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Working the steps...

Old 09-02-2003, 09:09 AM
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For me and step too. Its funny it seems when I finally descided to stay stoped(I said I quit a million times) Is when god came into my life I surrenderd to my hp. I let him take over. He showed me the way and I followed. There have been some interesting things happen in my life that shows me I have a higher power and as long as I follow my hp and not lead I will be ok..
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Old 09-02-2003, 09:51 AM
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Chy
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Hi Paulie,

Though I am Catholic and was raised to go to church every sunday I became complacent in my faith because of my drinking.

But for so many years I would beg God to help me without putting much effort into it. I would do the " I swear God I won't drink again, if you can relieve this hangover" type praying. When I came to believe in a power greater then my self, I became re-connected with my God because of AA. Now he listens because I have no will of my own, I know he is a loving, understanding, compassionate God. Because I admited I needed him again in my life, he holds me gently and walks with me closely each day because I admitted I was powerless over alcohol and needed him to restore me to what he had always intended for me.
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Old 09-03-2003, 02:17 PM
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Chy -

Isn't it awesome when we are aware that he is right there? he is always right there, but I am not always aware of it because I don't allow myself to be.


Okay I am excited so now I want to talk about Step 3. Now some of you might think that this is kinda silly but this was my first experience with step 3.

I wrote a contract with God. I wrote this contract everyday until I felt in my heart that he answered and responded to me, signing, if you will, his part of the contract. Which really means that I wrote it long enough (a few weeks) until I knew in my heart that I trusted enough.

I wrote everyday along with my journaling -

God,
I would like to form a partnership with you. You will be the senior partner and I will be the junior partner. You will make all the decisions and I will carry them out.
Please give me a sign when this partnership is formed.

So like I said, I wrote this every morning for almost 2 weeks I think. Then one day there was an argument in the house. When you have 6 or 7 women living in a 3 bedroom house, actually 2 bedrooms cause the house parent got the master bedroom. So there were 6 of us in 2 bedrooms, yes we fought over stupid things and go on each others nerves. So one day a couple of the girl we having shall I say a heated discussion and when this would happen I would get all tight in the stomach and being the co that I am I would always have to get involved. but this time I did not. The argument turned to involve the house parent - the next thing I knew a plate went flying right past my face.

I stayed calm, I stopped and prayed for the women that were arguing. It was at that moment that I knew that my partnership with God had been formed. It was always there, but when I stopped and prayed what had happened was I had signed my part of the agreement with him.

Now in the time that I have been clean this is not always the way that I handle things, but I try and that is what is important.

The last 48 hours with my brother being in the hospital, I once again signed my contract with God, I stayed calm and prayed for him, I had faith he would be okay. And he is.

That was my experience with the 3rd step the first time.

Anyone else want to share, or do I just get to keep babbling on.
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Old 09-03-2003, 03:59 PM
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My step 3 was while I sitting in the sun in my driveway talking long distance to a nonprogram friend. Without going into monumental detail, she made a statement that I remember to this day. "You can't try to make your marrage work while the Beav is still living with you." That was my first consious contact with God. Saying it now, it sounds so small, but believe me...and I know you know the feeling. It was huge!

I was told that God's word can come from anywhere so listen. And what she said was so right...SO right. Now I listen.

Hugs,
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Old 09-03-2003, 04:36 PM
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I missed Step 2 here, but my 2 ties right into my step 3.

The hardest part of step 2, for me, was believing that anyone could restore me to sanity. I just felt that I was getting crazier and crazier and even though I believed in God, I really had to work on trusting him to save me.

I was sitting in church one Sunday with my son and a friend who had invited us to a special service called "the service of miracles" and as part of the service we were asked to sit and pray silently for a miracle. I remember praying asking God to remove my fear, that I just couldn't live in fear any longer. As I prayed tears flowed down my cheek, but they weren't crying tears with the lump in the throat, just water flowing and flowing. And as they flowed I felt my fear being washed away. It's hard to explain, but that is when I KNEW God was there for me and I did my step 3 while sitting in that church.

I have never doubted God since and I don't believe I ever will.

Pauline, I love this thread. It gives me a chance to re-work my steps and keep fresh the gratitude I have for the gift of recovery.

Hugs
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Old 09-03-2003, 06:24 PM
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JT - it does not sound small, I get it completely!!

Ann- I know what you mean about flowing, not the lump in the throat kind of tears. The release kind of tears.

Okay who is next? I love this thread to, I love to hear how people work the steps in their lives.

