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Step 3

Old 05-06-2011, 07:28 AM
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Step 3

I am in the process of working this step right now with my sponsor. We went over the Third Step Prayer yesterday.

It is difficult for me to let go of control and put it in the hands of a HP. I am usually so concerned with trying to manipulate the future that I completely lose the joy of the present.

Any one who has worked this step have suggestions about how they implemented it in their daily life? Usually I just try to tell myself "Easy Does It" when I catch myself getting caught up in my thoughts, and this usually gets me centered for a little while, and I just let go of trying to control everything.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:04 AM
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If you have taken the 3rd step prayer, it means you have already taken Steps 1 & 2.

Lets look at it...
Step 1, are you powerless over alcohol?

Ask yourself what does that actually mean?
Physical "alergy" or an abnormal reaction to alcohol. Can you stop drinking after the first drink? Do you have control over the amount that you drink?
Do you have that power? If not, then it's powlessness over the amount you drink because of the abnormal reaction, to crave more alcohol. ( Physical )

Mental obsession. Do you obsess about drinking, can you stop the obsession? Can you take away the obsession.
Never mind the thought of a drink for now, it is how you react to the thought of a drink, can you take it or leave it alone ( obsess)?

Is your life Unmangeable ? ( second half of step 1 )
Means our thinking. Can you trust the decisons you make or do you need a new manager ?
Are you now willing to admit powerless over alcohol, and that your life is unmanageable?

Until you admit that, surrender, and if there is some resistance, ask yourself then, how can you be ready for step 2, to believe in a power greater than yourself?
When you admit powerless over alcohol, then there is room for Step 2, a power great than yourself.
In the chapter "We Agnostics", it says a Power that you understand, it does not have to make sense to anyone else.
If it makes sense to you, that then is a start, as long as you are willing, then the power you understand will work for you, forwards.

This then makes it easier to work the 3rd step prayer, that way when you begin steps 4 & 5, you know you are "covered", because you have taken step 3, because you have taken step 2, because you have admited everything in step 1.

Remember, it's spiritual, the HP makes sense to you. You will see other descriptions in We Agnostics, "spirit of the universe", etc.....all mean the same thing, God.

It's easier to say God, that it is to say "spirit of the universe", or whatever.

As long as we get an idea, sooner or later we "wake up", spiritual awakening, meaning the obsession to drink has been removed by taking these steps, doing what the authors did in the BB of AA from their own expirience.

A book to use is titled "Daily Reflections" from AA.
This book has each day of the year and read one page each day, this helps with our alcoholic thinking.
Ask your sponsor if they are aware of this book.
My 1st sponsor suggested it is a vital tool as part of recovery to have this book to.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:44 AM
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My experience is, steps 1-3 are conclusions of the mind. I did some writing - elaborating on my powerless over alcohol and speculating about a higher power - but it really wasn't necessary and more for my benefit than anything. The moment I stepped into AA I worked steps 1-3.

But the thing I've heard that is the most helpful is that "turning our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understand Him" means just moving forward with step 4, putting faith in the process, in the guidance of a sponsor, and AA's method in general. After all, my conception of a higher power is pretty limited with all those fears, resentments, etc., bouncing around my head like ricocheting pinballs.

Saying prayers is nice and all, but action worked for me and that meant putting pen to paper.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:02 AM
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For 2 months I thought I had taken steps 1-3 already and was starting on 4. but the funny thing was I was still unable to STOP drinking .... I could go a few days , but then cave and go 3-4 days on a bender.

My REAL step 1 was when I checked myself into Rehab. I already believed in God and knew he could do it.... I just wasn't ready to hand it over to him yet I guess.


For me step three was something that just "Happened" .

I remember it was on the back Deck of the Rehab center April 21st at 6:15 AM ... one of the few times I could get peace and quiet away from the other patients... watching the sunrise and hearing the world wake up around me ( it's near some wooded area). I spent a few minutes with God, my cup of coffee, a cigarette and nature and then and there it just ... happened. I suddenly FELT it.


Ever since then , I wake up at 6:00 am-ish and go outside with a cup of Coffee and a Cigarette and I sit on my front porch facing the sunrise and have my talk time with God as I listen to the world wake up around me before I wake my son up for school.

It's the most peaceful time of my day and it really does start my day off in peace and serenity. Gives me a new strength ...


I surely don't miss those mornings hung over and sleeping late and then rushing and stressed trying to get him ready and get out the door cussing the clock for reading such a late time.

It's a very freeing step that 3 is.


An additional thought. I don't try and repeat the prayer in the book verbatim. That would be insincere of me I think. I do say something very similar in my own words of doing Gods will rather than my own. Saying the serenity prayer and asking for strength to stay sober and to do as he would have me do rather than as I would have me do.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:36 AM
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Step 3 is a decision, formalized by saying the 3rd Step prayer. If that decision is made, it is put into practice 'next' or 'at once' by immediate action of writing a 4th Step inventory. The 4th Step is the implementation of Step 3.
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:11 PM
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It's been a while since I did the steps...... but the "turning over" part tripped me up for years, going way back to my church days, when I was trying to be a "good" believer.......

The way I think about it now is that while I can't let go of everything (it would mean just being a blob and waiting for divine intervention......), I can have the willingness to let go. It means being willing to be shown a new way. I find inspiration when I'm able to quiet my mind - it sounds like you're already doing some of that.

That's my take, anyway.....
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:59 PM
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I've always found myself conflicted over tools to use for recovery. 12-step? Life ring? Smart recovery? Rational recovery? Whatever.

The one consistent message to me was always the first and most elusive step 1. GIVE UP! One can spend ages on this one. The addicts personality hates it. But its the critical step. The rest seemed easy after you really get that one. I could have saved myself a lot of frustration if I had recognized this sooner but I guess I'm just exactly where I'm supposed to be.
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