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Dual Purpose

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My perspective on the Tools has changed, and I’ve been reflecting on why that’s happened.

When I first worked the Steps with my sponsor, I realized that the Steps were what would bring recovery. But I also learned that I needed to look after my spiritual condition lest I be enticed by food. Whenever I had a food thought— and they were constant—I assumed there must be something wrong with me spiritually. So I used all the Tools every day, like a maniac, and they were so helpful in combating food thoughts and cravings.

Today, I’m not fighting anymore. I no longer have food thoughts, but it’s not because I’m a spiritual saint. I often have things in my nightly inventory for which I need to ask forgiveness and take corrective action. It was when I eliminated all forms of sugar, flour, and wheat and detoxed for 10 days, that I found I could walk into a grocery store and buy my hubby’s foods without hearing them call to me.

I still use the Tools, but now I use them as part of my daily Step work:

Writing. I write a Tenth Step inventory every night, email my sponsees, and post to online recovery groups to carry the message.

Literature. I read my AA Big Book every night to study the Twelfth Step message that I’m carrying. I refer to it often to look for answers for sponsees who are at various points in their Step work.

Sponsorship. I read my Tenth Step review to my sponsor every night and listen to or read my sponsees’ Tenth Step reviews, provide feedback, and discuss other Step work they’re doing.

Plan of Eating. I said in my plan I wanted to stop addictive eating for good and that I was willing to go to any lengths for victory over food. In Step Three, I turned my will and my life over to the care of God, including my food plan, which eliminates my addictive substances. In my Step Eleven morning meditation, I ask God to direct my thinking, remind myself that God is in charge, and remind myself to pray before making any food decisions.

Telephone. Besides using the phone to do the sponsorship work mentioned above, I use it to make any amends that result from my nightly inventory.

Service. I work with others to carry the message but also look for what I can bring to, rather than get from, a meeting or other occasion. In my nightly inventory I ask, “What have I done for others?” and “What could I have done better?” This often involves showing more love to my husband, which gets the least applause from others and is therefore hardest to do.

Anonymity. I pray for knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry that out. This gets me out of myself, especially when I do service without getting recognition.

Meetings. I go to home group meetings to study what the message is and share my experience, strength, and hope. I also participate in online and phone meetings.

— Tasha R., Fairborn, Ohio USA


Take your study of the Tools even further. Listen to our many podcasts about the Tools found at oa.org/podcasts and download the abridged Tools of Recovery at oa.org/documents under “Literature.

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