Home Steps All Day Long

All Day Long

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In June 1991, I finally figured out for sure that I’m a compulsive eater. So, I found a local OA meeting and haven’t left, nor do I plan to. OA is clearly the last house on the block for me.

My story is one of very slow progress. At this point, I’ve been abstaining since the end of January 2005. I have released about 50 pounds (23 kg) and am still slowly working my way to whatever weight my HP wants for me.

When I first came into program, I thought I had a pretty good understanding of my HP, except I didn’t think HP wanted anything to do with what, how, or where I was eating. I was also doing a fair amount of talking to HP (prayer) and very little listening (meditation). As you might imagine, this made working my program harder than it might have been otherwise. Still, I had to walk my own path, and it had to happen in baby steps.

About ten years into program, I realized my relationship with my HP was supposed to be interactive: don’t just talk, listen! I sometimes used a technique called “dialogue with HP” and found it to be helpful, but I just didn’t use it much.

So, I made an effort to meditate. I tried and tried. I’d thought meditation was this very specific thing where you sit quietly, empty your mind, maybe repeat a mantra, and generally be all “spiritually evolved.” Only that never, ever worked well for me. I’d decide I was failing at meditation and stop doing it for a while. Then, I’d try it again, fail, and beat myself up—lather, rinse, repeat! It was not very helpful.

One day, at a marathon, someone talked about how they talked and listened to their HP all day, in little bits here and there. I sat back, gobsmacked. I recognized that—oh hey, that’s what I do all day! At least the talking part—and more of the listening part than I initially thought. In order to get through my days with relative sanity, I’ve needed to stop and ask, “Okay, HP, what’s the next right thing I need to be doing?” And then I’ve listened for the answer. I do this all day long.

When I realized I already had a meditation practice that worked for me, it suddenly became easier to become more conscious and to pray for more than just the next right thing. I prayed about what I’m supposed to eat and how much and how to treat others, especially in difficult situations. And I prayed to be aware of and consciously listen for the answer, to give HP some time to respond.

Today, I also have some specific daily prayers, including the Third Step Prayer and a prayer before I eat. I have some specific meditations I can do. And underneath it all, there’s a running, interactive dialogue of “What’s next, hey?”; listen for the answer; do that. I am so very grateful to OA for giving me the gift of a relationship with a Higher Power of my understanding . . . who works with me in the ways that are best for me.

— Deborah R.

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