The Hope Diary: Step Five, Trusting Another

After going through my Step Four Inventory the first time in 2010, I was scared to death to actually share it with another person. I had read in my recovery book early in my program that I had to confess my deepest, darkest secrets to God and to a trusted sponsor, pastor or unbiased friend.

At that time I remember thinking: “HUH? How humiliating! Wasn’t it good enough to give it to God in prayer and trust that He was Healing me? Why would I tell my shameful past to another person? Besides, they would just hurt me like everyone else…right? How in the WORLD could I truly trust blindly someone else. I knew it, here was the catch. I knew this recovery program was too good to be true, everything always is. No one and nothing is ever to be trusted. There is always fine print.” And I thought like this for about, oh, a good six months or so the first time I went through Steps 4 and attempted to go through Step 5. And I backtracked in my recovery and slipped into old habits because of FEAR. Do you know what fear really stands for? F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real.

I was so afraid of the false scenarios I spent more time making up in my mind about sharing my mess with my sponsor than actually DOING it for the healing that I needed to get, that I ended up having a relapse. Now, relapse can be a part of recovery, but do you see what I am saying that if we just learn to take hold of the fearful thoughts and know that God is with us and for us, and just DO the things that are being asked of us, surrender and get the help we need, we would see so much victory in our recovery and lives.

Fast forward, three years later, strong in recovery, Praise the Lord I did regain victory over the relapse and did end up completing Steps 4 and 5 (a few times). I had gotten a wonderful sponsor and life coach who really worked and worked with me and never gave up. I would never be where I am without my sponsor and without working with her and continually taking inventory and telling her about my messes. I believe that we generally give up too easily in life and we can give up on others too soon also. You never know what you can do for another person’s life if you just keep praying for them, working with them, and helping them in any way you can.

In the Catholic religion, confession is very similar to step five, you know, going and releasing your sins to the priest and being relieved of your burdens. Well in recovery, your past and the things underlying your addiction truly have to be inventoried and shared with God and another person because if not, they continued to get buried. Our secrets, pains, traumas, defects and past fuel our addiction if we do not get healing for them. This is what I consider to be the most critical step of any 12 step program.

So as I continue in sharing from the Life Recovery Workbook, here are the questions from Step Five.

“Overcoming Denial
Genesis 38:1-30

1. What am I avoiding in Step Four by delaying Step Five?

2. What is the exact nature of my wrongs as listed in Step Four?

3. What interferes with my being honest about myself?

Unending Love
Hosea 11:8-11

1. How do I react/respond to the truth that God does not give up on me?

2. What keeps me from being truthful with God?

3. What makes me think that I can hide anything from God?

The Plumb Line
Amos 7:7-8

1. Have my morals and values been in line with God’s? Explain.

2. Have I had morals and values without being able to apply them to my life? Explain:

3. What has kept me from staying in line with God’s and my own morals and values?

4. Am I ready to surrender to God’s moral “plumb line” and share my Step Four Inventory? If not, why am I hesitating?

Feelings of Shame
John 8:3-11

1. What scares me about sharing “the exact nature of (my) wrongs” with another human being?

2. Who is my fear related to in my past? How did this fear develop?

3. Has there ever been a time in my life when I felt the fear and took action anyway?

4. Have I set the appointment for completing Step Five by sharing my Step Four Inventory? My commitment to myself:

Date: Time:

Receiving Forgiveness
Matthew 5:23-24

1. Why would God want reconciliation before praise when we bring gifts to him?

2. Does anyone have anything against you that needs to be reconciled? Who and why?

3. What would be the impact on your life if you opened yourself up to forgiveness of others and from others?

Freedom through Confession
James 5:16

1. Lack of confession and openness with others results in a self-constructed prison. Do you know what that is like? Describe it here.

2. How can confession result in such profound healing?

3. Reflect it here on God’s command to be open not just to Him but also with each other.

Escaping Self-Deception
Lamentations 3:40

1. As you examine yourself, can you admit to some self-deception in the past?

2. Does anyone have the freedom to speak truth into your life on a regular basis? Who?

3. Ask three or four trusted friends to write five words describing your strengths and five words describing your weaknesses. Record them here and examine them to discover areas you can work on within your small group of trusted fellow strugglers.”

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for letting me reprint the above questions to help further the recovery process for those still suffering.

