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Addiction Help: Step 2 of the 12 Steps of Recovery

“Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”

After someone completes the first step, they immediately move on to the second. They know what the problem is, now is the time to do some work on it. The second step helps cement the idea that sobriety cannot be achieved on one’s own, an outside force is needed. More importantly, it implies that all recovering men and women are united in this step. The second step doesn’t state who, what or how this power can help us, it just states that we must come to believe that this is what is needed to stay sober. This step usually invokes a great deal of emotion and causes one to ask many questions.

  • What is a power greater than ourselves?
  • How can it help me stay sober?
  • Was I insane?

The basis of this step is that YOU can’t keep YOU sober, something else is needed. The line heard around globe is, “your thinking got you here, try something else”. If you ask 10 different recovering individuals what a higher power is, you will probably get 10 different answers, the important thing is that it’s not them. Once someone understands that they cannot keep themselves sober, they can begin to accept that maybe something else can. At this time, many people either know what this power can be or start to think of ideas of what it can be. It is completely left up to the individual, there are no guidelines or rules, it just can’t be you.

Restore us to sanity? Are alcoholics and addicts insane? No, but the thinking that goes into it might be. By definition, insanity is “doing the same thing over again expecting different results.” This can hold true to almost all alcoholics and addicts who step into a 12 step meeting. Many people who enter a 12 step program didn’t get to that point over night. It took years, and in some cases even decades to progress to that phase of needing help. Trying to stop on their own countless times and trying to control their drinking, always ending in the same result.

The second step is about becoming willing to make a change and do something different, and the start of many different changes to come.

For more information about the 12 Steps or for a list of meetings in the Chicago area go to:

If you are concerned you wont be able to do this alone and think treatment will help you get started in recovery, please call or email New Hope Recovery Center and schedule an assessment that is completely confidential. 773-883-3916.

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center