Sorry if I get long winded, but if you aren't used to it by now...well tough cookie - LOL!
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Old 09-03-2003, 07:57 PM
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Love what you have to say ladies! I'm gonna be looking forward to step 4 when you get there as that's where I am at with my sponser.... it seems to be taking forever to get it down on paper. Will discuss it more when you all get there!
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Old 09-03-2003, 08:21 PM
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Step 2 & 3 were really difficult for me. I had convinced myself that there was no such thing as a higher power and wanted logical, tangible evidence for it's existance. I really struggled with it because I wanted to believe and couldn't regardless of how hard I tried. I prayed daily for the willingness to believe in a power greater than myself even though I felt ridiculous.

This was half of step 2. All I needed was the willingess to believe, belief was not necessary. Then I thought about what insanity meant to me. I started seeing it cropping up everywhere! My thinking was a jumble of old misconceptions, fears, insecurities and compulsions which drove me to self-destruction. I just observed my behavior for a while to understand what I was dealing with and suddenly I was quite ready to give up my way of living and replace it with, well, anything really. I did not how to live, I proved that to myself for years in addiction.

Step 3 was scary. I thought giving up my willpower was scary (ego), especially to something I couldn't understand logically (fear). My sponsor reminded me that I wasn't giving up much anyway, and I realised I was glad to get rid of my ideas on how to live.

My concept of a higher power was formed based on qualities I wanted mostly compassion. Then I made the decision to hand my will and life over to the care of it. It was very liberating and I found that my belief in a higher power wasn't as important as the belief that it was possible that something somewhere could help me to let go of my destructive thoughts and behaviors and restore me to sanity. I surrendered to that something, somewhere and I truly believed it could help me. Now I rely on it, even though I still don't know what it is. Logic helped me to undertand that I was living a life of insanity, but I needed to let go of my logic to surrender to a better way of living. It was a leap of faith.

Every day I ask my HP to take those thoughts of mine which cause fear from me and do the thinking for me during the day. As long as I do my bit and show a willingness to be guided, it helps me so much that I can't even describe it. Paradoxically, surrender gives me the strength I need and the freedom I love.

Amy
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Old 09-04-2003, 07:24 AM
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All I needed was the willingess to believe, belief was not necessary. Then I thought about what insanity meant to me. I started seeing it cropping up everywhere! My thinking was a jumble of old misconceptions, fears, insecurities and compulsions which drove me to self-destruction. I just observed my behavior for a while to understand what I was dealing with and suddenly I was quite ready to give up my way of living and replace it with, well, anything really. I did not how to live, I proved that to myself for years in addiction.
Reading that was like writing it myself. And that feeling of just wanting to give up our way of living for anything cause we knew anything had to be better than the insanity we were living in, I remember that so well.
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Old 09-04-2003, 07:31 AM
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I am so glad I read this thread today! Wow, it really does inspire me to keep plugging along. Great job ladies!! Keep sharing, please! This addict IS listening...............
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Old 09-04-2003, 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by DolphinBlue

I couldn't understand logically (fear). My sponsor reminded me that I wasn't giving up much anyway, and I realised I was glad to get rid of my ideas on how to live.

Logic helped me to undertand that I was living a life of insanity, but I needed to let go of my logic to surrender to a better way of living. It was a leap of faith.

Every day I ask my HP to take those thoughts of mine which cause fear from me and do the thinking for me during the day. As long as I do my bit and show a willingness to be guided, it helps me so much that I can't even describe it. Paradoxically, surrender gives me the strength I need and the freedom I love.

Amy

Gosh Amy that really hit home. The frst part was me! As an academic and mathematician logic is extremly deep rooted in me. I knew my idea of approaching my sobriety didn't work for me even when I looked at it logically! Like you said I had to surrender to a better way of living, and take that leap of faith.

I consider myself to still be relativly new and I have a problem with a character defect. " I strive for absolute perfection and logic" and I feel so let down if I don't think I am approaching these steps correctly, it's like I need a report card telling me I'm doing it okay. My God knows I am willing to do his will I've told him over and over, I have surrendered everything I possibly can to him and trust that he will show me the way in everything I do, and to the best of my ability I try to live the steps 1-3.

Yes I am still sober and gratefully so yet I feel if I forget to connect with him for that day, or miss a couple of meetings it all goes to chit! I can't let go of the guilt I am not doing it the best I can, when given all I have, knowing sobriety comes first, I just still don't feel I am giving enough time to "study" of the program. I feel I am burning the candle at both ends want nothing but thorough understanding of this program and be so perfectl. I suck at journaling, though when I do a couple times a week, I again ask God to guide me for this to. I've done a good 1-3 steps according to my sponser, but am still not satisfied. What I am looking for I don't know, perhaps that thunder bolt with a sign on it to say "Chill Chy, One Day At a Time, Get over yourself and it has to be perfect attitude, you are doing okay"

Ok sorry got on the pity pot, in a nutshell (yea, now I can summarize it) not enough hours in the day to do it all, and it makes me angry!
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Old 09-04-2003, 06:08 PM
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It was a leap of faith.
Totally! I, too, am a logical thinker and to believe there was something out there to trust and turn my life over to was a total leap of faith.