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Recovery in the Midst of Mortality

Alright, so, yes, I have come out to say that I have suffered for the majority of my life with an eating disorder. But, let me clarify, this is NOT in any way, shape, or form to promote or encourage anyone out there to have or to “wonder” what it is like to have an eating disorder because simply, they WILL. KILL. YOU. They ARE, Point, Blank and simple, an ADDICTION, like every other addictive substance, i.e., alcohol, drugs, etc. They fill the void of deeper emotional and mental issues that need to be taken care of by doctors and therapists, and GOD!! If I had only known then what I know now that I needed Jesus, to fill the hurts that I was using food and later other drugs and alcohol to fill, what a LOT of hurt and pain I would have saved my mind and body from going through. But you know what? I am so THANKFUL that I went through it all, and so GRATEFUL to God that I got help for it at such a young age so that I can hopefully be a voice to help people all over the world.

Because if I am just another face on a magazine cover, pretending that I look this way naturally, or that “I do not have do anything to look like this, or that my life is perfect, then that would be a TOTAL SHAM, not doing YOU ANY service, and my life would be unfulfilled for God. I am a lover and a helper, not a faker and a user. I know that with eating disorders the biggest cause of keeping them is to not speak about them…they are the great big elephants in the room, that people will go to bed with and die with. They are the “magic slimming pills” that I am so sure many people who are reading this want to chop my head off for sharing because their disease HATES the fact that I am trying to shed some much-needed light into the wounded souls of sufferers. But if you keep silent about them, you will keep silent all the way to the grave.

When I first thought about sharing this with the world, of course I was more scared than I have ever been in my life, but then I remembered that God says in Romans 8:31,

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”

So, I know I have nothing to fear knowing that God is with me and my sole purpose is to offer my experience, strength, and hope (my ESH) to countless others who suffer all over the world.

Today I would like to share on Food, Addictions, and Mortality

My mom passed away on August 25, 2012 in an automobile accident and she struggled most of her life with many addictions. In the final few months of her life, the whole family had gotten together to help her get cleaned up in a recovery home and while there, I genuinely saw her as I had never seen her before. She was happy, stable, clear-minded, hopeful and radiant. She and I spent what would be, unbeknownst to both of us, the happiest and final two weeks of her life together. I felt hopeful and serene that everything was going to be alright. I had placed the situation in God’s Hands, and I trusted Him, no matter what the outcome.

Three weeks after I left her, she died. What I have experienced is something like I could never write down in a billion books. I don’t even know the depth of my own sorrow for her.


Photo is of me and my brother spreading some of my mom’s ashes in the Mount Pleasant River.

Addictions kill if left untreated. If you think that a food addiction will not kill you, please think again. I remember growing up that before my mom developed her other addictions she had had a terrible time with bulimia. She openly shared about her bulimia with me and some of the family before she passed away while she was staying in the recovery home. I know that my mom was trying to connect and help me in any way she could with my disease. You see, at the root of any addiction, is an addictive behavior, which tries to cover deeper emotional issues. It is the emotional and mental issues that need to be dealt with properly, but you cannot do that until you stop the addictive behaviors. If you stop one addictive behavior it is likely that you can pick up another easily, just like I have and just like my mom did.

I have had my fair share of addictions in my past. If it wasn’t for the food, it was smoking or the other. Until I sought help two and a half years ago I was a total mess! The food has far and between been my biggest problem, and when my mom passed away it made me face my own mortality. It was tough enough to go to her funeral and know that she died way too young at 45 years old, but myself, at 27, well, I wasn’t too far behind! If we have suffered with the same problems then it made life and dying all too real and that reality stung colder than the iciest, black winter night on my naked soul.

How do we cope with an eating disorder especially when faced with our own mortality? How do we deal with our addictions when going through life and the loss of a loved one? One Day at a Time. By accepting every day that we have a life-threatening illness that, if left untreated, will lead to our untimely death, and that we are powerless over our disease. We must turn it over to the care of God as we understand Him, and seek to do His Will in our life, not our own. The 12 Step Program has been my one of my lifelines as well as journaling my thoughts, reaching out for support, and being that support system for others. One of the greatest enemies addictions have is a life lived for helping others. Getting out of self and living for a life of selflessness is Step 12 of the 12 Step Program. Once I adopted these behaviors and ways of life, I saw my Spirit rise to a whole new level. I no longer lived to eat, I ate to live. I lived to serve God and found myself asking God, “What can I do for You today? Who can I help and encourage today through You?”

With these new-founded ways of life, I have learned that even in the midst of my mom’s death and facing the reality of my own, I have a guide on how to get through it calmly and with a stable Spirit. I do not have to go through life another day depressed and defeated. However long God has me here on this Earth, I will live it with confidence, Faith and to the fullest, knowing that He has an incredible journey left for me to fulfill and help others through the lessons I have learned.

One Day at a Time, you can defeat your disease with God.
God Bless,
<3 Nikki DuBose