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Skipped a Step

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OA is a Twelve Step program, and working the Steps is really the heart of our program. When I arrived in OA, I was somewhat familiar with Twelve Step programs. Most important, I saw program giving people peace of mind and sanity in their lives. I sometimes say I took Step Two before I walked in the door because I already believed a Higher Power could restore me to sanity.

Unfortunately, I did not admit so quickly that I was powerless over food, so it took about eight more years before I was able to obtain a stable abstinence.

On the topic of meditation, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous says, “We compulsive people are oriented to action” (p. 96). I identified with this statement because I found it fairly easy to get started with the action-oriented Steps: Four, Five, Eight, and Nine. Additionally Steps Ten, Eleven, and Twelve gave me actions I can do.

When relapse overtook me, I regained all the weight and most of craziness I had previously. Somehow I never stopped going to meetings. I still believed that OA worked even though I was not able to work it.

Then in December 2001, I finally took the First Step and really admitted I could not do it myself. I turned it over to God and followed the directions I received. What I said at that time was, “I do not know if I will be willing to do these things tomorrow, but today I am willing to do anything.” I have continued to be willing, one day at a time, since then.

After taking Step One, I worked the action-oriented Steps again—in fact, I just did another Step Four and Step Five. There are fewer amends to make this time, but there are still several. Most of them are living amends, which means I need to continue to be more aware of how I treat people.

Recently, my sponsor directed me to look more deeply into Steps Six and Seven. I have worked on these over the years and have seen vast improvement with respect to my character defects. But today I am inspired to work these Steps and on myself at a much more subtle level. I choose to continue Twelve Step work because I want to be the best me I can be and because there is always more to be done. In technology, it is said that the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know very much. This appears to be true for spiritual development as well, and I find this challenging and exciting.

— Margie G.

Editor’s Note: As part of the 2015 Strategic Plan initiative to increase focus on the Importance of Working All Twelve Steps, members of the OA Board of Trustees are contributing one article per issue to share their experience, strength, and hope on this theme.

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