In the Twelve Steps, Step 2 reads “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” The wording of the step is truly important to the individual struggling with addiction, particularly if he or she is feeling broken at the prospect of getting well.
By the time we have entered recovery, many of us have tried just about everything to stop or at least control our drinking and drugging. We’ve tried limiting the substance, changing substances, changing friends and environments, keeping busy, getting someone else to manage our finances, and made endless vows to just control ourselves. Yet nothing has worked for very long.
Strangely, even our most earnest attempts at recovery have often been solo; rarely have we trusted friends, family members or even therapists with what is really going on inside, and with what our habit really looks like. Seeking outside help has not been our forte.
Do You Need a Power Greater than Yourself? Take This Quiz
As soon as we hear ‘power greater than ourselves or ‘higher power’ some of us instantly get triggered. Here comes the God stuff, we think. Talk of a higher power can pose problems both to the atheist or agnostic non-believer and to the religious person for whom God hasn’t removed the addiction. Before anybody will be willing to believe in a power greater than themselves, it’s obvious that the need for such a power must be established. Do you need a higher power, or can you continue doing things your way? Ask yourself…
- Are you preoccupied with thoughts of your drug of choice, even while doing other activities?
- Did you start by drinking or using to relax and socialize, but found you continued even when drugs and alcohol turned on you?
- Have you already tried and failed to control or limit your using, or stop altogether?
- Is using and/or drinking the only way you know how to have ‘fun’ anymore?
- Do people who know you, like family, friends and coworkers, appear concerned about your behaviour or habits?
- Do you tell the truth about the extent of your alcohol/drug consumption and activities?
- Do you feel as though without your substance, you would not be able to cope with your life?
- Have you reached a point where you feel as though this has to stop?
If these questions resonate with you and you can answer Yes to more than two of them, you might be more willing to look at believing in the concept of some power that can help you get your life back under control.