Step 2 OA questions & answers
STEP TWO QUESTIONS:
1. List the areas where your life is unmanageable because of your
compulsive overeating. Are you ready to surrender the areas on your list to
your higher power?
The compulsive behavior permeates ALL of my behavior--it's just that
my "drug of choice" is food. So when I relapse, every part of my life is
affected and becomes unmanageable! I've had quite a battle of wills with
myself after doing step 1, putting off doing this step work. YES, I am
ready to surrender everything on my list--which is everything.
2. Discuss and reflect upon the concept of insanity as it applies to us in program.
The most common quote I've heard in 12-step work is that insanity
means doing the same thing over and over again,
expecting different results. That craziness of eating that trigger food,
thinking, "Oh, I can do it THIS time. I won't eat too much." or "I can have
this food once in a while. I can control it", and then proving yourself wrong
EVERY time HAS to be insanity. We have to seek out abstinence from those
dangers to regain our right minds! I gained some degree of abstinence
over my very worst trigger, and I try to avoid foods to which I've tested
allergic as well. If I maintain that, I not only feel better, but I THINK better.
I choose clear-headed over crazy on my best days.
3. Discuss and reflect upon how we use the substitution method
of accepting the presence of a Higher Power by substituting food
or other substances/objects. How have you looked for substitutes
all of your life? Are you still looking?
I've had periods in my life of substituting
other objects or activities, whatever would numb or erase the pain of the moment.
As I had a pretty good sense of Higher Power all along, I was able
to sort out the substitution thing over the years. I did, however,
hide the worst of my food addiction times, not really turning THAT
over. Okay, Godofmyunderstanding, I'll turn THIS section of my life
over, and this one, and THIS one, but not THAT one. I'm done with
substitutes now, and I want to be REAL and HONEST with myself
and with my Higher Power.
4. Discuss and reflect upon your childhood exposure to any
religious concept. Create a listing of your negative feelings and
create another list of your positive feelings as they relate to early
religious experiences. What conclusion do you reach when you
reflect on these two lists?
Oh, yes, I come from generations of faithful
churchmen and churchwomen, including several clergy. My folks would always
get us kids dressed up and drop us off at Sunday School, and then they would
come for the church service later. Both of my parents were later active in
church ministries. I have to say that not having a very close relationship with
my dad probably affected my concept of God as Father. My experience of "father"
was with someone who was pretty aloof. I am no longer affiliated with the
denomination of my youth. I married into my husband's denomination, then
divorced him years later but kept the church relationship!
I am most blessed by having had wonderful Sunday School teachers,
choir directors, and, as an adult, perceptive spiritual directors. My list of
negatives is much shorter than my positives. I think my church involvement,
while it, too, became compulsive at one point, has been what helped
pull me back to sanity time and again.
5. Create a list all the reasons you can think of for believing
in God. Create another list with all the reasons for disbelieving in God.
What conclusion do you reach when you reflect on these two lists?
If we're supposed to just report our conclusion,
then mine is that my life, my mental state, my recovery, and my afterlife
are going to be better because I believe in God, my Higher Power. I get it
that many folks have an early life of negative experiences, and perhaps
this step is tougher for their reflection. My belief has brought me through
many losses and hard times. I have gained spiritual strength from those
tough times, and I am humble and grateful.
6. Discuss and reflect on the following concepts: a) Those who
won't believe; b) Those who can't; c) Those who have lost their faith.
In which category do you find yourself? What must you do to change?
My weakness in this area would be
not wholeHEARTEDLY believing and giving over my problems, my control,
and my addictions to God. It is my goal to build up that belief so that
I am able to give service to others in those other categories.
7. Discuss and reflect on why a change in attitude toward
a Power Greater than yourself and a few simple actions are necessary
if you are to change your life.
I found that my working on recovery
doesn't WORK if I try to control everything myself. Recognition of that
Higher Power is absolutely key to get ourselves, our egos, and our sickness
out of the way! I guess the Steps represent those simple actions. A life of
recovery and sanity won't happen without them.
