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Step Study - Step 2

Old 02-01-2008, 07:21 AM
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Step Study - Step 2

If you are just joining in, this is an online Step Study. Each of the 12 steps will have its own thread, so you can participate at whatever level you are comfortable.

Most of the information here comes from the books Paths To Recovery, Al-Anon’s Steps, Traditions and Concepts and How Al Anon Works for Families and Friends of Alcoholics, along with some readings from Courage to Change, One Day at a Time in Al Anon II.

Here are links to the other steps in case you want to review:

Step 1 http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-step-1-a.html


= = = = = = = = = =

Step Two: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

The basic spiritual principle introduced in Step Two suggests that there is a Power greater than we are that provides hope for sanity, whether we are living with active alcoholism or not. Step Two reaffirms that we may be powerless, but we are NOT helpless, and we are not alone. For many of us, the introduction of a Power greater than ourselves is difficult to understand. Some initially believe we are speaking of a religious entity. We are not. We are speaking of a loving, caring, nurturing Power that provides us with guidance in dealing with the effects of the disease of alcoholism.

…. Acceptance of Step Two is paramount to working the rest of the Al Anon steps. Tripping over Step Two and skipping to other Steps indicates a lack of acceptance of Step One. Many members have difficulty beginning to work this Step for their personal recovery……. The wisdom of members who have worked these steps before us is essential to understanding fully the spiritual answers and guidance we are about to experience. Trusting our group and trusting a sponsor are only stepping stones to accepting a Power greater than ourselves.

… Some of us reject religion of any kind and call ourselves either agnostics or atheists. It is important to hear that, whether we practice a particular religion or not, all of us are welcome in Al-Anon. Yet, when we approach Step Two, we may suspect that a group ideology will be revealed, and we will be forced to conform or leave. Instead the group’s members turn us toward defining our own idea of a Higher Power and we come to believe that such a Power could exist and might help us.

In beginning to understand Step Two, we learn that we have choices…. If we struggle with the concept of a Higher Power in any way, we can begin by acting “as if”. By reflecting on more serene or peaceful times in our lives, we begin to appreciate today. The slogan “One Day at a Time” takes on a new meaning as we commit ourselves to reading a page each day in our (daily readers).

… Sanity can be defined in many ways. Many share that they no longer purchase alcohol for the alcoholic. Other speaks of removing themselves from tumultuous situations. Some share of defusing arguments by merely stating, “You might be right.” Taking a bubble bath or going skiing for a day can offer new perspectives on the situation. Gradually and gratefully we develop a faith in a Higher Power. We begin to recognize that the old behavior, if it returns, doesn’t have to return for the same duration.

~~ From Paths to Recovery. Al Anon’s Steps, Traditions and Concepts. 1997 pp 18-21.



From How Al Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics p 47.

The alcoholic cannot heal our wounds; neither can our will-power, quick wittedness, or perseverance. Turning to these sources again and again is no more useful – or sane – than going to a car lot to buy groceries. Having continually failed to resolve our difficulties ourselves, most of us finally realize we must look for help in a more promising place. What we seek is something greater, beyond our own abilities, a source of help, comfort, guidance, and strength unrestricted by our human limitations. Our need for such assistance has become obvious, but so many of our needs have gone unsatisfied in the past that we hardly dare to hope that we might find the help we need. In the process of taking Step Two, we open our hearts and minds to the possibility that such a power could actually exist in our lives.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:23 AM
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Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

What is my concept of a Higher Power at this time?

What would it take to allow my concept of my Higher Power to change?

Have past experiences affected my concept of a Higher Power? If so, how?

What do I hope to gain from accepting the concept of a Power greater than myself?

Do I sense spiritual guidance in my life? How?

How do I describe the Higher Power I found in Al-Anon?

What does “Let Go and Let God” mean to me?

What does faith mean to me?

With whom and in what circumstances am I comfortable discussing my spiritual experiences?

What might I gain from believing I could be supported and loved by a Power greater than myself?

What does “came to believe” mean to me?

What does sanity mean to me?

How has the alcoholic situation affected my sanity? My life?

Have I allowed the alcoholic situation to become my Higher Power? How?

