As part of my continued Ode to the 12 Days of Christmas for Bulimics and Anorexics this post is about Step 2 of Overeaters Anonymous, which reads:
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
The word that jumps out at me in that step is sanity. I am instantly taken back to the whole insanity that is living a life with bulimia. You really start to feel like a crazy person. You can’t eat what other people eat. You don’t think like other people think. You don’t look like you want to look. Nothing in life works. No wonder you just want to crawl away and hide out!
Now that I look at my food addiction in the light of recovery I have a different perspective. What I see for bulimics still suffering is a reminder of the definition of insanity from Benjamin Franklin:
Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
The insanity of bulimia is partly due to the fact that you keep binging and purging expecting life to get easier or you’ll look better or you’ll be happy again. You’re sort of in a rut of doing the same thing over and over and expecting life to start getting better by itself. Nope, not gonna happen.
Your life starts to get better when you take responsibility for it. You take ownership of the fact that you’re using food to avoid your feelings, people, and situations you would rather not deal with. The insanity is expecting the outside world to look better when you’re not doing anything to change who you are. Well, I can tell you after 20 years with bulimia life was just as unfulfilling at year 20 as it was at year 1 because I had not done any growing. I did a lot of avoiding. I did a lot of blaming.
The other thing that speaks to me in this step is the idea of FAITH. I don’t mean faith like a lot of religions have come to describe it in terms of a belief in their God. I look at it as faith in yourself. Faith in your inner being, higher self, spiritual self to bring about the transformation of who you are to restore your joy, your bliss.
I think Step 2 fits perfectly between Step 1 and Step 3. It’s sort of the natural path of admitting the problem (step 1) and surrendering to the Universe (step 3) to bring about the solution. In Step 2 you’re becoming aware that you have responsibility for the outcomes in your life and you realize life will continue to look the same unless you take a step of faith and surrender to your higher self.
How do I put this into practice in my life? Really great question. So glad you asked!
What I suggest is to being to realize that you and only you can make the choice to stop the insanity and overcome bulimia. Take a good look at your daily actions and become aware how bulimia fits in with the life you see for yourself. Does bulimia bring you closer to the life you want or take you away from it? Does bulimia resolve your problems, remove obstacles and bring your joy or does it keep brining you sadness and loneliness? Which would you rather have – a life of happiness that is your destiny or another day with bulimia running the show?
If you’d like to share any feedback on my interpretation of step 2 below in the comments, please feel free.
Get ready for my next post – Step 3 of Overeaters Anonymous (OA). Here’s a preview:
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.