For those recovering from alcohol and drug addictions, the urge to find a fix seems to be never-ending. To replace their drug of choice, the recovering addict will find other means to soothe their minds and souls. A replacement “high” that has become common among recovering people is the use of energy drinks. Energy drinks’ combination of caffeine, vitamins, and herbs can provide the kick they need, and, it’s legal and can be found at any corner store. Energy drinks can be a healthier alternative to drugs and alcohol, but what most don’t known is that the very things that make energy drinks so popular can also lead to active addiction.
“We admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs”
For step five to be effective we must have, without reservation put all our honesty into step four. The key words in step four are searching and fearless. Step four has called for us to face ourselves with courage and truth. Addressing shame, guilt and resentment on this level requires a depth of surrender not thought of before this life changing step.
My experience with step five was hard. Taking all the secrets, shame and guilt and presenting them to another person was what made it hard. Revealing to God what he already knew wasn’t difficult for me. By this stage my faith had grown, I could understand why I needed forgiveness for all that I had done wrong. Trusting the person I did the step five with, was so important. Otherwise my step four wouldn’t have been as honest as it was. I don’t want to give out advice to people but, assess who you are going to be doing your step work with because the work is going to be one of the most personal experiences you’re ever likely to go through.
Fear is FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. For me this translated into being judged for the things I had done in my life and in my addiction. Having the knowledge I now have and going through that experience, I know nothing could be further from the truth. I wasn’t judged, I wasn’t locked up and beaten.
I was praised for being able to get as honest as I did. Something that is rare in this world.
The freedom that came once I had actually finished reading it all out was immense. Shame and guilt literally blew away in the wind when I burnt my step four. I decided I wanted to have a letting go ceremony. I stood alone and burnt it all, all the secrets, resentments, damaged relationships all gone, dead and buried.
All I can really say is, if you want the freedom you deserve and are willing to go to any length to get it then please put everything you got into the steps and into your new life. Trust me it’s worth it.
‘Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand him’
There it is, the big “G” word. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone saying, I can’t do step three because I don’t believe in God I would be a very wealthy man. The fact of the matter is this, I have tried everything under the sun to get clean without God. I’ve tried believing in nature as evidence of God. I’ve tried viewing the fellowship and my sponsor as a power greater than myself. I’ve tried just drinking, I’ve tried just smoking weed. Recovery eluded me all those years because I was missing out on the main message of step 3. When it comes to nature, how am I meant to hand my will and life over to a tree or a mountain ?
When it comes to the group or my sponsor, am i meant to hand my will over to a group of others just like me ? Or to a man who is fallible and inconsistent ?
When I realized these key factors I had to look for a real strength.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you have to believe in Jesus, Buddah, Allah or Hashem to name a few. But there does need to be a REAL power.
For me I look at what I want in a father, strong, fair, loving, compassionate and most of all forgiving. My idea of God is of a spirit that cannot be wrong, that is all powerful and that is forever.
A connection with that power is what truely holds me today. If I’m handing my will and life over to something as powerful and majestic as God, I’m in good company.
‘we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”
The spiritual principal of step two is Hope. Looking back on Step One briefly, we will see that we have admitted, accepted and understood that we cannot use drugs successfully and because of that our lives have become unmanageable.
It leaves us in a dark and rather hopeless place of, what now?
This is why the steps go in order, this program wasn’t designed so that we could just waste paper. These steps are truly life changing and they have worked for millions of people around the globe. The wording in step two suggests that this is a process, specifically came to believe. It doesn’t say immediately believed or understood straight away. Another spiritual principal that is used in this step is, patience. Once we have surrendered to the process of a 12 step fellowship we will learn patience and understanding. Instant gratification is over, things will happen when they are meant to, life on life’s terms.
If you choose to follow a 12 step program or any program with substance, you are going to have to come to terms with the fact that you are not in control.
Step One if fully accepted, lived and understood should leave you in a dark corner. Okay, so I’m not in control of my addiction. My obsessiveness and compulsion to use is larger and more powerful than I am. My decisions and choice making abilities are disabled when it comes to addiction. The addiction always wins.
So now what ? Step Two is what !
I need something greater and more powerful than I am to help me stay clean (sane). In my humble opinion, I can’t go onto Step Three unless I fully understand this concept. What am I going to hand my will and life over too? To a tree ? Or a coffee mug ? You might laugh but I’ve literally heard people say those things.
I need to get real about my understanding.