My Love/Hate Affair With Step Three

Metro Memo HeaderStep Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. 

 That sounds easy. Who wouldn’t want to turn over everything, especially all our troubles, to God? It sounded good to me. I already believed in God when I entered OA so there was no problem there. I thought it would be easy to turn my will and my life over to God. But I have found that it is harder than I thought. I have also learned that I was perfectly happy with whatever God ordained as long as it was what I wanted all along. When it wasn’t, I sometimes became angry at God. At other times, I became disappointed that He or She didn’t see things as I did. After all, I thought I knew better.

At first, I loved this step because it would relieve me of the need to be responsible for everything in my life, or so I thought. God would decide but in the meantime, I had to figure out what that was and that wasn’t so easy. However, if I listened hard enough, I could intuit what I thought God wanted.

But then, I hated this step because I found relinquishing control to be very difficult. I learned that I was a control freak, only happy when I was running everything. And when things were going my way.  When for whatever reason, that was taken out of my hands, I became angry, disappointed and ready to give up. “Let go and let God” was something that was very hard for me to do. Yet, I would ask for the willingness to turn things over to God and live with it. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.

Over time, I got better at using this step. Letting go was never my strong suit and yet I tried to learn when it was time to just let things be. I had to learn to accept things and not always be trying to change them to be what I thought they should be.

In OA, I learned to identify the behaviors that led to my nighttime binges as well as the foods. With the latter, I also learned that when I eliminate one food, I could always substitute another. However, one of my character defects is a need to be perfect so I keep returning to foods that have always been problems to see if I can control those foods, even though I know I can’t. This is an area that I am still working on. I have tried to stop certain behaviors that inevitably lead to binges such as searching the kitchen cabinets or the refrigerator for I don’t know what. But I still sometimes take the box or the container out to the living room instead of putting a certain amount in a dish and eating only that. I sometimes think that I am my worst enemy. I call it sabotage.

But during my 10 years in OA, I have become a less willful person. I have become more accepting of life’s inevitable ups and downs. Often the Serenity Prayer has been my best friend. With the exception of a bad binge last November, I have been abstinent for several years. It is an imperfect abstinence but as we say in OA, it is progress, not perfection that we seek.

~Mary Ann F.

Published in Metro Memo – March 2015