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Post Info TOPIC: Alanon Step 2 (3-12-2017)


Guru

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Alanon Step 2 (3-12-2017)


Step two
 
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
 
Step 2 Reading. C2C reading page  307 .
 
 First we come to meetings, then we come  to and then we come to believe.  The journey towards a Higher Power has been gradual for most of us  and we have been unaware of the progress. The reading points out that first we come into the rooms , and are confused then we come to  listen at meetings, listen to people's shares  and then slowly come to believe.  The arrival of faith in our lives has been a gradual process . The process continues and grows stronger each day as long as we keep ourselves open to it .
 The quote is from Oliver Wendell Holmes ; "I find the great things in this world  is not so much where we stand  as in what direction we are moving."
 
My share
 
As I said in the posting on the first step , I had to incorporate Step Two into  the process when I took the   First Step so that I could have something  that I would trust taking care of myself and my loved ones.  
 
I had absolutely no problem in acknowledging the fact that my life was unmanageable and that I  needed help to be restored to sanity. My thinking was distorted and I could not find my way. 
 
I can really relate to the reading that states that in the beginning of working the steps many may find that they have been  completely unconscious  and finally by using the simple tools of meetings , slogans and reading we start to "Come to ".  Once I" came to" and began to listen to learn ,and to  practice the  small slogans which I thought were small  and unimportant I found how extremely effective and powerful  they were.  I recited the serenity prayer daily   whenever I was in trouble, I made gratitude and asset lists daily  to acknowledge  my life. Slowly but surely I came to believe . 
 
 
 
 
 
Activities

1.  What are the activities that bring you hope and help you believe things are OK and will be OK? Going to meetings? Talking with recovering people? Reading recovery literature? Name those who have helped you to believe the most in your future.

2.  How have your ideas changed about what it means to be restored to sanity?  Have your expectations about recovery changed?  What do you expect from recovery now that is different from what you expected when you first began recovering?

3.  For now, how do you define a Power greater than yourself?  Do you believe that Power cares about you?

4.  What is a reasonable plan of self-care for you to help you continue to believe that recovery can, and will, work for you? Look again at your ideas in question 1 above.

5.  What has been done for others in recovery that you would like to happen for yourself?  Do you believe it is possible?
 
 
 
 
 

 

 


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Betty


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Step 2 was/is an easy/hard one for me.
I grew up believing in a HP, and as a young adult, came to define that HP in a broader way. Losing my partner at 23 shattered my trust in my HP. Why would HP bring us together only to separate us? Since we were born and grew up in different countries speaking different languages, that seemed like a whole lot of trouble on HP's part. Close to a decade later, as my trust in HP was beginning to redevelop, HP brings me an alcoholic wife. It seemed like some cruel joke, and I decided that HP was not to be trusted. HP's judgement MUST be off. Learning to hear HP, learning to trust HP again was hard, but it was a necessary step for me to take. It seems that trying to manage things all on my own didn't work very well for me, either.

1. What are the activities that bring you hope and help you believe things are OK and will be OK? Going to meetings? Talking with recovering people? Reading recovery literature? Name those who have helped you to believe the most in your future.

Taking care of my dogs has always brought me hope and comfort. Walking in the woods always makes me feel a stronger connection to HP. Being near the Lake does, too. Listening to the Loons calling. Traveling back to where I grew up and spending more time there has been very important to me in restoring my trust in HP and in helping me to get back to myself. Going to meetings, reading MIP, all have helped me to believe that things can and will get better. Hearing about the experiences of others and seeing others in meetings making positive progress helps me to believe that it is possible for me, too. 

2. How have your ideas changed about what it means to be restored to sanity? Have your expectations about recovery changed? What do you expect from recovery now that is different from what you expected when you first began recovering?

When I first began my alanon journey, I thought that sanity would be restored when I was confident and secure enough to remove my AW from my wife. But it turns out that I was focusing overly on her and what she was doing, and not allowing for her to find recovery herself. Now, I see recovery as a way of life, one that helps me to remain in balance and keeps me from spinning from activity to activity or crisis to crisis like the Tasmanian devil. I am beginning to see how recovery is really about me and how I chose to interact with the world. I can choose to race from crisis to crisis, or I can chose to observe things as they are, without assigning the term "crisis." I can choose to get caught up in things that are not mine to deal with, or I can chose to have a peaceful day. Now, I expect that recovery will bring me peace and healthy boundaries, as well as gentleness when I am wrong or make a mistake. 


3. For now, how do you define a Power greater than yourself? Do you believe that Power cares about you?

I see HP in everything. I think HP uses animals and people to express love. I don't have a clear definition of what HP is, and that has become less and less important to me. I do believe that HP cares about me. 


