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Old Errors, New Hope

4 min read

Step Twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

I know I am not alone, because of the fellowship I find in the OA rooms. This knowing works positively in all areas of my life—just as the Twelfth Step does. Today, I was sharing my experience, strength, and hope with a relative newcomer, and I wanted that person to know she was not alone. I found it necessary to talk about what I used to be like before OA, and the exact nature of some of my prior wrongs. When I shared my wrongs and the bad behavior of my former life, the newcomer was able to see me as having something she wanted: joy and hope, despite darkness in my past.

Speaking aloud again some of my most horrible wrongs made me aware of just how many character defects I’ve been relieved of. Prior to OA, my major driving force was self-seeking. I did not consider any far-reaching consequences to others or long-term effects on myself. My life was all about keeping the fear, loneliness, and insecurity at bay. There was no real hope, because I did not know a Higher Power was available to help me.

Today, I can live in and with those feelings without eating or lashing out. If I’d known it was possible to deal with my feelings instead of numbing them with food, how many evils could I have avoided, how much shame could I have shed, how much happier could I have been?

Today, I have a genuine belief that my HP can restore me to sanity. I also have Tools to use, Steps to take, and friends to help me keep from returning to self-destructive behavior: wanton self-indulgence in food, attention-getting, and manipulating those around me. I can only go forward from where I find myself today; not forgetting my prior lifestyle, but no longer doomed to continue down that negative path. Without OA and a connection with my Higher Power, I would still be blaming myself, hiding out, and always eating, eating, eating to stop the pain.

— Mollie R., Coeur D’Alene, Idaho USA

Explore what it means to work Step Twelve with the “Step Twelve” podcast. Find it at oa.org/podcasts under “The Importance of Working All Twelve Steps.”

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