In writing my thoughts surrounding recovery, along with my struggles and trials, it has recently occurred to me that I may wish to touch upon how each step has related to my recovery in some way and introduce those less familiar with the steps. Of course, if you are online reading this, you can certainly pull up any number of great resources regarding the 12 steps, its background, founders and so on. But I know for myself, it was somewhat difficult at first to see how this related to my problems and what I was experiencing.
As Maria said in the Sound of Music, let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start (sorry, couldn’t help myself, I love Julie Andrews). Step One in the big book of alcoholics anonymous outlines our starting point: We admitted we were powerless over (our addiction) that our lives had become unmanageable.
The (our addiction) can be anything that gets in between us and who we are meant to be. Our best version of ourselves. It can be a chemical, such as alcohol, drugs or food. It an also be porn, shopping, other people and their drama, television, internet/social media/gaming…you get the picture. It’s the thing we place in front of God and our pursuit of our calling.
Eyup. Let that sink in. What are you using to medicate the fact that you are avoiding what you have been called to do with your life? We are not here to eat, sleep and make more carbon-based units. We are here to make a difference for God in the lives of others that are struggling, that need encouragement, and a hand-up, or just someone to sit with them in their time of need.
However, this world is a broken and damaged place. When we are damaged, we allow ourselves to run to what will provide comfort or escape from the pain of the day to day struggle. Recovery answers the challenge of this cycle. It offers the hand up, if we are willing to admit our powerlessness over the pull to run.
But what then? Well, in admitting, comes the SUBMITTING. God is there to accept your admission that you can’t run the show. The stop-gaps are no longer holding and you are tired of running. When I came to the end of myself, and was on my way to certain permanent physical damage from my eating disorder, I was ready to lay down my ego, my pride and submit to God and this 12 step process of recovery. I had little left to salvage, but I didn’t want to completely sink the ship. We had to start somewhere, God and I, so we did, with step 1.
Some say that you have to hit rock-bottom and get so desperate that you have no other option but death or step one. I’m not sure I buy that. I think everyone has a “rock-bottom”, a place that feels so bleak and isolated that they are now done. No one wants to stay in misery, but some just are not sure if the cure isn’t worse than the disease. And that’s where those of us in recovery can show others the way. That any day, even the worst day in recovery is better than the best day without it.
More to come. Let’s keep stepping out, shall we? Love you guys!