Monthly Reflections on the 12 Promises from EAI Trustees
PROMISE 5: The feelings of uselessness and self-pity lessen.
With poor self-esteem, I feel high levels of uselessness. When feeling sorry for myself, my self-pity is also increases. Working the EA program (Steps 4 and 10) allows me to inventory my assets and my deficits (character defects). That assessment increases my self-worth: celebrating the work of a power greater than myself giving me worth. Cancelling any previously scheduled “pity parties” and getting to work on courageously changing the things I can means I’ll really have a real reason to party – honoring the success of honest work in the program. As Kool and Gang said, “Celebrate good times, come on!” - Scott J., EAI President
Self-pity, feeling like I wasn't good enough, or that I was not enough, I focused on all of my flaws and shortcomings. I knew I was fat, not smart enough, and not lovable. I thought, "Who would love a person like me?" Thus I would meet people who would treat me like I treated myself. I had boyfriends who talked about my weight and treated me badly, I thought, because of it. I read somewhere that the whole purpose of the 12 step program is to enable us to feel good about ourselves. That's awesome! And that has come true for me. I do feel good about myself and my abilities and I have also learned that I do not always have to do, I can just be. I am enough. God made me the way I am just like He made you the way you are. I felt so bad about myself. I felt useless and I wandered aimlessly having no idea what my real purpose was. Now I know! God put us all here for a reason; to fulfill a purpose at this time. I now know what my purpose is. It is to help people, particularly the people who are blessed with my same problems. Yes, I said blessed. I thought having grave emotional and mental disorders and not being able to stop eating were curses. But I have come to realize that they are blessings; they are my greatest assets. I am "uniquely qualified", if you will, to help those people. I really believe we are here to help each other get through this thing we call life. I thank my Higher Power for the 12 steps! And by the way, I lost 100 pounds following the 12 steps and I am at a normal weight now. - Derita P., EAI Trustee
When I react judgmentally, uncompassionate, and hurtful, it usually comes from a place of uselessness and self-pity. If I feel great about my purpose in life and the value that I add each day, I find no reason to be mean towards others. This is where control comes in for me. If I feel that I can control everything, then every time something goes wrong, I feel bad about it because it was in my power to stop and I carry that negative feeling with me in my interactions with others. The EA readings have taught me that I am not in control of most things, the people in my life and work included. This realization helps me to get through each day in a peaceful and satisfying way. - Paul N., EAI Treasurer
The point of the Fifth Promise is that each of us has experiences, no matter how unique and terrible, with the potential to help others. It took a long time for me to realize this. The idea of sharing freely and unburdening myself seemed selfish. How could anyone relate, much less benefit, from my story? I had to overcome this false belief and conquer my fears before I could share completely. I did so with hope – hope that someone in the group would gain something from listening to my story. And it did. I found that my experiences could serve as examples to others, delivering the message of emotional recovery to those who needed it the most. - Steve B., EAI Trustee