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Real Magic

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I am contemplating the last workbook question of the Twelfth Step: “What is the message I am living?” (The Twelve Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition, p. 107).

My mind ventures back several months, when a spark inside my soul led me to put these Twelve Steps to the test. Would the promises of the Step Principles really materialize for me? Hope emerged as I read about being “no longer afraid of food because it no longer controls us” (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition, p. 82). The assertion that I’d no longer need to overeat because the compulsion would be gone seemed like the epitome of my dreams in Overeaters Anonymous. (At the time, I didn’t realize freedom from food obsession was just the beginning of my adventure with God.) As I began to experiment with the Principles embedded in each Step, my desire expressed itself in action.

Each Principle did become a truth. Each became woven into the particles of my threefold being. First it was honesty, followed by hope, faith, courage, integrity, willingness, humility, self-discipline, love for others, perseverance, and in Step Eleven, spiritual awareness.

I went back and read about discovering a nourishing way of life that helped me “no longer need the crutch of excess food” (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition, p. 67). I asked myself if the Twelve Steps had worked their magic on me, a once-hopeless compulsive overeater whose every waking hour had been consumed with food. And I realized I’d not felt the awful misery of an overloaded stomach (or its companion, guilt) for quite some time. I rarely ate for any reason other than physical hunger. My Higher Power’s management of my food had changed my desire for addictive foods to distaste, a true miracle for a woman who’d used sugar as a drug for a numbing, feel-good escape from reality.

My sponsor commented that I was now recovered. This caught me off guard because I’d not yet fully recognized what the Steps had done to me. Was it true? I laughed and cheered as my awareness revealed that yes, my obsession with food was gone. I no longer ate over life. I chose instead to use the OA Tools and Principles. Insatiable hunger has mostly vanished; now, when it tries to rear its monstrous head, I run straight for my Higher Power, the Tools, and the Steps.

I look forward to my continuing recovery as I finish my Twelfth Step, offering service to you through Lifeline and placing my foot on Step One’s solid ground. My message is that the promise of recovery comes true through working the Steps! The magic is real, and now I can delve into life without food distractions.

— Anonymous, Montpelier, Idaho USA

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