Following step one, admitting that one is powerless when faced with one’s addiction and that said addiction has rendered one’s life unmanageable, we come to “hope.” The second step, according to AA is:

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

In Gabe’s 12 Steps, a more secular version of the twelve steps, the second step says:

“We came to believe that others who had had or understood our problem could help us return to and maintain sanity.”

And in the Agnostic AA 12 Steps, it reads:

“Came to believe and to accept that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.”

When one is addicted to a substance, it often drives that person to do things that are out of character for him or herself and to feel in ways that are not usual. This step is called “hope” because it alludes to the possibility of getting back to the way things were before addiction started to make one’s life more manageable.

What is This Higher Power?

The reason that the second step is stated here in three different ways is to show that there are different ways of interpreting the phrase “a Power greater than ourselves.” One could interpret this higher power as a Judeo-Christian sort of God, or one could interpret this power as those who have been there and have wisdom we, as those in recovery do not currently have. This could also allude to strength and resources. One need not be theistic to come to the second step. One needs only to determine what this higher power is.

So, Was I Insane Before?
No. However, addictions do cause erratic emotions and actions and behaviors. For example, alcohol can loosen inhibitions and to say and do things one wouldn’t ordinarily say or do. This return to “sanity” is really a reclaiming of life from the unmanageable grips of the addiction’s claws. Instead, you’re recommitting yourself – to a better life – than the one that you were living when you were in the clutches of the addiction’s cravings.

Keeping an Open Mind

It’s important during this step to not shut down to outside help. In fact, keeping an opening mind during the recovery process is vital to the success of your recovery program. It may take breaking big steps down into small steps to start making forward progress in the addiction recovery process. The process of following the twelve steps to recovery is one that transforms the self during the process.

You Cannot Overcome Your Addiction Alone

The most important facet of the second step is the idea that we cannot face our addictions alone. We need to come to realize that we need outside help enabling us to be strong. You are not left to recover from addictions on your own – there is a community out there to support you in your efforts.

Should you wish to seek out professionals who can help you overcome your addiction and start your recovery journey, we’re here for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help guide you through the steps of recovery.