Home Steps Never and Always

Never and Always

5 min read

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over food—that our lives had become unmanageable.

When I read about Step One and think about my life—my crazy eating habits, the mental obsession I’ve struggled with—I can freely, honestly, humbly admit that I am definitely powerless over food.

I have tried to control my eating most of my adult life and have always failed. I have overeaten, under-eaten, excessively exercised, and taken laxatives to achieve the perfect size. None of it worked, and I remained miserable and obsessed with when I’d eat next. I was unpleasant and took out frustrations on friends and family, and I’m ashamed of my past behavior.

When I came to OA, I realized I have an illness I cannot control, and I felt some relief. I felt comforted and accepted by people like me who share my disease. I’m so grateful for OA and the Fellowship! In reading how compulsive eating is threefold in nature—physical, emotional, and spiritual—my eyes were opened to the depths of my illness. This complex disease will require me to work continually through prayer, meditation, and an everlasting, humble surrender to God to maintain good health, peace of mind, and the gift of abstinence on a daily basis.

I realize I will never—NEVER!—be like normal people when it comes to eating, no matter how long I’ve been abstinent. The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous states, “Those of us who have returned to our former compulsive eating behaviors, even after years in recovery, have found it harder than ever to stop” (p. 2). This could not be more true. I lived through relapse after three years of abstinence, and it sucked! It was so hard to fully surrender my disease to God and stop compulsively overeating.

I don’t ever want to relapse again, but I learned a great lesson: I will always be a compulsive overeater, always powerless over food, and I will never be able to manage my life on my own. I will always need to rely on God to carry me through each day and every situation. He alone blesses me with abstinence. He strengthens me to do the right thing, brings clarity to my life, and gives me a peace I cannot describe.

Thank you, God, for loving me when I couldn’t love myself, forgiving my many shortcomings, and welcoming me back into your protective care. Thank you for those who have walked the path of recovery and found freedom from the bondage of food and self! Thank you for the gift of OA and for the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of this program. I am so grateful for the wisdom they contain. For me, the most important aspect of Step One has been the necessity of humble honesty. I have to be completely honest about my powerlessness over food and the debilitating and ultimately fatal disease of compulsive overeating. I am a compulsive overeater, and I cannot manage my life. Amen.

— Carolyn M.

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