January 2023

Last Updated on January 17, 2023 by Website Committee

Leaping into the New Year

This time of year, is an opportunity for HOPE. We see a possibility for new beginnings. A fresh start. Easily though we can set ourselves up for unrealistic expectations by focusing too far into the future.

We all know what it’s like to get overwhelmed and we either resist, shut down or run. Thankfully, we only have to live our sobriety, one snack and one meal at a time. We also then can practice this moment-by-moment discipline in other areas of our lives.

A Personal Story: Tapas for Two

I was not sure what to write about, but it became easy when I looked at a recent activity this year that brought me joy and are a gift of being in this program. A friend in ABA suggested we go out for dinner to catch up. We did and we really enjoyed it. Now that may not sound interesting or inspiring but as I reflected on it, I think it was a miracle of the program. To explain, we decided by bouncing around ideas on places neither of us had been to.

There was no concern of what type of food or combing through menus to be sure I would find something low fat or low carb or whatever my food rule would have been years ago. I also didn’t think twice about it during the week, or even during the day of. I didn’t try to skip meals or snacks the day of the dinner so that I could eat more or safely at dinner.

Story continued…

It was also Spanish tapas style (multiple small plates to share), and we had fun asking the server which were some of the best ones and easily choosing options. I was amazed. It literally took us minutes to decide on 4 options. Interest guided us, not fear of weight gain or loss. I also then ate in delight at the delicious food and stopped when full without fear or obsession, more engaged in the conversation than whether I ate too little or not enough. When I got home, I didn’t analyze what I ate at all- or even consider past insane eating practices!  I reflected on how nice it was to get out, enjoy some good food and friendship. In fact, my friend and I are going aim to do that more often this year.

At the time that all just seemed normal but as I reflect, that is ONLY due to this amazing program. For someone coming from decades of anorexia and bulimia and other insane eating practices, there are no shortage or miracles in every stage of that evening.

True freedom amazingly happens from getting sober and working the steps of this program and I am forever grateful for all you and the ABA program.


Service Opportunity…

Volunteer to be added to ABA’s 12 Step List

You may be asking what is a 12-Step list?

Why a 12 Step List?

This list is a list of volunteers who have stepped forward to support newcomers to the Fellowship or members who are struggling and who need extra support. The current members on the list have identified themselves as willing to be a contact for people who are in need of assistance. They are people who have experienced the struggle of having an eating disorder and who have recovered using the ABA Program. We are looking for more volunteers to add to this list. We aim to have a good representation of volunteers across the globe. We are an international organization and wish to be able to connect newcomers and others with people who live in their general area. We are requesting that you look inside yourself and determine if you would

be willing to serve as a contact for those who need help.

If this is something that you feel you are able to do, please contact the office (gsaoffice@12steps.org) to provide your name, phone number, and email address. Please identify yourself as someone willing to serve on the 12-Step list.

Thank you so much for considering this important position.

The General Service Association of ABA

We are moving our Outreach into the virtual world!


Help reach anorexics and bulimics everywhere; the Public Information Committee is working to get the e-version of our ABA textbook added to the international digital library database (Libby) — and they need your help! The more requests made at libraries across the world, the more likely we are to succeed.

For some simple but much-appreciated service work, here’s how you can help:

  • Log into your local library using your library card number and PIN
  • Search for Anorexics & Bulimics Anonymous in the catalogue and look for the second edition in e-book format.
  • If this returns no results, click the Suggest a Purchase link (or equivalent), or look for the Suggest a Purchase page in the navigation menu.
  • Enter the following details as required:
  • TITLE: Anorexics & Bulimics Anonymous: The Fellowship Details Its Program of Recovery for Anorexia and Bulimia — second edition
  • AUTHOR: The General Services Association of Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous
  • ISBN: 9780973137262 (eBook)
  • FORMAT: book (e-book, if applicable)
  • Submit your recommendation and keep your fingers crossed

Our research shows that to be considered for Libby (formerly Overdrive) we need to start at the local library level before they will be open to carrying our basic text for the Libby database. If you have any questions or suggestions, to get the word out virtually the Public Information committee would really appreciate your help. Please contact Alison.ensworth@gmail.com.

This Year’s Milestone…..

Celebrate Dawn R.’s 6th ABA Birthday!
@ Friday, World Hope Meeting
*New Time 7-8 pm EST
Zoom: 244-908-1802
pw: 708303

A Personal Story: Suffering Transmuted Under Grace

“A.A. is no success story in the ordinary sense of the word. It is a story of suffering transmuted, under grace, into spiritual progress.”—As Bill Sees It, Bill Wilson Letter, 1959

The above quotation describes my experience as a member of A.B.A. as well as a member of A.A. To me, ‘transmutation’ is a scientific sounding word with profound spiritual implications. I began drinking and drugging at the age of fifteen (over fifty years ago!). Upon graduation from high school, I moved to New York City where I experimented with a variety of street drugs, mostly psychedelics. I started college, but after the first term I was committed to a mental institution. I was grossly underweight, and my blood sugar level was perilously low. I wanted to fast, but the doctors ordered that I be fed intravenously when I refused to eat.