4. What is a reasonable plan of self-care for you to help you continue to believe that recovery can, and will, work for you? Look again at your ideas in question 1 above.

I like the inclusion of the word reasonable in the question. I have a special talent for identifying unreasonable plans for myself and others. Knowing this, the first word of my plan is "try". Try to check in 4 days a week with MIP, try to attend one meeting a week, try to journal on a daily basis, try to meditate on a daily basis, try to spend a few weeks a year in the woods, try to spend a few days near the Lake each year. 


5. What has been done for others in recovery that you would like to happen for yourself? Do you believe it is possible?

Others have found joy at little things and contentment with what they have. I do believe that I will be able to find my way back to joy and contentment with continued work in the program. I got to a place of acceptance, joy, and contentment after losing my first partner, and thanks to the program, I do believe I will be able to find my way back to that place again. I feel myself much closer now than I was when I first worked the steps. 

 

 



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Guru

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Good Morning Skorpi Thanks for sharing in such great depth and with much clarity and honesty. I can certainly identify with seeing HP reflected in all that I encounter each day.
Glad to be sharing the journey with you .

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Betty


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I didnt begin working the steps until I had been involved/working what I could in the program for over a year. I knew of step 3, and felt that I must find my way around my abhorrence for any god concept to move through the steps systematically.

I was, however, able to work under the table as it were, on Steps 1 and 2. Step 1 was a revelation, a relief, but encountered no internal resistance. I easily found acceptance of Step 2, as I was able to isolate step 3 and leave until I had found a solution, but see the program wisdom as the power greater than myself.

It was, after all, the AlAnon program wisdom that I heard and saw written on posters in the meeting room that brought me immediate clarity, understanding and relief in two, 1-hour meetings, on things I had been losing my mind over for three years.

Step 2 sewed the seeds for what would become my spiritual awakening. I had no choice but to admit there was something with power greater than myself after being mentally and emotionally destroyed by the power of alcohol.

Installing program wisdom as a stand-in for an hp allowed me to make progress in my recovery while I wrestled with a concept and definition of god/hp that would work long term. I am grateful for the program advice to be willing and open to new concepts.

***************

1a.  What are the activities that bring you hope and help you believe things are OK and will be OK? Name those who have helped you to believe the most in your future.

  • From my first day at AlAnon, the Serenity Prayer (SP) was my go-to for all things: crises, fear, and meditation. A poster with the three Cs was hanging on the meeting wall, so that was also an early go-to for dealing with bouts of active drinking. Also helpful were the readings that emphasized that everyone is on their own path, with their own higher power, and I dont know what is best for them at the time.

Going to as many f2f meetings as I could helped greatly build a good base early on. Reading daily and by topic regularly helped me get a better sense of the program in action, more than even some of the meetings that are subject to local customs, strength of group, group conscience, etc.

Meditation continues to play a very large role in keeping me centered on program principles, work out challenging problems, practice new thinking. These ultimately come together to leave me at peace despite things that would have freaked me out in the past. Now I am better able to look to see what I need to do for me, to keep my peace and serenity and not take away others.

2a.  How have your ideas changed about what it means to be restored to sanity? 

ˇ         Initially, it was the thought of the program wisdom, a power greater than myself, guiding me to behavior that helped ease the chaos in my mind and household as it related to active drinking. As I improve in how I handle those areas, I am able to see other areas that I can apply program principles. I am now able to look at a bigger picture to see possible changes that are in my power that could increase my level of felt sanity.

b. Have your expectations about recovery changed? 

ˇ         Now I am seeing even more how recovery has to be about me, what is in my control, what I can and am willing to do to guard my serenity and sanity. The clear message from the program is helpful when tough choices must be made about those close to you.

c. What do you expect from recovery now that is different from what you expected when you first began recovering?

ˇ         I have come to accept that not everyone is able, willing, or ready to pursue recovery just because I was/am...sometimes its just not the right time. In the past I fought that, tried to force it, did force it, out of fear, wanting things to turn out the right way. AlAnon has helped me rework that and keep the focus on recovery, wherever that takes me, and not think that I know how, when, where, or with whom that happens for my own recovery or that of others.

3a.  For now, how do you define a Power greater than yourself? 

ˇ         For me now that is my higher power (hp), defined by me as my enlightened consciousness, a peaceful, loving, omniscient being, with the visual appearance of a red robed Buddhist monk in meditation, high atop a mountain monastery, eyes closed...he is smiling.   

b. Do you believe that Power cares about you?

