Tripping on 2nd step

Old 03-31-2010, 09:36 PM
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Tripping on 2nd step

I'm about 9 months sober now - and kind of at a strange spot in my sobriety . I have been doing AA for a lot of those months, never as much as I was instructed - but I have some limitations and other responsibilities - kids. Whenever this comes up I am always told that AA must come first above all else & I get it, I do - you must get better for your kids. But there is a big part of me that thinks dumping my kids with a babysitter every night for 2 hours would be selfish on my part & the fact is that it's simply not affordable. So through those months I was going to about 2-3 meetings a week & doing the best I could to commit.

I've struggled with the steps a lot also. I am just stuck on 2 - I never grew up with any kind of concept of a god or higher power. Not that I completely discount there being something greater than myself, but when I am told to pray it just seems like I might as well wish for it. If this offends others it's not meant to - it's just a foreign concept to me. My sponsor has been really great - I like a lot about the program, but I am starting to doubt if it will work for me. I just can't truthfully surrender to something I don't full heartedly believe in. She says I can borrow her god, and that would be just great if that worked for me - I would have done that a long time ago.

I haven't been able to make any meeting these last 3 weeks. I haven't had a drink, don't feel like I am going crazy craving anything. I have actually been devoting a lot of time getting a community group together in the neighborhood. Maybe I am just trying to control everything again. I don't know. That is what really got me about what is in the big book - all the stuff about the isms. I hadn't expected that. And hearing speakers talk about their isms developing in childhood, it was very odd to have so many things I had struggled with so long in my life pinpointed so precisely.

I just feel kind of lost in it right now.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:54 PM
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Hi - First, congrats on 9 months. Great progress.

I felt just as you did. I didn't actually finish Step 1 until six months into my sobriety when I almost relapsed on my six month birthday due to over-confidence.

As I felt exactly this way, I struggled with the higher power / God concept. But then, I changed my thinking.

I said: "Ok, I am having a hard time with the God thing, but my own recovery program (that I invented) doesn't seem to be working because (a) I almost relapsed, and (b) I'm not happy. Perhaps, I should just get over all my hang-ups, stop trying to control everything, and just give it a try."

I started simply by waking up and saying "Good Morning" to the ceiling. At night, when I got into bed having stayed sober, I just said "Thanks". Soon, I started saying "Let me be a positive influence in someone else's life today." That was it.

What started to happen was that by worrying about other people first (before myself), I didn't worry about myself as much. (I'm not a saint, and I certainly am still selfish, but we all try our best ...)

My prayer was not to God, per se, but rather to "Not Me". In other words, I really took to heart that most of the time, it is just not about me. The world doesn't revolve around me. And this got me to the place where I realized that I could let go of a lot of the things that I was trying to control. (the serentity prayer now comes to mind).

And in that instant, I relaxed, my craving for alcohol diminished, and I got closer to my own higher power who is just "Not Me".

You know that the key to recovery is willingness, open mindedness, and action. Keep posting .. and go help other alcoholics. If you want an amazing, eye-opening experience, go be the speaker to a meeting of 100 other freaks and bums like us. It will keep you sober for weeks.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by killingmesmalls View Post
Not that I completely discount there being something greater than myself
That's probably as far as you need to go with Step 2. Remember that around half the original AA members at the time the BB was written were atheist or agnostic coming in to the program. They recovered. For myself, I came into the program as a staunch atheist who thought the idea of a higher power was a crutch for weak-minded people. I recovered as well.

I did that by being shown the precise directions for Step 2. 'Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, there is a power greater than myself?"

Like the book says, upon that simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built. Worked for them and works for me.

From the rest of your post, I think it's actually Step 1 where you are stuck. Do you still think that you can stay sober by not going to meetings and not working the Steps? Do you think that community organizing and half-hearted prayers are sufficient to recover? Maybe. And maybe not.

These aren't attacks. Just questions that you can ask yourself if you want to see where you really are in the Steps. Your sponsor should have pointed this out to you many months ago.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:47 AM
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Good for you for being sober for 9 months!

I had to reconnect spiritually with myself in order to get sober. And, it has become one of my greatest recovery gifts.

It's good that you are seeking support with your recovery.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:28 PM
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Hi Killingmesmalls..thats cool youre 9 months in an feelin good about you think the fact your donating so much time to others,,ie family community projects helpin you not have time to dwell on you and therefore helping you forget about the booze somewhat..?, am an absolute novice in this life of stayin sober..11 days in..readin some of the stuff from some guys here..both awe inspiring an mind blowing..there grasp and analogys..of like the mindset of Alcoholism..and stayin free method top draw.. i dont do AA, But have every belief nothin happens by chance..and there is a higher all. its great to hear this stuff from people here..real food for thought..sorry for bumpin in on your post... Regards..all the best.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by killingmesmalls View Post

... I just can't truthfully surrender to something I don't full heartedly believe in.
"We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results..."
(page 47)
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:55 PM
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Willingness to believe in a higher power is the key. Keith covered that pretty well, I think. Maybe this is a little over the top, IDK... But, I've been ripping a lot of my vinyl into my iTunes library, and I came across my favorite Bruce Cockburn album... There's this one song...

Making Contact

...step outside -- take a look at the stars
catch a glimpse of the way things are --
making contact... many ways to understand
one for every woman and man
been that way since the world began...

...i hear the drumming of the surf and i have to dance
stepping to the rhythm of circumstance
making contact...

...i feel so huge -- i feel so small
i feel so good i want to swallow it all --
making contact...

making contact
swimming in an ocean of love
making contact
swimming in an ocean of love.....

I like Bruce's expression of his spirituality and since I was all lit up about this song today and you were asking about step 2, well...

Hey, you got kids and I get not being able to attend a meeting everyday... in fact it could even work against you. Life exists outside the rooms, as do many of those we love. Don't lose sight of the forest for the trees. Maybe take a walk outside tonight and take a look at the stars .

9 months was a little bumpy for me too. I learned to lean on my higher power, hard... It worked

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Old 04-01-2010, 06:29 PM
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It is import too understand the the 2nd step does not say "believed" (past tense) is says "came to believe". This is a process, not a singular event. You do not have to have a concrete idea of your HP to proceed, just a willingness - as many have pointed out - to believe in a power greater than yourself.

As you works steps 3 thru 9, your understanding of yourself, your addiction and your Higher Power will be profoundly different than it is right now. THIS is the process step 2 talks about "came to believe".

Even if you feel you don't truly believe, just try it, you have nothing to lose.
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