How has my thinking become distorted trying to handle the alcoholic behavior?

How have I turned to a Power greater than myself in times of great need? Did I call another Al-Anon member? My sponsor? Did I read Al Anon Conference Approved Literature (CAL)? Did I go to a meeting? If not, why not?

In working this Step, can I describe a Step Two experience to my sponsor or my group? In a written sharing?

When have I done the same things over and over, yet expected different results?
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:26 AM
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I came into recovery mad at God for allowing addiction to enter my life. What had I ever done to deserve this? The good news was that God never got mad at me, and as I connected to His spiritual guidance, as I learned to become friends and talk to God as my friend every day, I found the God of my understanding to be a loving, forgiving God who loved all His children including his addicted ones
(The above quote came from Ann's thread today - Language of Letting go 2/1 which happened to be about Step 2.)

I was mad at God, too. I struggled with that for a long time, because the God of my religious upbringing was a powerful, scary being who dealt big punishments to those who didn't serve Him well...

It was from the people in the rooms of Al Anon that I learned I could "fire" the God of my childhood and hire a new one. Today, my God is a loving and caring being, full of goodness and strength with a great sense of humor. He is certainly bigger than any anger I might have towards Him, and he understands with compassion and love.

A loving and healthy relationship with my Higher Power is just one of many gifts I have received from the program.
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:20 AM
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And all of this to say that while i AM powerless in this situation...i am NOT helpless...and i am NOT alone...i'm hanging here with the hp of my understanding (and apparently a guy in a tutu! )
LOL now THAT is a mental picture I'm not sure I wanted! However, if the guy in the blue tutu is how you see your Higher Power, then go for it.

The last part of the step challenged me for awhile. "restore me to sanity??" There were times I was sure I was the sane one and my life would just be better if everyone else could just see that. Other times, I was convinced I had no idea what sanity looked like, and I was fairly sure I couldn't be restored to something I had never HAD.

My sponsor had me approach that part of Step Two backwards. She had me write down all of the insanity in my life. Next to each thing she had me write the opposite. That list gave me a peek at what sanity might look like.
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:56 AM
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Step Two: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

I came to believe in my HP way before learning about recovery, but I did learn to did deeper and to trust more as I've traveled along. Today, I can let go alot better and sooner.

This is a good Step for me today. I've had a couple of 'anon' triggers this week and wasn't very happy with my responses to them. I actually did 'okay' but the pain was still present and that part stinks.

My crazy moments may come and go but I do find restoration inbetween those periods and maintain a greater status quo of peace.

Today I won't judge myself harshly about not handling it better than I do, but instead trust that God has taken me through and brought me out of that bad place.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:24 AM
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Step 2: "Came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity"
I have always been a woman of quick ACTION. I am learning. When I slow down, breathe, relflect and spend time with inaction, the power greater than myself can step in. The power of others can be appreciated. Situations and solutions become clearer.
Yes, I have come to believe.
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:46 PM
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Great stuff - Thanks Cats,

This is an article that I sent to Al-Anon/Alateen's forum - it is in our February 2008 issue -there is an error - says I'm from IOWA when actually I'm from LOUISIANA.
This is exactly how I feel about Step 2 - So very grateful for it, because of working Step 2 I have been given something I never had before - SANITY - what a special blessing.
Wishing you Serenity & Joy,
Rita


2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

One of my first couple of Al-Anon meetings was a Step study meeting on Step 2. As I read this step, it occurred to me, how could a Higher Power restore me to something I had never had? Sanity. Growing up in an Alcoholic home, several unhealthy relationships and being married to an alcoholic/addict, I had never lived a sane life. I was separated from my alcoholic husband who had just achieved six months sobriety in AA. Even though he was sober and not living in my household, I was still miserable and insane.

Step 2 gave me hope that I could have a sane life with the help of my Higher Power and the Al-Anon program. Slowly, One Day at a Time, some days one hour at a time, I started the process of recovery. My life has been changed forever. I am happy and sane, no matter what the state of the alcoholics/addicts in my life.

