Home Steps Step 8: Admission and Prayer

Step 8: Admission and Prayer

4 min read
0
Screen Shot 2016-10-17 at 2.41.39 PM

Step Eight asks me to own up to who I am in relation to other people and myself.

Working with a sponsor helped. I returned to OA after a relapse, during which I quickly gained 40 pounds (18 kg). After a suicidal crisis, I realized I would slowly eat myself to death if I continued. I received the gift of desperation and was willing to go to any length to recover from this disease. I asked someone who had what I wanted to sponsor me.

After Step Seven, my sponsor suggested I review my Fourth Step to look for anyone I had harmed. I wrote down their names and the reasons why I needed to make amends to them. The first half of Step Eight was an opportunity to name those I had harmed and why. It didn’t matter if someone had harmed me; I only needed to identify the people I had harmed. I recently considered several people I used to sponsor. It wasn’t easy to admit I had been controlling and arrogant towards them. When I did admit I had harmed these people, relief filled my heart.

I needed to put my own name on the list—“we have also damaged ourselves with our self-destructive thinking, eating, and living habits” (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 69). I damaged my body by compulsively overeating, starving, overexercising, and denying my excess weight. I lived in isolation, fear, self-pity, and resentment. I wrote my name on the list, although I had no idea how I would make amends to myself. That was part of Step Nine, and I wasn’t there yet.

The second half of Step Eight involved becoming willing to make amends to those I had harmed. “It might help us to remember that our purpose in doing step eight is not to judge others, but to learn attitudes of mercy and forgiveness” (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 69). My sponsor suggested I pray for anyone I was unwilling to forgive. I prayed for each person to have health, prosperity, and joy, although I still felt angry. After praying for one particular person every day for a month, I felt a wave of forgiveness flow over me. The God of my understanding helped me see this person as a lovable child of God, who, just like me, was doing one’s best with what had been given.

I prayed for each person on my Step Eight list and asked God to forgive me too. Then I was ready for Step Nine.

— Edited and reprinted from The Transformation newsletter, Central Ohio Intergroup, August 2011

  • Real Love and Innocence

    Growing up in the home of an alcoholic father with my six other siblings seemed easy while…
  • Amending Fear and Shame

    Step Eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to …
  • Connection Bridge

    Step Eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and become willing to make amends to …
Load More Related Articles
  • Low-Tech Outreach

    I am on my intergroup’s public information committee. We make flyers with a tear-off porti…
  • Available to Everyone

    Here are a few ways I carry the message to other compulsive overeaters. I print out OA’s C…
  • Radio-Active

    I was listening to a commentary about obesity on our local radio station. The commentator …
Load More By admin
  • Reach Out: Support Within

    Every December 12, OA groups and service boards around the world are encouraged to plan ev…
  • Carried Clearly

    I was recently at an OA retreat in my area with the theme “Carrying the Message,” and one …
  • Meditation and Awakening

    Like many in OA, I found that my compulsion to overeat originated in childhood. I came fro…
Load More In Steps
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Low-Tech Outreach

I am on my intergroup’s public information committee. We make flyers with a tear-off porti…