A core principle behind the Second Step is coming to believe that there is a source of wisdom, courage, and strength, greater than ourselves that we can tap into that will help us to hope, cope, and heal.
Well, after working Step One and finding out that I couldn't do this recovery thing by myself, I would have been in a hell of a fix if there wasn't someone or something out there somewhere that was more knowledgeable, stronger, and wiser than myself that was willing and capable of helping me and supporting me in my recovery.
I knew deep down that God would always be there for me, but in my active addiction and the worst of my depression I just didn't feel worthy of His or anyone's love. Now I see that He was guiding me all along including helping me get to my first DRA meeting. That's were I met my sponsor. She helped me so much by making me feel accepted and loved. Even though she is not from my religion, her gentle guidance and help with the Steps and other early recovery issues brought me back and restored my faith. Now I know that my Higher Power's will for me is to be healthy, happy and free and I need to stay in dual recovery to do that best.
I really liked the idea of finding my own higher power--one that made sense to me. I had been told what to believe and what was right or wrong all my life. This program gave me the freedom to finally figure things out for myself. I don't need to convince anyone else that my higher power can beat up their higher power or that mine is the only real one. I don't need to even let anyone know what my higher power is. All I say is that I have one and it helps me to recover.
The Second Step is all about hope. It doesn't say that we have to believe in miracles or divine beings. It only says that we identify a source of help that makes sense to us. It may be spiritual in nature or it might not be--it can be a combination of things. The main point is that we begin to believe that with this source of help, we can begin to change our thinking and actions and learn to keep our disease in remission. That's a pretty hopeful thing to believe if you stop and think about it.
I started by using my DRA Group as my Higher Power. I was very angry at God back then and didn't want anything to do with Him. My feelings have changed considerably over time but that's really just my own business. The deal is that we start with an open mind and build from there.
I like to start with the last part of Step Two. It implies that we had lost our sanity by suggesting it needs to be restored. It says, "...could restore us to sanity." As a person who lives with and has to manage a chronic psychiatric disorder on a daily basis, I am not entirely happy with this choice of words. But then again, I find it uncomfortably accurate and accept it as it relates to my thinking and behaviors where cocaine was concerned. Man-- the things I did and said to stay on a run. I would have sold my grandmother's teeth for one more line and I love my grandma. I really needed help to get out of that kind of lifestyle. So in my mind, Step Two is about research and planning.
Somewhere, I think maybe in the NA book, it says that the insanity of this disease is "repeating the same mistakes over and over and expecting different results." That's what I did all the time. Every time I drank I told myself that this time I would only drink a couple of beers then go home. I did that day after day and the next thing I'd know I was totally blasted or it was the next day and I didn't remember much of anything. I did the same things with my meds. Time and time again I'd be feeling level for awhile and so I'd go off my meds. Each time I'd end up manic. I just couldn't get it through my head that the meds where what was keeping me level. I really think my intensions were good back then, I mean, I was miserable and sick and I hated it. I didn't like ending up back at the hospital all the time, I wanted a way out but it felt like death was the only option. For me, getting into a dual treatment center was a life-saver. They made the Second Step real for me. I could see and experience all the help that was available to me. I believed they really cared and would continue to help me. I believed that with their help, I could quit the vicious cycles I was trapped in and get healthy again.
*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 SECOND STEP OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS* 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.