Sobriety Navigator: Alcoholics Anonymous: an overview of Step 2.
The Alcoholics Anonymous 12 steps were created in a very specific order for a reason.
After exploring step one and seeing the powerlessness and unmanageability of problem drinking, comes step 2.
Step Two: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
Considering the restoration of sanity in our lives? That is a very strong and thought provoking statement. Addressing the mental state of the problem drinker is difficult and complex. In the face of undeniable evidence, why will the closet drinker or any problem drinker continue to drink, knowing full well the potential wrath they may incur from every aspect of their life? Why, because it is the great obsession of every alcoholic (Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous) to be able to drink like normal people do. And so we try and try again to control our drinking, regulate our drinking, and manage our drinking. In reality, for an alcoholic to drink is like a pilot flying blind and hoping for the best. We never know how drunk we’ll get, what we will do or say, or what we will remember. To put ourselves through this cycle time and again is absolute insanity.
A.A. does not tell a person what to believe. They only suggest looking at alternative support mechanisms in order to stop drinking. Since there is no medical cure to relieve the obsession to drink, other alternatives for arresting this malady have to be explored. Believe that there is a force powerful enough to remove the obsession to drink. AA suggests this process include a spiritual healing and awakening based on the success of millions of sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous.
For many people the prospect of relying on a higher power can evoke feelings of fear, mistrust, unworthiness, guilt and shame. The definition of a higher power, or God, is defined by your individual preference and understanding. Your personal understanding or belief is never challenged, judged, or shamed by other members of AA.
Many people who have joined AA have made the organization their higher power. Some people look to nature for inspiration and strength. Many people who were brought up in various religious organizations prefer to establish a more personal and comforting relationship with God, often excluding certain aspects of religious dogma that are fear and shame provoking. People who suffer with alcoholism have had more than their share of guilt and shame from the misunderstanding and misconceptions about the disease. They must accept that it is a disease and not a moral flaw.
Whatever your preference of a higher power or God of your understanding, give yourself the gift of time to explore and decide what is right for you.
You have plenty of time to ponder and grasp step two. Like most of us, you will probably revisit this step from time to time as more is revealed.