Friends and family members that struggle with the disease of alcoholism/addiction surround me. Some are in recovery and some have not started that journey yet. The best thing I can do for my family and me, is to continue my recovery through prayer to my Higher Power, attending meetings, performing service work and most importantly working the Twelve Steps.
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:24 PM
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Rita,

That is beautiful. And guess what? I AM from Iowa.... and I'd be proud to call you an honorary Iowan.

You are dead on about how this step works, especially about one day at a time, one step at a time. It's interesting to note that this step doesn't say that our lives will be restored to sanity... only that we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. All we have to do is believe.

Hugs from Iowa
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:21 PM
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The second step simply reminds me to recognize that there is help for me. I didn't struggle too much with this step because I have long believed that that I have a higher power. The 2nd step has reminded me to avail myself of the help that it offers. Recovery has helped me to dig deeper into my relationship with my HP. Thinking about it just now I have the thought that the reason that I should love myself is because HP loves me. Not only does he love me but he can restore me to sanity...and he probably wants to....I only have to believe. Sounds like I have the easier part of this, actually.

Everytime I feel powerless and my life is unmaneable...all I have to do is take the next step....the one where I state my belief that my HP can restore me to sanity. And that is a tall order for HP.

Thanks - Donna
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:17 PM
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I'm still on step 1 in a lot of ways - except accepting that I'm powerless over AH addiction (or responsible). But, here's my Step 2 story. I too have always had faith in a HP. I do believe I have to work too, it goes hand in hand - but I try very hard not to put blinders on so I miss it when my HP sends me what I need in whatever shape or form. My life, though not easy has always been blessed, and from an early age I have counted my blessings often, most times daily. So, this is what happened to me last night and this morning. As you know, I have been "cramming". I have been working as hard as I can and one of my biggest "fears" lately has been that I am going to have to deal with the practical side of life with my AH and I felt like I hadn't had enough in my own recovery to really be able to handle the anticipated onslaught of drama and manipulation. I knew I could do it, because I had to, but really felt like I was going to have to "fake" it a lot of the time and afterwards be completely beat up and exhausted and emotionally drained. This terrified me in a lot of ways. I knew what I knew, but it hadn't sunk in enough to "feel" it. So, last night I cried. For the first time in all this I just cried and cried. I didn't want to have to do this. I knew I had to, but I really just this once wanted something or someone to help me so I wouldn't have to deal with this. I was soooo tired and I felt like as hard as I was trying I just wasn't going to get there. I finally fell asleep, exhausted. I woke up this morning - and I WAS CLEAR! I was so clear I couldn't believe it! I knew - I mean I KNEW! I was going to be OK. I still have work to do (that was made VERY clear too BTW), but what I needed to get through this next step with my STBXAH (is that right?) was given. It's not going to be easy. I didn't ask for easy, I just asked to be ready, truly ready and I am. I feel more sane (about this particular situation anyway)! I think this is a Step 2 moment - I feel soooo good! I actually feel really exhausted right now as I had a long long day at work and a long long week at both jobs - but emotionally and spiritually, I am so pumped and ready! Only a power greater than myself could have restored me to any sanity on this issue! Thank you all! I got here with all the beaucoodles of your wisdom and support!
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:14 PM
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I knew when I came to Naranon that my life had become unmanagable...I was sane enough to recognize that it was insane. But the only way that I could truly admit that I was powerless, was to believe in a power greater than me. I think I needed Step 2 to fully embrace Step 1A (powerlessness) I could not let go unless I could place my trust in someone or something that would never let go.
Although I never doubted the presence of a higher power, I never had a close relationship with my HP until recovery. Sometimes I haven't recognized his presence at the time, but looking back, I see how many times he was right there. It makes me think of the footprints poem...He carried me when I could not walk myself.
Thanks for doing this Cat!!:day4
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:52 AM
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I think Step 2 is the Step of "hope". I could see what others around me had, I knew their lives were as bad or worse than mine, and I wanted some of that peace and serenity.

I had no idea how I was going to get it, but I now had "hope", something I had not felt in a very long time. This program gave me a promise that if I were willing to do the "do" things, I too could find sanity again...all I had to do at this point was to "believe" that I could have it too.

Hugs
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Ann View Post
I think Step 2 is the Step of "hope". I could see what others around me had, I knew their lives were as bad or worse than mine, and I wanted some of that peace and serenity.

