One of our Unity Day speakers said OA is the difference between “Good morning, God,” and “Good God, it’s morning.” Many, perhaps all, of use can understand the sentiment.
We eat compulsively all day for what seems like the millionth time. We feel lousy about ourselves. We feel the hopelessness of our disease. We may feel we need to eat in order to get to sleep. We may cry ourselves to sleep. Our minds race as we lay, trying to still our thoughts—and finding we cannot.
Eventually we sleep, hoping the nightmare of our daytime lives as compulsive eaters will slip away for at least a few hours so we can have some peace. But many of us experience as much anxiety asleep as we do awake. We dream about our own shortcomings. We dream of impossible situations we can’t extricate ourselves from. The nightmare follows us in sleep, and some of us wake in the dark and find ourselves drawn to the kitchen or a secret stash to seek relief from our unconscious mind.
Then we wake up in the morning, and we start the whole cycle over again.
This is no way to live we tell ourselves. How long until this phase of our life stops? Or until we find the magic someone who has the cure for our mind? Or until we give up altogether. These awful mornings are symptomatic of the “black promises” or the “bedevilments” the Big Book describes on page 52:
“We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people….”
So different from the promises we read at most meetings from page 83–84 of the Big Book. There we are promised all of these things if we only commit ourselves to the 12 Steps:
- a lack of regret
- the disappearance of self-pity
- loss of selfishness
- interest in others
- transformation of our outlook and attitude
- intuitive problem-solving ability.
Who wouldn’t want those? The lie we tell ourselves is that we have them or presently will if just stick it out and act of our own willpower. But why keep fighting when OA reminds us that calling BS on our minds will open us up to be saved from this awful disease? The program tells us that, in being simply open to the idea of a Power greater than ourselves, honestly examining our thinking and our actions, and being willing to clean up the past and give service, we will realize that we are not what we think we are—we are actually spiritual deep down inside, and we are capable of being saved from this disease.
When we work the Steps and seek the solution, we will be freed from the compulsion to eat, from the walking nightmare of our life. When we wake in the morning, we will be able to say “Good morning, God” and mean it. We will see morning, not mourning, in our minds.