Spotlight on the 12 Steps, 1-3 V
By Brad A. Rowe, B.S., LADC
Alcohol Rehab:

I was asked to write this article for the Spring edition of the Coffee Cup. What a perfect issue! Spring is a time of rebirth, new and exciting things! Step 1 is a time for a new and exciting life to begin, just like the green grass, leaves, shrubs and bushes. Crops in the fields are being planted so they can spring up with life.

In order for us to grow in sobriety after alcohol rehab, we first must make a very important admission, “We were powerless over alcohol, and that our lives had become unmanageable.” It does not seem proper to use the phrase, “we must surrender to win!” Well, here we are at a turning point of our lives; complete defeat must be admitted in order for us to grow. In Step One, we are at the critical stage of needing rebuilt. By admitting defeat and that our lives had become unmanageable, then and only then, can we start the rebuilding process.

Once we have admitted we are powerless over alcohol or our addiction, we need to find a way out! Many of us struggled with finding a Higher Power, or even grasping the concept of one. “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Step 2 is time to find the help we need to keep us from doing the same things over and over again, expecting a different result. (True insanity if I have ever seen it.)

Here is a question which may not seem relevant to Step 2. How many of you are familiar with the river and what to do if you get caught in a good stiff river current? YES, you don’t fight it, you go with the flow. Well, I suggest you use this same suggestion when it comes to finding your Higher Power. Don’t fight it, go with the flow. You will not become exhausted and will be able to accept the help when it comes. A new Alcoholics Anonymous member asked his sponsor how he could grasp the fact that there is a Power greater than himself. The old timer told him, “Here are cash and credit cards. Go and get all the materials and help you need and come back and build me a tree.” Of course, the newcomer looked at the old timer and said, “I can’t build a tree!” There is proof enough for me that something out there is greater than us.

Now we need to have faith that our newly found Higher Power can indeed help us in our restoration project. “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” Did you ever notice that the last part of Step 3 is in past tense? Understood Him, when? Back in Step 2! Alcoholics Anonymous is not here to tell the newcomer they must believe in any certain denomination of a Higher Power, we only need to believe that one is there to help us. It has been said that the strongest part of our being is our will. Self-will run riot is a common phrase during alcohol rehab. Well, if we turn the strongest part of our being over to a Power greater than ourselves, we have an unbeatable team! This program of recovery is very simple. First we stop drinking or using drugs, second we don’t start again. Nothing to it right? All we have to do is change our whole life! By turning our will and our life over to a Power greater than ourselves this process becomes a great deal simpler.

Steps 1, 2 and 3. “I can’t, He can, so I’ll let Him.” Have a great day and remember, “Don’t never ever, ever never give up!”

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