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The Twelve Steps work - whether one at a time or in combination

Right now I am focusing on being open and honest about my life with myself and with my sponsor. I don’t overthink, “Now, I am going to practice Step 5 by admitting to myself I am angry that my sister asked me to pick up groceries on the way home.” Selfish first thoughts always come up but today, I am aware how these human reactions can be insane and unhelpful and how I need to go back and practice Steps 1-3. I did this today by first admitting I am powerless over other people as well as food. Then, I reflected how my Higher Power could restore me to sanity by replacing my anger with a patient, kind or tolerant thought. Finally, I decided to take the action of saying “yes”, without silent scorn, to my sister’s simple request of helping her out. I realized it is not a big deal, it only takes a few minutes and it gives me an opportunity to be helpful. I breathe and feel lighter, knowing that I can be of use to someone else, rather than getting wrapped up in remorse and self-pity for being a terrible sister. That is what would happen if I reacted angrily by saying “Can you not see that I have other things to do and my own plan?”.

With my Higher Power, I can get over myself and be helpful to others

When I practice Step 10 and review my behaviour at the end of the night, I see the opportunities I had during the day to practice Steps 6 and 7. If I am willing to be honest with myself about these self-centred thoughts, I can ask God to remove them and to give me a better way of behaving the next day. When I get a stubborn, prideful attitude towards my Mam for asking me to help her dry the family dishes, or if I think that these little household tasks are beneath me and none of my business since I already cleaned my own dishes, I know today that the right thing to do is to be helpful at home. That is something I need God’s help with by practicing Step 11. I use prayer and meditation to make conscious contact with my Higher Power, praying for His grace to be helpful. When I was binge eating, I would have been too scared to share and admit these angry, selfish thoughts. I felt ashamed that I could not stop obsessing about what I was eating and how reactive and short-tempered I could be towards my family at home. Things started to change when I became willing to believe that this programme and the 12 Steps could relieve my uncontrollable eating habits and my need to control others.

When difficulties arise, I pause and remind myself to trust God…

I asked my Higher Power to help me write this blog because I started taking it and myself so seriously. After sitting for 20 minutes planning an outline of grandiose words to use and pages of the Big Book to reference, I needed to pause and remind myself of the solution I often hear in AEA for overthinking: trust God, clean house and help someone else.

I reminded myself that I handed my will and my life to my Higher Power this morning, so I don’t need to worry about how any situation will turn out, including this blog. I am willing to let go of my perfectionism and I ask my Higher Power to remove it just for today. I trust that what I write now is my attempt to be helpful to someone else who reads it. When I take actions like these and share with my sponsor each day about the things that bother me, the more I can live a useful and happy life, behaving well in my home and free from the obsession to hide and eat addictively.

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