Below is each step, the Freedom associated with the step, and my experience, strength and hope in blue.
- We admitted we were powerless over food and that our lives had become unmanageable. Freedom from food obsession. I do my OA footwork each day and claim being free of compulsive eating and obsession one day at a time.
- Came to believe a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. Freedom from insanity and hopelessness. I see my insanity in using my character defects to try to achieve what I want. It might work in the short time, but never in the long run. Freedom from insanity is not choosing to act out of a character defect. I’m free from hopelessness, because I’ve seen so many program miracles in my life and in the life of OA.
- Made a decision to turn my will and my ways over to the care of God as I understand Him. Freedom from bondage of self. I am definitely self-will run riot and sometimes I marvel at how the people at my first OA meeting 36 years ago must have seen me and loved me anyway. I don’t know all of God’s will for me, but I have learned to trust I will be told the next right thing.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Freedom from dishonesty. It’s much more satisfying and interesting when I have the courage to be honest.
- Admitted to God, myself, and another person the exact nature of my wrongs. Freedom from isolation. Okay, I’ve just told the worst things I’ve done to another person and they didn’t leave. What a glorious relief.
- Became entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character. Freedom from fear of change. A lot of my recovery has been to let go of resisting whatever happens. I remind myself that change can be good.
- Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings. Freedom from self-reliance.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. Freedom from blame. I was the expert at justifying my eating habits, and my behavior, but now am reminded to practice humility and gratitude.
- Made direct amends wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others. Freedom from fear of people.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. Freedom from complacency. I am completely convinced that I cannot live with resentment and I need to ask myself each day if I have any resentments and then resolve them. Most days I write out a daily tenth step.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will and power to carry it out. Freedom from loneliness. This one was a surprise to me. I thought loneliness came from not being with other people. But truly it’s my relationship with my HP that fills me every time someone lets me down.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps we tried to carry this message to other compulsive eaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Freedom from lack of purpose. For sure, I didn’t know what I had to offer to people. And just by living this program, I carry the message. I keep in mind the OA responsibility pledge: to carry the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion, for this I am responsible.