The author reviews the 12 Steps of Recovery and takes a personal inventory. There’s really no Christmas theme here, other than that the author found the headline catchy.
I’m reconstituting my OA food plan quite nicely since the Christmas Eve scare. I’m lucky for not having slipped completely. Now I find myself thinking about the 12 steps this program is based on. It’s been a bit since I’ve reviewed them to see where I fit in, so here goes:
Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable.
I have this one nailed. Hell, I wouldn’t have started going to OA meetings if I hadn’t realized I was indeed powerless over my addiction. But as I was reminded last week, this step must always be top of mind. Otherwise, you relapse before you know what hit you.
Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
This one was easy for me. I realized a few years ago that I would be nowhere unless I let Jesus into my life. Thing is, when an addict is busy being an addict, they’re too busy giving in to the Devil to listen to God. Thankfully, God’s voice is much louder as time goes on.
Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
For this, I direct you toward the post about my conversion: The Better Angels of My Nature.
Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
This is a tough one. I’ve definitely done a lot of soul searching about where my fault lines lie and how to be better, but I have a lot of work to do on this one. The biggest sign of progress is that I can look back on the past and see that while I was busy smoldering over people who were being jerks to me, I was busy being an even bigger jerk to someone else. [See: Bridge Rats and Schoolyard Bullies] I’ve also realized that I have a bit of an ego problem that needs work. For more on that, see The Ego OCD Built.
Step 5 – Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
I’ve admitted it to God and myself, and a few other human beings. But when it comes to outlining the EXACT NATURE of my wrongs, I’m not always as honest as I need to be. But I’m working on that.
Step 6 – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
I’m ready, but old habits die hard.
Step 7 – Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
I ask Him every day. Of course, I think God helps you see your shortcomings but you have to be the one to work on the removal part.
Step 8 – Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
I’m willing to make amends with some people but not others. I know for sure I have harmed others in my life and I’m truly sorry for that. Others harmed themselves. I just happened to be standing too close to the tracks when they put their hands on the third rail. Clearly, I have work to do on this one.
Step 9 – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
See Step 8.
Step 10 – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
I’m working hard on this one every day. I thank you all for being patient.
Step 11 – Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.
Doing this step a lot, and believe me — it helps. A lot.
Step 12 – Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
You could say that starting this blog was my way of working this step. I’ve also started sponsoring people in OA to help them get a grip on their compulsive eating. I’m not sure I’m all that good at it yet, but I’m definitely grateful to those who come to me looking for help. In asking me for help, they are actually helping me to be a better man. It sounds confusing, but it’s true.