What is my biggest piece of advice to those struggling with Step Two? Think about what you really have to lose at this point because chances are you have nothing left.
Step two started the first time I tried to get sober. When I was going into treatment, I was agnostic because I really didn’t believe in a higher power or anything – I didn’t care. My mother had been going to church and found her faith. She became a strong Christian and we had conversations about God, but I tuned it out. I remember noticing one thing very different about her from other parents, and that was her lack of worrying. Her 20-year-old daughter was an addict who wouldn’t call or come home for weeks at a time, but she stayed strong in her faith and believed that I was going to be okay. I could see her trusting God and see the positive impact it had on her life because everything was better – her marriage, her happiness, and overall quality of life.
I saw the word “God” during my first time in treatment and wanted nothing to do with it, which is common for many addicts trying to work the 12 Steps. That avoidance lasted for about three days because I was in so much emotional, mental, and physical pain.
I remember being in bed and crying out, “if there is anything out there bigger than me, please help – I can’t do this anymore.”
As corny and cliché as it sounds, I woke up the next day feeling different. I was more serene and wasn’t in as much pain, which leads me to start believing there is a power greater than myself.
I carried that with me through my first stay in treatment and again when I relapsed. Despite being in active addiction, I still went to church and the relationship with my mother grew. I wouldn’t call myself a Christian, but I still acknowledge and believe there was a Higher Power. I have friends who are Buddhist and others who practice their own interpretation of other religions, which is why I respect all beliefs and appreciate believing this is something bigger than us all whether it’s the universe as a whole or fate in general – whatever works for anyone to know they aren’t going through life alone.
I credit the second time I got sober to my faith, and that made it easier for me. I learned and accepted Step One, so my newfound faith helped me trust the process and trust the Higher Power would take care of me no matter what happened during my time at Stepping Stone Center for Recovery. It was difficult because I wasn’t on speaking terms with my stepfather and my little brother was angry with me, but I was oddly at peace with it because I had my faith tells me it would be okay. It made treatment and life a lot easier to go with the flow.
After treatment, I went to sober living. Things that would stress anyone out like who I would meet, how I was going to pay for it, or when I would eat again didn’t have an influence on me because I just knew I would be ok – I’m still ok because I’ve been sober for three years and still carry that faith with me.