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Step Two: My Experience

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In Step Two, we come to believe our sanity can be restored by a Power greater than ourselves.  When I heard this, I was a little confused. What does this mean? Are you implying that right now I am insane? My answer quickly came from my sponsor. He said, “Yes, you are insane; you continue to drink and use drugs even though you know there are going to be extremely negative consequences.”  That is the definition of insanity, doing something over and over expecting different results.

Okay, I can accept that most of the situations I have been in when I’m drinking have been a little crazy.  From jumping off of bridges to driving like I was in the Daytona500 kind of crazy! These were things I just thought you did for fun, but now looking back I realized that was insane thinking.  Understanding there was something out there that has a better grip on reality then I did was not hard.  I mean I should be dead, but something, and I don’t know why, was looking out for me. My sponsor asked me to read page 62 – 63 in the AA Big Book. It says:

“Selfishness – self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.

So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid. Many of us had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live up to them even though we would have liked to. Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God’s help.

This is the how and why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom.

When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn.”

This was a large chunk of information for me to even start to comprehend, especially in early sobriety. So, let me break it down as simply as I can. Ask yourself this, “do I believe that some Higher Power can help me get sober?” If you say yes, then that is all you need to move on in the steps. Remember step two does not say “immediately believed,” but rather came to believe. I have come to believe that my Higher Power is the only reason that I am still sober to this day.

  • Ryan Teague, CRC is an Alumni Coordinator for Lakeview Health. His own personal journey through addiction allows for a unique and personal approach to helping people recover. For Ryan, being able to give back to the recovery community is very gratifying. He considers helping the newcomer find the path to long-term recovery a privilege and necessary for his own recovery. Born in St. Louis, he moved to the Jacksonville Beach area in 1986 and has been there ever since. When he is not at work or in an AA meeting he enjoys golfing and taking his boat out.

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