Working the Steps - Step 3 | The Recovery Place

Working the Steps – Step 3

September 25th, 2013 12 Steps, Helpful Articles

Step 3 of the 12 Steps addiction recovery programIndividuals that have reached addiction recovery often credit working the 12 Steps as the key to maintaining long-term sobriety. We have discussed Steps One and Two in the past couple weeks and are now ready to work Step Three.

Remember, in Step One we start to fully understand the severity of our addiction and the consequences that go along with it. Then we transition into Step Two and are ready to admit that we need outside help to recover. Step Three is when we begin the process of accepting that help.

Step Three

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the care of God as we understood Him.”

The most widely used version of the 12 Step methodologies is the Christian 12 Steps to Recovery. In the Christian 12 Steps, the key to Step Three is recognizing that God cares for us and by handing our lives over to Him we trust his path for us—He will guide us to a life of happy and healthy sobriety.

Step Three is the building block for Steps Four through Twelve. If you find yourself not ready to hand over your life to the care of your higher power, you may need to go back and take another look at Step One and Two.

Step Three for the Non-Christian Addict

While the most recognized version of the 12 Steps involves God as the “power greater than ourselves,” there are still individuals struggling with addiction that have trouble accepting God in their lives, and that’s okay.

Like we mentioned in Step Two, “God” in Step Three can be defined by whatever you value as your “higher power,” i.e. friends, family, a sponsor, alcohol and drug addiction treatment professionals, etc. Step Three is less about accepting God and more about truly handing your life over to the care of someone else – someone that cares about your well-being and is willing and ready to help see you through to addiction recovery.

For those that choose to not take the spiritual path it is important to remember that believing in God and understanding God are not necessary to successfully engage in the recovery process. As an individual struggling with addiction you merely need to admit to the severity of your problem and be willing to accept help from others.

Working Step Three

Before you can fully embrace Step Three you have to fully embrace the idea of handing your life over to the help of your higher power. Following are a few questions to answer to make sure you are ready for Step Three:

  • What are your greatest fears about giving up control over your life to your higher power?
  • What circumstances in your life have you tried to control in the past? Do you think the help of a higher power will help you handle similar circumstances in a better way?
  • Generally speaking, how do you feel about handing your life over to the care of a higher power?
  • How will you continue to give your life over to God/a higher power? (Some options are: going to church service, 12 Step meetings, volunteer work, journaling, meeting with others in recovery, engaging in therapy, etc.)
  • After giving your life over to your higher power, how do you think you should live your life? What changes do you intend to make? Explain:

It is important to be honest while answering the above questions. The deeper you take your answers the more invested in Step Three you will become.

After handing our lives over to our higher power, we are now ready to take a deeper look into our drug or alcohol addiction in Step Four when we’ll take moral inventory of our actions.

Come back to this blog series to continue working the Steps during drug rehab treatment and throughout recovery, and please don’t hesitate to call for more information.

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