8. Discuss and reflect on the following concepts as they play
a part in your spiritual life: a) Intellectual self-sufficiency;
b) Wandering from faith; c) Self-righteousness.
OK. a) I choose to read and research
things for myself to fact-check, although I have relied on spiritual advisors
and directors to guide and suggest literature to help my spiritual growth.
I know what I believe, and I won't let someone tell me what "I must believe"
if it goes against what my faith paired with intellect tells me.
b) I think that if I stop doing those daily things like devotional reading,
scripture study, prayer, and meditation, it becomes easier to wander away.
If I isolate myself from the support my spiritual community provides, then
I'll lose that contact with my HP, wandering is the result.
c) I think self-righteousness is fatal to belief in one's HP.
It puts my ego directly in the way to block that channel with Higher Power.
It seems to me these 12 steps as well as a healthy spiritual life require
a humble heart and a contrite spirit, and we have to be willing to put
our egos aside to attain that condition.
9. Discuss and reflect on the idea that a compulsive
overeater has to be "pretty badly mangled before they commence
to solve their problems."
I wish that I had recognized my overeating
the first time I finished that bag of cookies instead of just taking the first two.
I've never known anyone who "got it" that early on. I guess we have to
experience that "out-of-controllness". The original AA guys discovered
that folks had to "hit bottom" before they would turn around, and they worked
together to lift that "bottom", to try and get sufferers to get into recovery sooner,
before lives were completely destroyed. Whatever it takes to break through the
denial is whatever will get each person's attention!
10. Discuss and reflect on the following concepts: a) No person could
believe in a Higher Power and defy it; b) To recover, we need a faith that works
under all conditions.
a)Well, it would be insanity to admit to a
Higher Power and then to spit into the face of the One you wanted to
give over control to! I can't see how that would do anything but
destroy one's recovery. The will has to be submitted to recover.
b)I think it is essential to build a faith upon a solid foundation and
to have a belief system that is NOT too narrow. One's faith can sustain
through rough times but not if there's no standard of behavior modeled
by one's Higher Power and the best examples of one's chosen belief system.
A spiritual advisor once told me that if I questioned what action to take
in a situation, I should do "the next right thing". The whole path may not
be clear, but the next step can be intuited.
11. Discuss and reflect on why willingness is the way to a
faith that works.
A faith that works comes from one's
being willing to be OPEN to new ways of doing things, to learn new
info, perhaps contradictory to what one has previously believed, to form new
habits which will lead to recovery. If one lacks willingness,
none of those things can happen.
12. Discuss and reflect on why happiness and satisfaction
cannot come unless the compulsive overeater gives up control.
Well, in my experience,
attempting to control the world is an exercise in frustration.
We are NOT in charge, and we actually have control over very
little in our day-to-day lives. Trying to grab more and more,
to eat more and more in an attempt to be satisfied led only to
failure for me. Letting my Higher Power have the control worked
because HP really DID have the power to bring about change and
to guide me to happiness.
13. Step two says we “came to believe….”
Is there anything that is currently
standing in the way of you coming to believe that a
power greater than yourself can
help you? What steps do you plan to take to overcome
anything that stands in your
way of believing in a power greater than yourself?
I am dealing with some mental
depression as well as some physical problems which sap my
energy and affect my mental function. Meds and counseling brought
some relief years ago, but I'm off the meds now for good.
I think those problems can be influenced by meditation, prayer,
positive thoughts, gentle exercise, all done with my Higher Power's
help. As I begin to develop better thoughts and better habits,
I think I'll increase my belief as I see the fruits of my efforts under
HP's influence. I am beginning in small steps, one day (or one hour
or one minute....) at a time, seeking support of all of YOU as well.
14. Why must you fully complete step two in your heart
before beginning step three?
I don't believe it works to jump to whatever
step one likes. This program seems to work STEP-wise; One doesn't gain
the full benefit of a particular step if it isn't completed. And, a
solid foundation won't be built that way to allow one to progress
to the next step. The steps are in order for a reason, and it's not
a hopscotch game. I choose to trust Higher Power and the folks
who developed this step program in the beginning.