In this mini blog series we take a look at the 12 steps used in recovery programs as originally prescribed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. After an alcoholic has accepted they are powerless over their drinking and that a force greater than themselves can help them lead a sober life in steps one and two they are ready to move onto step three.
Step three.- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
Step three is where the alcoholic decides to put their trust in their chosen higher force of being. The God talked of in 12 step programs doesn’t necessarily mean a Christian God or gods of any particular religion. God as referred to in the 12 steps means any higher force at the problem drinker chooses to believe in whether it is a religious deity or in the case of some atheist’s nature is their chosen higher being.
Once the addict realises that they can be helped by this higher force they must place their trust and their lives and have faith that this will help them overcome their crippling addiction. Having faith is a big part of the 12 step program and without it attempts at recovery are doomed to failure.
Making this decision is about empowering the alcoholic into taking control of their own destiny with help from faith in a higher being. The essential support and camaraderie found at meetings is also key to the programme’s success. Once someone who is addicted to alcohol realises that they are not the only one, their sense of isolation is greatly relieved and can be a heavily contributing factor to success using the 12 step process.
Making this decision is one thing, but carrying it out is another. Committing to Steps Four through to Twelve is the key to success. Having made this decision a follower of the 12 step program will try and live their lives by these life changing principles. The last 8 steps help deal with past behaviour, encourage development of a stronger sense of spirituality, and abstinence in the future.