"Life always offers you a second chance, it's called tomorrow...the past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited, or can only be accepted."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Steps continued...3, 4, and 5

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.
                Ah…there’s that God guy again. So now not only do I have to believe that He can restore me to sanity…but now I have to trust Him to take over my entire life? I don’t think so. I had spent so much time trying to fix everything in my life, granted it didn’t get me very far…but now I was supposed to give over everything to this “person” that I still wasn’t so sure existed? That’s where the end of the verse came into play…”as we understood Him”. Now it’s deceiving because it says God, but it doesn’t have to mean a religious figure. “God” or “a higher power” could quite frankly be anything. Angels, the overall universe, love, whatever. Step 3 is a decision to stop trying to manage everything. Instead of incessantly worrying about how to react to the addict, or how to make everything in life work correctly…it came down to just giving it up for awhile. Taking that burden off ourselves is a large relief. It’s a way to finally breathe again, and realize that there are other things going on in life, that ARE within our ability to change.
Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
                Easy enough. Let’s see, I’ve got lots of friends, I eat right, I never drive uninsured, and my bills are paid. I’m a model citizen…I’m just plagued with this crazy person in my life. Get real now…say it with me…WRONG. Not to say that we aren’t good people…but we most certainly aren’t perfect. And after all…these steps are about US, not about our addict. We’re trying to make ourselves better, and work through our own recovery. Think of a pro/con list. Pros…I do my best in situations I’m stuck in, I provide for my family, and I do charity work. Cons…I sometimes shut out people because I don’t want them to know what my home life is like, I don’t give my addict any credit when they attempt a positive change, and I let people walk all over me. This inventory isn’t for anyone else…it’s for ourselves. It’s to show us where downfalls are, to help us understand them. Why do I do those things…instead of something else?
                The moral inventory isn’t easy…but it’s the best way to learn about ourselves. It helps find the root of OUR problems, so that we can find the help we may need to make ourselves stronger. We can’t help our addicts with their problems, if we can’t recognize our own.
Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
                Admitting to ourselves wasn’t too difficult. We were the ones who did the inventory in the first place. The meaning behind admitting it to our higher power was to ask for help and go back to steps 2 and 3. We’re only human, and we have faults. And we can’t fix everything on our own.
                Now the last part of the step isn’t as easy as it may sound. Admitting to someone else all the things we’ve done wrong. In theory it sounds great…kind of give ourselves a “clean slate”. Problem being…as someone who loves a drug addict…we have programmed ourselves to believe that we have to be perfect. Not only do we have to be perfect, but that any imperfection is just another thing that will cause our addict to continue using. Admitting to someone else what our imperfections are is just another way to get perspective. To see that we can only expect to be human…and that our downfalls have nothing to do with our addict’s usage. We didn’t cause it, we can’t stop it.

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