I had no idea how I was going to get it, but I now had "hope", something I had not felt in a very long time. This program gave me a promise that if I were willing to do the "do" things, I too could find sanity again...all I had to do at this point was to "believe" that I could have it too.

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Thats put really well Ann, and spot on as to how I felt about the HP and the powerless aspect.

My personal beliefs have changed, or become more centered/defined since understanding step two.
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:59 AM
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Thank you for running these STEP threads, ladies. I really like step 2! It is wonderful to accept that I am NOT alone in handling the weight of the world, that it is truly in God's hands, and that hope does exist

And Happysoul, I think that any time we find humor and can laugh, THAT is sanity. You can tell because your body is warmed all over with a good belly laugh and it feels so good. I trust my body to tell me when something is right or wrong, like a sixth sense. I just have to keep remembering it and recognizing what it is trying to tell me at the moment!
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:03 PM
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Thanks Cats, for starting this Step study.


I remember, like Ann, walking into a meeting, and people there were actually LAUGHING, and SMILING! Good grief I thought, obviously, I am much worse off than they are, I want some of what they have!
It took me, quite a while to obtain some of that serenity, because, being the stubborn knuckle headed person I am, I THOUGHT, I could fix me.
(funny that didn't work...)

The reason it took me so long because I was "ye of little faith" and until I truly believed and accepted my H.P. could "repair" me, it wasn't going to happen!

Faith happens.
The steps really, absolutely, work. Not just in helping me deal with my SA's, but in everyday life.
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Old 02-02-2008, 03:01 PM
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Step 2 Prayer:
Second Step Prayer
Heavenly Father,
I know in my heart that only you can restore me to sanity.
I humbly ask that you remove all twisted thought &
addictive behavior from me this day.
Heal my spirit & restore in me a clear mind.
Alternate Prayer
I pray for an open mind so I may come to
believe in a Power greater than myself.
I pray for humility & the continued
opportunity to increase my faith.
I don't want to be crazy any more.
________________________________________
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Old 02-02-2008, 03:03 PM
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I don't want to be crazy any more.
That was one of the first things that truly brought me to my knees. My world was spinning out of control and there wasn't anything I could do about it. I'm not sure I knew then that I was crazy, but I was convinced IT was crazy whatever IT was!
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:43 PM
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Cats -

I'm printing both of those prayers out...I have a several good prayers from the other steps but I don't have one for the 2nd. They sum it up.

Thanks - Donna
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:53 AM
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Step 2 -
There is hope, but I can't do this alone.
This step is a lifeline, but only after I realize I am drowning - in powerlessness and in unmanagability. Then I remember i have a power greater than myself and its such a relief. There is hope for me, hope for my AD, hope that I can have a good day in spite of her using. But I can't do this alone. A power greater than me comes in many forms. Sometimes its a bit of recovery literature, sometimes a friend, a meeting, a song, reading a post, or sometimes its God. As long as I am turning away from my own thinking and fear or anger and towards something greater than my illness, I can be restored to some sanity.

Lately, I'm trying to find the distinction between feeling pain & sadness, loss about the addict and being in a state of codependant crap. OK, sometimes I just have to feel sad because I am human and I really have those feelings to feel. Fine line between wallowing in self pity and feeling a feeling. Is it a matter of how long we allow ourselves to cry? (an hour? a day? 2 days?) Is it a matter of taking the correct action in spite of the feelings? Or is it about changing the feelings by changing my thinking? Ah, this is getting off topic so I'll stop.
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:37 PM
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To All who posted above,
Thank you for sharing your most personal thoughts. The Step Study is fantastic.

I locked into a small phrase that nets it all out for me in this step.... "powerless, but not helpless".
I know I can no longer do it alone....it doesn't work. I know that my HP will be the invisible guide, holding my hand as I move through this process, but He won't do it for me. He's no Codie!
I have to relinquish the victim inside in order to feel deserving of this guidance.
Victim in so many ways....Always taking the burnt toast so no one else has to have it.......
Compromising everything until there is so little authentic self to recognize.
No More.
Deserving of help, especially helping one's self is not being selfish, its providing basic maintenance needed for our own health.
I get that now.
: )
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