The Twelve Steps in Everyday Living: Part Two

Step Two:  Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

There is a great deal of variety in how people in recovery come to take this step, because there is a great variety of belief (or lack thereof) in a Higher Power.

I consider myself fortunate to have had a lifelong belief in God.  Prior to recovery, my mindset on God was simple.  God helps those who help themselves… and since I, in active addiction, was doing very little to help myself, how could I possibly expect Him to help me?  I certainly prayed in active addiction.  Unfortunately, they were what we in AA call “foxhole prayers.”  God, please just get me out of this mess, and I’ll never (fill in the blank) again!  Of course, once the urgency disappeared, so did my end of whatever bargain I had made.

When I finally hit bottom, I got down on my knees, and my prayer took a slightly different format.  I asked God to show me what I was doing wrong.  As I asked this, I had reviewed what had worked for me, what did not, and what seemed to be working for others that I had not yet tried.  Before I rose from the kneeling position, I had a plan in place:  I would do 4 things every day:  I start each day on my knees and pray, I would go to a meeting, I would talk to another alcoholic, and I would not pick up a drink or drug.

And day by day, that is just what I did, and some days, in the beginning, that is all I did, and little by little, life got better.  That is how I came to believe that God could restore me to sanity, because I believe God gave me the blue print to start my life over.

What happens in Step 2, at least what happened for me, is that you start to think, if it can work with addiction, can it work with the rest of life?  And the answer, of course, is a resounding YES.

Maybe the most recent example I can give from my own life is dealing with my daughter.  She is almost 13, and, I don’t want to sound like a cliché here, but she is turning into a completely different person before my eyes.  The physical I expected.  The personality changes… I have been blown away by how quick and how complete the change has been.  It’s to the point that when I see glimpses of the pre-hormonal child, it is then that I am surprised.

Now of course I know, and any Mother of a teenage daughter is nodding sagely as she reads this, hormonal personality changes are a part of life.  But, for real, my daughter was the most angelic person I have ever known, and it is just heart-breaking to see that go away.  Basically, dealing with the suddenness of these changes, and wanting desperately to stop them, could drive a person insane.

So in the same way that I described in Step One, when events happen, and my life feels unmanageable, I now know what I have to do, which is believe that God will help me find peace.  I just have to let Him, which brings me to…



Posted on April 19, 2013, in Twelve Steps in Everyday Living and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. What an awesome sign at the top! This step was so critical for me as someone who had a phobia of religions after a 3-year religious binge in my late teens. Oh yeah, and who also was a huge control freak. Learning to give up that control was one of the hardest and most beneficial things i’ve ever done.


  2. It seems that a lot is said and discussed about the ones who have issues with their conception or experience of God or Higher Power. The big book tells us that half the fellowship had a problem with God (or their conception or understanding of). That means of course, half the fellowship had no problem with it. I too, like you, had a belief in God and that’s about it. I never struggled with God, and while I never approached Him or had Him in my life consciously, I always knew He would be there. So surrendering, and coming to believe in a power greater than myself wasn’t a struggle at all. I am perhaps fortunate. But I had still had struggles, even with a full belief in God. It wasn’t until I started to experience God that I began to have faith…and that is something that comes down the pipe.

    As for working this on other things – I agree, I feel that many things can be addressed with the steps. Good luck with your daughter. I have boys, so who knows what will be coming my way when they get older 🙂

    Wonderful post, again.



  3. I struggled with step 2, it was very hard to believe that I could to be restored to sanity! In the end I was so desperate that I just worked on faith, it said that a power greater than myself could restore me, so I just believed that it would. I also did those 4 things in the beginning, wow, that was my life for a long time. (Memory bubble) And what a great apology with step 2 and your daughter! Boy can I relate; my daughter is 9.5 (the half is apparently really important!) and I am getting glimpses of the character change. Wow, right? Well, I’ll have to remember of this post when I am in the midst of some drama with her! Lol! Thank you so much!


  1. Pingback: Once Upon A Time: The Addict | Daily Story For Children

  2. Pingback: We Came to Believe | Gracitude

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