ˇ         He understands. The visual is a very important part of my hp concept, for just the visual conveys so many things: Understanding, acceptance, patience, love, wisdom, strength, and power. As I see this as my enlightenment, I am reminded that is my potential if I follow the way; I can be there. He will not change my reality, but that is not his task, that is mine...but he guides me, with infinite patience, if I take the time to look for the guidance.

4.  What is a reasonable plan of self-care for you to help you continue to believe that recovery can, and will, work for you? Look again at your ideas in question 1 above.

ˇ         Recovery works when I work it. Working it for me means daily reading and meditation, research and reading on particular topics Im struggling with/facing, maintaining constant contact with my hp, and f2f meetings.

This base helps give me the strength and connection to make the choices I need to make when I need to in order to maintain my serenity and continue my recovery.

5.  What has been done for others in recovery that you would like to happen for yourself? 

 

ˇ         Hmmm....Im not sure; recovery is such an individual, unique journey, I can only speak to my own path, expectations and hopes. I would like to work daily to improve on the vessel I find myself upon for this lifes journey, and am grateful for the awakening Ive been given. With the help and guidance of the program and recognition of my hp, Ive begun the journey along the path of recovery and am grateful for the progress Ive seen so far. I believe this path will take me as far as I care to take it



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Hi Paul , I certainly appreciate your wisdom and dedication to working the steps and sharing the journey here at MIP. I love working the steps here as I develop new insights from each of your shares..
Thanks for being here and please do keep coming back.

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Betty


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For me, sanity means not finding refuge in over-sleeping, not being future-based and obsessing about work, managing work and family relationships and parenting myself- being an adult and being responsible enough to parent and provide for myself. My daily struggle with and against these things does not help me. I haven't managed to get a grip on them through my adult life and so have come to the realisation I cannot do it alone. Step 1 is a great relief to me, to admit my powerlessness over these things and other people. To define a power greater than myself means that I am not alone, that I can give up the struggle, and that just for today, I can choose to be happy. I can accept what comes, and make healthy choices. If I only have to do it for today, it feels good.

1. What are the activities that bring you hope and help you believe things are ok and will be ok?

Talking to a friend who works the steps, reading recovery literature, doing something responsible every day, however small, that makes life easier, and creating every day.

2. How have your ideas changed about what it means to be restored to sanity?

I've always thought changes needed to happen on the outside of me, and that I wasn't strong enough to make those changes or to follow through on them. I've realised all the changes I've craved depend on the actions of myself and others, but I cannot depend on these - I cannot depend even on myself to change my own life. Through exhaustion there is a relief at the notion of a higher power restoring me to sanity. And that a bit of acceptance regarding how things are, and that how things are is okay, goes a long way.

3. Have your expectations about recovery changed? What do you expect from recovery now that is different from what you expected when you first began recovering?

I have realised that if I stop doing the work, I go back to the same place. It is the same with life, as with the programme. It is a continuous journey and if I keep at it with support, the possibility is that recovery can be an adventure. I have realised that recovery is not about my father or my boss or finding a new job. Recovery starts with me and my responses. I think I am beginning to understand that internal changes or shifts are possible - through witnessing my own emotions, through changing the way I respond, through surrender and acceptance. Now I expect to work on my own fear and my own judgements. These are what I struggle with most. The possibility that there is a greater intelligence in control and I can let go gives me a sense of relief, and I need to learn to carry that surrender to all of my life.

4. For now, how do you define a Power greater than yourself? Do you believe that Power cares about you?

If that Power is a force that makes the whole world work, then it is a Power that is greater than the world world. The concept of nature resonates with me, that there is a balance and divine order in nature. I am part of the world, and part of that nature, and so if I give over my trust to that Power, balance and divine order, order will be restored to my life, and I will be in connection and harmony with my life. In this way, I believe my highest good will be taken care of. I just need to get out of the way.

5. What is your reasonable plan of self-care for you to help you continue to believe that recovery can, and will, work for you?

To start, I need to check in with myself and with the programme every day, in order to set the tone, and give me a starting point for the day. I also need to exercise, and to do something creative every day. I need to keep coming back to this forum for the steps, and perhaps eventually find a support group.

6. What has been done for others in recovery that you would like to happen for yourself? Do you believe it is possible?

I have seen others find peace and an authentic life for themselves through recovery. I have seen others grow in spirit and generosity. I believe it is possible for me, if I can just calm down, and also learn to accept others and myself as we are, and remove myself from the control room.

 

 

 



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Hello Midnight Jane  thanks for joining in and sharing your well thought out thoughts on this important Step  .  Prior to program I too thought that changes had to come from the outside and that I was not capable of changing myself successfully.   Thanks to program, the slogans and Steps, I found a wonderful way to grow (like nature) and appreciate life as I live it.  I am pleased you have too.  I do hope you keep coming back. 



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Betty
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