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Awakening Began

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Step Four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Working the Twelve Steps of the OA program is what helped me most in recovery. For me, great help came from working the Fourth Step because it helped me get in touch with some very traumatic things that happened in my past.

At first, the memories of these things were very painful. I had to work through them in therapy, and I had to remain abstinent to do so. My therapist told me if I started to eat to anesthetize myself, the therapy would not work. With help from the Fellowship and my Higher Power, I was able to remain abstinent, and most of my issues have been resolved.

I have completed seven Fourth Step inventories over the past seventeen years. These inventories helped bring my memories to a conscious level. Today, I call them my “precious memories” because, had they not surfaced, they would still be contributing to the insanity I experienced with food prior to the program. I can say I do not “regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 83) by overeating. I have also been able to see how some of my most painful life experiences have benefited others and influenced my Twelfth Step work, which is extremely important to my own recovery. It proves the axiom, “To keep it, you have to give it away.”

As the result of working the Twelve Steps in their entirety, I have experienced the psychic change spoken about in “The Doctor’s Opinion” (pp. xxv–xxxii). After I completed the first three Steps, I had the assurance mentioned in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition: “Once we compulsive eaters truly take the Third Step, we cannot fail to recover” (p. 23). I was ready to proceed abstinently to the Fourth Step, and my spiritual awakening began. I took the rest of the Steps in order and found each developed me into the person God wanted me to become. I was very religious even before coming to OA, and I believe God led me to the Twelve Step way of life that I embrace today.

Through working the Steps, I made a most amazing discovery: I can now more fully live the life of my faith. God is now number one and abstinence the most important thing without exception. Without God, I cannot live the Twelve Step way of life, and without the Twelve Step way of life and abstinence, I have no conscious contact with God!

— Anonymous

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