Highlight on the 12 Steps
Steps 1-3 By John Strecker-Baseler
Alcohol Rehab:

There are countless ways that we can illustrate powerlessness from experiences of life. This time of year I think of driving on snow and ice. There is nothing worse than to go into a skid on ice and not be able to regain control of the vehicle. We feel totally powerless over the situation and can only hope and pray the damage is limited. Feeling powerless in life is never fun or easy to cope with, but it is part of the life’s experience we all face. On a deeper level, all human beings have limits. We have limits at every turn. We have limits with gravity, with the amount of time we are awake, limits to how much we can eat, how long we live and how well we can reason and face adversities. We live in a country that wants to lift up rugged individualism and the freedom to dream without limit. Also, our culture does not do well with grief. We are to “get over” quickly our losses and fix even difficult and complex problems with easy solutions. These are all limits that are not accepted by our culture and do not serve us well. The life after alcohol rehab and recovery is real and in touch with the difficulties of accepting our limits even while we live in a culture that is out of touch with limits and looking for a cure for all that limits us.

As a child of an alcoholic, I am impressed with all I have learned from people after making it through alcohol rehab. Accepting one’s powerlessness over a disease is a pattern that can be helpful to all of humanity because we all face limits. Acceptance is the key to finding a way to be real and authentic, by living honestly within our limits. When we live within our limits, we are ready to turn to a Greater Power to help bring some sense of peace and joy occasionally to our lives.

As no one is perfect, by definition, all have issues to work on in relationship with the God of one’s understanding. What I need to work on in my relationship with God, often times, is also a relapse trigger. One of my issues is self-will. I want to do it my way. Eventually, I notice that I have managed to make a mess of things, and then I am ready to turn over to God and say, “I surrender.” I picture self-will as a “tugof- war” with God. Now, who do you think is going to win this struggle? Time and time again I catch myself arm wrestling with God. You’d think I’d learn. The decision to turn my will over to God is an obvious one. Turning over my will to God’s care is the journey after alcohol rehab and recovery, and I must do it each day. When I do, I am able to follow God’s lead and with a stronger power than the disease by my side, I am able to stay clean and sober.

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