Step Two in recovery
This was my experience with step two in recovery the first time around...
Addiction steals your faith, recovery brings it back
We came to believe...
"Do you believe there is something out there more powerful than you?"
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Don't play me. Answer the question."
"Lightning is more powerful than me. Dope is more powerful than me. There is lots out there more powerful than me." I said.
"Good. We can start with those."
"Start with those?" I asked.
"Yes. Start with those. I want you to make a list of all the things that you come into contact with that are more powerful than you over the next week. We will pick this up when we meet next week."
I had to make a list of things more powerful than me? Fine. I would make her list for her. Whatever. She must be playing with me or she doesn't know what she is doing and is trying to buy more time. Anger swelled within me at both prospects.
My life was on the line and I was not going to be toyed with. I was desparate and playing these games was not going to help me! Who did she think she was? Did she seriously think I was not onto her game? Did she seriously think I would be so gullible as to fall for this shit?
"Oh, by the way, I do expect a good list. If you have trouble with it, give me a call. Next week, I will bring my list and we can compare them."
I was on my way home from this meeting when the first item on my list presented itself. I was nearly in an accident with an eighteen wheeler. Okay. Number one thing more powerful than me: vehicles
As I got out of my vehicle, the cold clear ice covering the parking lot let me know how much power it had. I fell and badly bruised my shoulder and hip. Number two thing on my list: ice.
Two days later, I was cooking dinner and was called away by one of my children. My oldest decided to try and help me, they caught the stove on fire. I received a burn on my arm. Number three on the list: fire.
The next day, it snowed. By the afternoon, there was white out conditions. I was trying to pick up my kids from the bus stop, do some shopping, and get home. I could only drive a couple of miles per hour. Item number three: snow.
I sat down with my list that night and filled in the items I had learned about through the week so far. Then, I began thinking about the things I had already experienced that were more powerful than me. I added: tornadoes, earthquakes, trees, lightning, men, money, love, drugs, alcohol, and whatever has kept me alive.
I continued to work on this list until our meeting, adding things as I thought of them. I will not put the entire list down as the list above gives a good idea of how I was thinking.
Addiction falsely empowers you, recovery shows you where true power is
...that a Power greater than ourselves...
We sat at the table. She looked at me. I looked at her. She reached into her bag and pulled out two notebooks. One she handed to me, the other she opened to the first page.
"I remember when my sponsor told me to make this stupid list." She laughed.
She knows what I was thinking! How could she know what I was thinking?
"I thought she was playing me. I thought she was trying to give herself more time to figure out how to do this."
I looked down at the notebook she had handed me. In black marker she had written "My God Book"
I looked up at her. I had so many emotions going through me, I had no idea what to do or say or think.
"It is easier to say "my God book" than "my Higher Power book", don't you think?"
"I guess so."
"It doesn't mean you have to believe in the Christian God, or Allah, or anything else anyone tells you. This is a book about your God. No one elses."
"I don't have a God." I told her.
"We are here, today, to take the first steps in finding your God."
"What good is having a God? It's not like this entity has helped me so far."
"Where is your list of things greater than you?"
Why didn't she answer my question? I hated being ignored! Who did she think she was? I would not put up with this crap much longer, that's for sure!
"Where is yours?" I asked, sitting back and crossing my arms.
She pushed her notebook at me, turning it for me to read. I read her list. Her list was as stupid as mine!
"Give me your list."
I handed her a wrinkled, folded piece of notebook paper. She carefully opened it and read the list.
"Good. Now lets look at both lists and see if you can add anything to your list."
When our meeting was over, I had a list of things more powerful than me that was a full page long and two columns wide. There were a lot of things more powerful than me.
"I want you to write a description of your perfect God. We will talk about it when we meet next week."
When was she going to show me how to stay clean? When was she going to give me the secret formula for living a worthy life? I was getting tired of writing all these stupid things!
I used to love writing. I used to love it so much, the subject didn't matter. Would I start to love writing again? Would I be able to write something someone else would actually want to read?
Stop playing yourself! There is no way you could ever write anything anyone would ever want to read! Your just being stupid!
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Addiction takes your choices, recovery brings them back
Unique definition of Power greater than myself
"Have you learned to trust my judgement?"
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Have you learned to trust that the assignments I give you are for a purpose?"
"Okay. Let's get started. We'll see how it goes."
She read my description. Then, she opened her own notebook, turned it to the proper page and handed it to me.
"I didn't put any physical traits in there. I guess I misunderstood your assignment."
"That was my description. I had a lot more work to do in this area than you do. This will save you a lot of frustration."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that I was stuck on the God I was taught about growing up. You, apparently, understood my assignment better than I understood the one my sponsor gave me when I started this program."
"You mean I did something right?"
"Your telling me, I, me, did something right?"
"Yes. You did this assignment perfectly."
I sat back in the chair, shocked. I had done something, not just right, but perfectly!!!! I was amazed. I was impressed. I was completely confused...
"What's the matter?"
"I never do anything right. Everything I do is wrong. You better read it again. There has got to be something wrong with it. There is no possible way I could have done anything perfectly."
"You did it perfectly. You did a better job of this assignment than I did when I began this program. Give yourself a break.
Addiction steals your sanity, recovery brings it back
...could restore us to sanity.
"Do any of the things on your list of things more powerful than you have the power to restore you to sanity?"
"Okay. Do you believe there is an entity out there somewhere that has the attributes you put in your description of God?"
"What would it take to get you to believe there was something which had those attributes?"
"I guess I would need proof. You know, see it or whatever."
"I want you to write about the things you see that hint at a power working in your life that may have the power to restore you to sanity. We will talk about that next week."
"Why? Why do I have to do this? Why do I need some entity telling me how to live my life?"
"Your best thinking got you where you are today, how much worse can it get if a Power greater than you makes decisions for you?"
I could only stare at her. What the hell kind of an answer was that? What does she know about MY best thinking? Who does she think she is, anyway?
However, she simply gathered her things and left me to my thoughts. I watched her go rage filling up my heart. I had to do something. This rage was gonna kill me.
My mind slipped back to the days of my youth, when I was baptized. I was happy then. I felt sure of myself during a short period of time. I followed what I was taught and what I read to the best of my ability. I asked for forgiveness for the things I did wrong. I felt strong.
"God, I dunno if you're there or if you even care about me, but I have been told that you care about me and that you are there. I, once, believed in you. You gave me great comfort then. I am asking for that same comfort now. I am asking that you forgive me for the things I have done. I ask that you give me strength to do the things I need to do."
It was a man in the booth behind me.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to disturb you."
"No. I have never heard a prayer so powerful before."
"I gotta go." I said, grabbing my stuff.
"I just wanted to let you know that God has always been there for you. He saw you when you cried in the bush. He heard your pleas in the school bathroom. He was there when you took the pills. I don't normally go around telling people this kind of stuff, but God wouldn't let me go until I told you. He wants you to know He loves you."
"Whatever." I threw over my shoulder.
I spent the week working on finding things that let me know there was a power greater than myself working in my life. I continued to think about what the man in the restaurant said. How did he know those things?
I wrote about that in the notebook. I thought she might have been looking for something like that.
A couple days later, I tried to write about how my kids were a work of God in my life. I am not sure I did it any kind of justice...
The next day, I wrote about the trees and how they used carbon dioxide and released oxygen.
Two days later, I wrote about an experience I had with a skunk having babies while cuddled up to me on the couch.
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