My whole early program was a leap of faith. I quite honestly did what I was told because what I was doing got me where I was. I blindly did what I was told. Then one thing worked and things happened like "they" said they would...and another.

By the time I was ready to begin to believe I trusted that what I was being told was the truth. The experience I described above was my very first...bam...lightbulb moment. After that experience, I believed. I didn't get up from that lawn chair and kick the Beav out... I waited for things to fall into place and they did. Another reason to believe.

The only way I can describe it today is faith.

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Old 09-05-2003, 06:56 PM
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High fives on that JT. Just faith!
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Old 09-06-2003, 09:44 AM
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Okay, who wants to start with Step 4?
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Old 09-06-2003, 09:56 AM
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Can't help you out there, Paulie ( ) but I did want to say that it's been really helpful reading this thread. I've been stalling on getting started and I know why now. I finally admitted some stuff to myself that I hadn't wanted to, and had also been keeping what you might call a "back door" open in the back on my mind, but I met with my sponsor on Thursday and we had a long talk about it and I'm ready to go on with it now. I'm going to be doing the online version, which is very in-depth, but it's so important to me to do this first one right. My sponsor has given me a "pre-step" to work first which goes into my family and personal history, and that should take about a month, max. I know it's going to be an emotional journey, but one that I'm willing to take.
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Old 09-06-2003, 01:32 PM
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I know it's going to be an emotional journey, but one that I'm willing to take.
You are right - it will be, but worth it. The online version, I assume you mean the NA step working guide that we talked about before. That is actually how I am doing my steps this time, the steps I am writing about is how I have done them in the past.

I am so very proud of you Margo, and that back door, I have left mine cracked open a few times to .

Love to you my friend.
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Old 09-06-2003, 03:09 PM
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I'm gonna sit back and listen as this is were I am at in my program, gonna meet with my sponce tomorrow after ladies meeting to discuss were I am not at with step 4.
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Old 09-06-2003, 09:37 PM
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The first 3 steps led me directly to Step 4. I could see that it was not all about the A's in my life. For you A's...it is not about all the things that were done to you.

I had flaws. BIG flaws...screaming and throwing dishes flaws. I had created and added to the problems in my life. I was not a victim, I was a willing participant. OMG that was huge!

I wanted to crawl in a hole. I had already pulled away from my family but now I was afraid to open my mouth for fear that I would create more problems. I was frozen.

Now writing my first 4th was not the easiest thing to do. The person I was going to share it with in my 5th was going to be my sponsor, that was already decided. But there are many way to approach it. I used a workbook "Blueprint for Progress" that Alanon provided at the time and my focus was on relationships.

The biggest thing I beat myself up on was all that I had done in my relationships with Ward and the Beav and how I had added to our problems.

I am sure I was told to focus on some good things but I probably wasn't getting that at the time.

This was the darkest time in my recovery, but it also led to the most growth. But that would be the 5th step, now wouldn't it.

Hugs,
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Old 09-07-2003, 07:34 PM
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Glad to share, I am progressing on my 4th step. I wish I could take a few days off work, go to the mountains or just be by myself to finish it. My goal for the week is to make an honest effort to do my homework as suggested by my sponser and make it visible on paper. I'm not liking it but will definitly do it. May need some nudging from you lovely ladies who have already been there! *hugs*
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Old 09-07-2003, 11:35 PM
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Well Ok I am late in getting in on steps 2 & 3 so here goes:

I was raised in the Catholic church and school and have always believed that God was there. But somehow I felt that maybe he was to busy to look in my life and fix it. Well, first of all, realizing that God made us with free will helped me to realize that I made those decisions in my life and that it was not His doing but my own. In realizing that, I also realized that others also have free will and their choises are just that. God gave humans that gift it's us that abuse it and when that happens it's important to know that He is there, only a prayer away, ready to help us deal with the issues that arise from others actions on us. Also for the good times as well...but people tend to forget that.

As an "anon"

Realizing that I am powerless over others has helped me to fall back on my faith that God is there....watching over and protecting and guiding those who seek Him out. So I ask him to watch over my wayward kids and guide them back to happiness, and to keep the rest of my family that is doing good safe and on the right path. Ulitmatley it's in His hands!

As an Addict (recovering)

I realize that I need Him to give me the strength it take each day and live it the best I can, without using any kind of negative crutch that might be harmful to me or anyone I love. So I work daily on turning my life, me fears and my control over to Him to look after and care for.

Ok, for step 4, well am curently wading through that one a bit at a time. Chy, I with you on that going to the mountains thing. But for me it's the beach. I always seem to do my best thinking out there just looking out at the water and waves. I feel so close to God there. In fact in the past whenever anything really got to me that's where I would run off to...alone!
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