I was a medical curiosity. Confined to the locked ward of a teaching hospital under observation by a conclave of doctors and students, I was held for six months [mis]diagnosed with catatonic schizophrenia. (Some years later I would be diagnosed with ADD, BDD, and OCD—and I would self-identify as an alcoholic, addict, and anorexic.)

I believed that I was in the midst of a spiritual crisis; that everyone, save a Tibetan monk I’d met before entering the hospital, was engaged in a conspiracy to brainwash me. I believed I needed to disengage from mainstream society. I believed I needed to escape the hospital and find my way to a Buddhist center in Vermont. I believed anything I said constituted a lie, and therefore I remained silent for extended periods of time. I believed I needed to eat only ‘pure’ food and to fast that I might grow closer to God.

Continued: Suffering Transmuted Under Grace

In retrospect, I see that I needed to undergo a rite of passage—to die a symbolic death and to be spiritually reborn. I needed to relinquish my hold on the material world in order to identify as a spiritual being. Interestingly, many native cultures have ceremonies to facilitate a person’s transition from one phase of life to another.

Following my release from the hospital, I engaged in spiritual practices and worked with teachers from the East and West. I started a business, got married, and had children. I also returned to drinking and continued to restrict both the quality and quantity of food I ingested. Eventually, a spiritual teacher who I admired introduced me to Alcoholics Anonymous. A few years later, the same person staged an intervention, and I was able to admit to having an eating disorder.

Soon thereafter, I was introduced to A.B.A. and its unique 12-Step solution to powerlessness over insane eating practices.

Steps 1-3 tell me I am powerless left to my own devices, but I can find salvation through surrender to a Power greater than myself. This is the first indication that by God’s grace my suffering could be transmuted into spiritual progress. When I did Steps 4-5 with my sponsors (one in A.A. and one in A.B.A.), following the directions in the ‘Big Book’ of Alcoholics Anonymous, I was able to see suffering—my own and others at my hand—in a new light. I realized that pain had served as a motivational influence, propelling me forward toward a solution. Nowadays, I sometimes tell men I work with, “Allow yourself to be pushed by pain until you feel yourself being pulled by God’s grace.”

Continued: Suffering Transmuted Under Grace

With Steps 6-7 my reliance on self-will diminished, as did the impulse to restrict. I will seek to improve my understanding of the principles embodied in Steps 6-7 for the rest of my life.

During Steps 8-9 I experienced God’s grace as never before. Resentments and fears yielded to compassion and understanding. Many of the people I approached not only forgave my transgressions but commended me for taking initiative. Others held onto grudges or refused to meet with me altogether, but even these cases provided important lessons and demonstrations of God’s grace.

Steps 10-11 embody all of the previous Steps. I begin and end my days in prayer and meditation. I continue to take inventory and make amends where necessary.

For me, Step 12 is where I experience the transformation of suffering into spiritual progress most profoundly. Working with others has afforded me the opportunity to bear witness to God’s transformative power in profound ways. I have seen men emerge from the shadow of self-hatred and resentment to glory in the light of God’s love.

As an anorexic, I have learned that when I restrict my food, I deprive myself of nutrition, but more importantly I constrict the channel that connects me to my Creator. When I attempt to pursue comfort

to the exclusion of pain, I suffer more than if I allow God to move me through pain. When I seek to control the circumstances of my life, I condemn myself to a life of limitation, not a life of possibility.

Continued: Suffering Transmuted Under Grace

I thank God for the many blessings I enjoy today: a loving partner, four wonderful children, three fantastic grandchildren, two magnificent sponsors, a host of service opportunities in and out of 12-

Step fellowships, and the marvelous group of men I have the privilege to work with.

As a new year gets underway, I invite you to join me in reflecting on the grace that allows suffering to be transmuted into spiritual progress. If you feel hopeless, please continue to trust, and rely on the God of your understanding as you make your way through the 12-Steps of A.B.A. -Edward

The self-support committee would like to thank everyone who has contributed to making this newsletter another tool in our ABA recovery. From all of us, we wish you a peace-filled New Year!

Prayers for the New Year

Dear God,


Give me the courage to take each day as it comes —

and to stay open to the moment.

Help me be patient by living in today and humble as I reach out for help from others.

May I have an open heart and mind moving forward,

seeking conscious contact with You.

May I surrender to You to receive strength and guidance to put sobriety first so I may receive grace in all areas of my life.

Thank You.

Blessings for the New Year

May You Be Blessed this New Year

Not by being shielded from sorrow and pain,

but by being strengthened by it.

Not seeking an easy path,

but growing from the one you’re on.

Not by unbroken sunshine,

but by experiencing light in the shadows.

Not by things going according to your plans,

but by being blessed beyond measure.

Not by focusing on self

but participating in opportunities to serve

and share love with others.

May this New Year, and

each New Day bring you hope and gratitude.

— Modified Anonymous Prayer

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