A DEEPER LOOK AT THE 12 STEPS: STEP 2
“We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
The second step deters many addicts and alcoholics from joining “the fellowship” of AA or any other twelve step program, often because they don’t truly understand what this step means.
First, we must give context to what is meant by insanity. Many alcoholics don’t feel like they are insane. They may even feel like it is insane to ever label themselves as insane. However, it is commonly expressed that insanity means to repeat the same actions over and over, while expecting different results each time. Most alcoholics can relate to this idea. Often we try to regain control of our drinking, like only drinking beer or only drinking at nighttime, but at the end of the day it always leads us to the same dark place.
By admitting our insanity, we are admitting that, maybe, our best thinking isn’t always the most rational. This is the time when those who have the desire to stop drinking must find a Higher Power. It is a common misconception that this means you must believe in a Christian God or another religious figure, while this is absolutely not the case. The goal of the second step for the alcoholic is to come to realize that there is something out there greater than them.
Look at it this way—if you did not exist, would the world keep on turning? If there were no humans, would the planet still be here? If you can answer these questions with a “yes,” then you have discovered the principles behind the second step, which are all about hope and being open-minded.
What Is the Purpose of Step 2?
Step 2 of 12 Steps is about obtaining and improving your conscious contact with a higher power. When you realize there is a higher power and have faith in it to transform your life, there’s always hope.
This step reveals how insanity has gotten you to where you are and how, by progressing through all steps, your mental health can be restored.
Step 2 also addresses barriers to belief in a higher power that may be preventing you from staying clean.
In order to progress beyond Step 2 in AA, you must be willing to open your mind and believe that your higher power is greater than that of your addiction. Step 2 of the twelve steps and twelve traditions represents such a great challenge to so many who are working hard to overcome their addiction.
Why Is It Important to Believe in a Higher Power?
As previously stated, attending a drug rehab or treatment center alone does not “fix you.” While it is very important to the recovery process, it is not a long-term solution to the disease of addiction. We must find something to be with us at all times, because our brains never shut up. Negative thoughts and emotions can creep up when we least expect them.
If you’ve ever attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, you have probably heard the phrase “your best thinking got you here.” It’s time to come to terms with the fact that there is something bigger out there. This step isn’t about believing in God, but about accepting the help that you need, surrendering, and agreeing that there is hope out there.
How to Work Step 2
Working Step 2 involves commitment to listening to the stories of others, taking steps that you weren’t willing to take previously, and continued work with your sponsor.
It’ll require your continued commitment to stay sober, remembering that you can’t achieve a sober life alone; you’ll need help to overcome substance abuse.
While working this step, you don’t even need to know what idea or entity you believe in; you just must believe that the thoughts inside of your own head aren’t the “end all, be all.” It is about finding something to keep you going, and helping you find the faith that you need to realize that everything will be okay and that you are here for a reason. Remember, this is a simple spiritual program, not a religious one, although there is nothing wrong with having faith in a traditional interpretation of God.
Working Step 2 can be challenging, because it demands that you abandon your self-will and, instead, trust in the will of your higher power. However, the result of this step is that it releases you from everything that led to your drug or alcohol addiction in the first place.
Step Three builds upon AA step 2, which we’ll discuss next. If you’re looking for evidence-based help getting started on your recovery journey in Orange County, call us at Yellowstone Recovery at (888) 418-4188.