This is part two of a twelve-part series wherein we will take a closer look at each of the twelve steps of recovery.
Step 2: We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
This is a simple step, but one that as addicts we tend to over-think. For some of us, the idea of a Power greater than ourselves, or Higher Power, is difficult to comprehend. We may automatically assume that that Higher Power means God, in whatever form that takes for each of us, and we may have negative associations with the term God. Some of us are comfortable with the belief in God, and some of us are not. For those of you that struggle with this concept, it is important to understand that all this step requires of us is that we are willing to admit that we alone cannot restore ourselves to sanity. The only action this step requires is “we came to believe”, meaning that we begin to realize that it will take something outside of ourselves to help us, whatever that may be.
Having done Step 1, and admitting that we are powerless of our addiction, we now need something to fill the void that no longer using drugs or alcohol leaves. We need something to help us, because just admitting we are powerless over drugs and alcohol is not enough to restore us to sanity. We need to heal ourselves, and we need to find a new way to live. And we cannot do this alone.
12 step programs are not religious. But they are spiritual, and there is a difference, an important difference. You do not need to belong to an assigned religion to get this program. The term “Power greater than ourselves” or Higher Power can be anything outside of yourself, even the 12 step group itself.
“Our understanding of a Higher Power is up to us. No one is going to decide for us. We can call it the group, the program, or we can call it God.” Basic Text, Narcotic Anonymous, pg. 24
It is also important to know that although each of these are “steps”, try to avoid thinking of it as something you do one time and then you are done. Each of these decisions are fluid. They may happen slowly over time, or may have to be done every day. And that’s OK. Take it easy on yourself as you begin to think about these concepts. Go to meetings and get a network of people to help you. Get a sponsor to go through the steps with you.
Remember, none of us has been able to do this alone. There is a way out, and there are people that will help you get there.