But we CAN choose to leave that battle
    to our Higher Power, and choose to actively Believe!
    *sorry - it's hard to put into words*

  2. Oh this hit me hard... because I actually had intentions to write a post about having given my power over to food. And as I read this, I could see me doing the same as you, I do that all the time without calling it the same thing, thinking only some food is a problem for me and that I can control the rest.

    Good for you!

  3. I see this process you are going trough as a refining. The first step of the first step for you was the binge foods. Now you are recognizing your success but that your true abstinence needs to be pared down to the basics--a purer abstinence?

  4. I believe we all have the control we seek; we only have to find it and learn to harness its power. And when I find the magic answer to that second part, I shall give it to YOU for free. Everyone else will have to pay $1.95. :)

  5. I wanted to say thank you for such an insightful comment on my blog. Especially about seeking balance, and not expecting perfection, not faulting ourselves as we learn.

    If my husband was not being forced into early retirement next year, I would totally go into debt to get my teeth fixed! Ah well... this might fall into the "can't change/must accept" category.
    We'll see... sometimes we get pleasantly surprised. :-)



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