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Recognition and Acceptance

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Do I have other addictions? It was enough for me to accept that I had one addiction: compulsive eating. Once I began working the Steps, especially Step Four, it occurred to me that I had other addictions as well. Was I surprised!

As I began the “peeling” process that takes place in Step Four and Step Ten, I became aware that not only did I eat compulsively, but I watched TV compulsively, fantasized compulsively about life experiences that I wanted, and sought perfectionism in everything I did. These addictions took my attention away from my daily responsibilities and enabled me to escape from the reality of life. Once I grasped the fact that I had other compulsive behaviors, I began to worry that I would not have enough time to work different Twelve Step programs for each of my addictions!

I find that as I work my program for my eating disorder, I can substitute any of my addictions in place of the word “eating.” They are all mechanisms to escape dealing with daily life. The program principles and practices are the same for any of my addictions. I can work one program for them all. As I worked the Steps and realized my cross addictions, I also realized I had experienced addictive behaviors in my childhood family as well as my current family.

This program has opened my eyes to these behaviors in myself and others. As I come to accept my addiction, it has been easier for me to accept the addictions of others. I see the whole picture now. We are all doing what we need to do to survive. As far as the addictions of those around me, I ask my Higher Power to make me an example of his power and the power of this program.

However, I must do the footwork. As I work the Steps and practice the Tools, I will find peace. As I turn my will and life over to my Higher Power, I also turn over the lives and addictions of others who may need help. I pray for them to find their Higher Power. I want them to experience the peace and serenity that come from this connection.

— Liz B., Chicago, Illinois USA

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