Working the Steps – Step 2
The 12 Steps are a widely accepted set of guidelines for individuals to use during addiction treatment and throughout recovery. Last week we discovered through Step One that our lives have become unmanageable and that we need help with our addictions.
Step Two introduces us to the long-term solution to recovering from addiction and paves the way for it in Steps Three through Twelve. That solution is accepting help from a source greater than ourselves.
You may ask why you can’t go through this process by yourself without asking for help. Well, has your behavior gotten out of control? Have you tried to quit before and found yourself unable to stop drinking alcohol or using drugs? Have you experienced negative consequences from your alcohol and drug addiction, but continue to use anyway?
If you answered yes to any of those questions you should be able to come to a difficult and important conclusion – you are not capable of helping yourself and need to find something more powerful than you.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
Addiction is a perilous disease that often leads individuals down a path of insanity. It causes individuals to do things they wouldn’t normally do, think thoughts they normally wouldn’t think, or have emotions they normally wouldn’t feel.”
Many times in my addiction, I did things that were markedly insane. I think back to the writing on the wall. We all know that only crazy people write on walls.”
– Eliza P., former addict
While some addicts don’t feel as though they are insane and may resist help because they feel they don’t need to be “restored to sanity,” insanity can be explained through the “addict’s definition”—insanity is doing the same things over and over, but expecting different results; therefore his or her behavior is insane.
Step Two is a step of hope for a return to the happy and healthy lifestyle we once had. It builds faith that a higher power can help restore us to sanity and allow us to continue through the Steps toward addiction recovery. The book of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions explains, “Step Two is the rallying point for all of us. Whether agnostic, atheist, or former believer, we can stand together on this Step.” Even though this mentions individuals of all beliefs, some addicts struggle with the idea of looking to “a Power great than ourselves” to help restore us to sanity. This is because the “Power” at first glance refers to God, and not everyone is on the same religious path. It is important to remember that 12 Step programs are spiritual, not religious.
Individuals going through the Steps are not required to accept God as the “Power greater than ourselves,“ but can describe or understand their greater Power in any way they wish. Step Two is less about God and religion and more about accepting the help you need. That help can come from a faith in God, 12 Step support groups, family and friends, therapy, or AA/NA meetings and members.
Working Step Two
The only way to be successful in working Step Two is to actually begin accepting the help you need. This process often begins when you find your “higher power.”
Answering the following questions can help do this:
- Did your family claim a certain religion growing up?
- What are the positive and negative aspects of your family religion?
- Do you still practice your family’s religion, or are you seeking help from a different area?
- What people in your life have helped you discover the unmanageability of your life?
- What did you like best about your childhood best friends and what did they like best about you?Are these important qualities that would make for a good “higher power” to help you?
- What do you want from your “higher power?”
- Can you learn to trust the individual or group you choose?
Once you have chosen your “higher power” you can start accepting help from that power and move to Step Three. Accepting help from others in your journey to addiction recovery is very important, and you will soon see its effectiveness as you move through the rest of the Steps.
Next week we will discuss how to work through Step Three. Please don’t hesitate to refer back to our blog as we discuss how to work through the Steps; but more importantly, don’t hesitate to call our addiction specialists to start a treatment program today.
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