A core principle behind the Eleventh Step is to continue to live in the solution by making sure our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and values, are inline with what our higher or helping power wants for us.
To me the Eleventh Step is about asking for God's guidance and then listening for His answers. It's teaching me how to create calm in the face of chaos. I take several small timeouts every day for Step Eleven. Sometimes it's as short and simple as, "Thank you, Thy will, not mine, be done."
Step Eleven reminds me that this is a "we" program. I can't do it alone even though I am sober and symptom free now. I have to seek the continued guidance and strength of my Higher Power. The Big Book says that what we really have is a daily reprieve contingent upon the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Steps Ten through Twelve are how we maintain that spiritual condition. Some patriot once said something like, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. I think that sums up recovery too. You just can't let your guard down because our illnesses are still right there just waiting to take control again.
As I got more time in dual recovery and more time clean and sober, my need to see my treatment team, psychiatrist, and counselor decreased. My meds were working fine and I was back at work. Since I'm an agnostic, I had to put extra effort into making sure I was following my treatment plan and doing everything I could for my dual recovery. It's really easy after awhile to get sort of complacent, especially when things are all going well. I started going to an early morning AA meeting before work. It was just the ticket and I still go to my weekend DRA meetings where I can freely share about my dual recovery. But that early morning meeting focuses me on recovery when I need it most and sustains me throughout the day.
I had problems concentrating and staying focused and every time I'd try to meditate I'd either fall asleep or forget why I was sitting there and start daydreaming. My sponsor suggested I read a page out of The Twelve Steps and Dual Disorders book and one page out of the Big Book every day no matter what. That would be my personal way to seek my Higher Powers guidance.
Step Eleven is where I began to make a really personal relationship with my Higher Power. When I first came to DRA I didn't really know what I thought about God so I just used the Group. But over time--well this is hard to explain--I still don't know what God really is exactly, but when I meditate I find a place inside me that is at peace and I feel connected and loved. When I have a problem or a big decision to make, I seem to come up with pretty good answers during or after meditation.
I do the same prayer and meditation for my dual recovery that I do for my religion. To me it's all the same. My faith, my program of recovery, my DRA Group, my church activities, all these are my Higher Power's will for me to make me the best person I can be. These are the activities that give me strength, courage, and guidance and give meaning and purpose to my life.
*Adapted from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous®
*The Twelve Steps of AA are reprinted and adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. AA is a program of recovery from alcoholism only - use of the Twelve Steps in connection with programs and activities that are patterned after AA, but that address other problems, does not imply otherwise. THE ELEVENTH STEP OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS* 11. Sought thorough prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.