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 and 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 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.
Why Must I 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, 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.
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 tradition interpretation of God.
Step Three builds upon the second step, which we’ll discuss next. If you’re looking for help getting started on your recovery journey in Orange County, call us at Yellowstone Recovery at 888-941-9048.