Consideration for the First Three Steps

Please begin using the following prayer: “God, please set aside everything I think I know about You, AA, CA, addiction, alcoholism, the 12 steps, recovery, and specifically, the first three steps, so I can have an open mind and a new experience with You, AA, CA, addiction, alcoholism, the Twelve Steps, recovery, and the first three steps. Please show me the Truth.”

The following two exercises will connect you with the first half of step 1 (powerlessness). Please write if you are moved to do so.

  • Please read "The Doctor’s Opinion" and pages 17-23. Looking at your most recent experience with the physical craving, turn statements into questions but only use your last relapse period as the reference point in answering the questions.

  • Please read pages 23-43. Looking at your most recent experience with the mental obsession, turn statements into questions but only use your last relapse period as the reference point in answering the questions.

Please explain your last relapse. Describe in detail and in the third person what you watched take place internally, both emotionally and mentally, and then describe what took place physically once the spree started. How was your mind changed after the spree started? You may also find there were moments in which you thought of God during your spree — please explicate these as well.

Consider the idea of coming to Step One from a place of fear (such as the fear of using/drinking, or dying). Write whatever comes to you.

Consider the idea of coming to Step One from a place of seeking power and courage, refusing to accept your lack of power, and looking for a spiritual experience. Write whatever comes to you.

Write a brief bulleted list of current unmanageability using page 52 to look at the second half of Step One (unmanageability/spiritual malady/untreated addiction/alcoholism).

Look at your life in the weeks leading up to your last relapse and look at it currently, and ask yourself the following:

  • Where in my life am I having trouble with personal relations?

  • Am I keeping my word? Do I say what I’m going to do and do what I say?

  • Where and when am I unable to control my emotional natures?

  • Where am I hunted by misery, depression, fear, anxiety, and the annoyance of others?

  • Am I worried about making a living and being a provider?

  • Am I living a full and happy life? Am I happy doing what I’m doing to make a living?

  • Do I struggle with being happy? Where do I suffer from a feeling of uselessness?

  • Where do I think I am ill-equipped to help others?

  • Are there areas in my life in which I attach my security to a person or life situation?

  • Does my current internal state resemble my internal state when I was last separated from alcohol or drugs?

  • Does my current unmanageability have to do with not trusting God?

Consider the connection between your current unmanageability and your current agnosticism (areas of your life in which you have a great deal of fear or harms have been created). Write a current conception of God based on your current unmanageability and its connection to your current agnosticism. (Hint: This will not look pretty — this will show you how your actions indicate you have a God with limited power. Do you see the connection between your current unmanageability and your current agnosticism?)

Do you believe, with God’s help and realization of the Truth, you can have a new spiritual experience and overcome your spiritual malady? Take this consideration into prayer and meditation. If you’re moved to, please write.

Read “We Agnostics” and ask yourself what these spiritual terms mean to you today. In your recent experience, what do you find yourself worshiping? Do you worship your thinking? How little do you worship God? What are the central facts of your life? Once you do this, shift gears and write a new conception of God based on qualities your best friend in the world has — the man that has your back always and never fails you. While you complete this exercise, consider the powers that drugs and alcohol gave you. What did they do for you?

Let’s work with this conception moving forward — this is your conception and no one else’s.

Begin asking your God to ground into you this new conception of his power in your life and ask Him to show you the connection between your current agnosticism and the areas of your life in which you live by self-propulsion, you are an extreme example of self-will run riot, and you are in constant collision with something or someone (pages 60-62). We must see that the spiritual life is one based on the reduction of self. Remember, self manifested in various ways has defeated us.

The Third Step Requirement: Are you convinced that your life runs on your ideas and belief systems do not work?

How is the world a better place that you’re in it and sober or have you been wresting satisfaction and happiness out of this world since showing up in AA/CA? How’s that working for you? Consider where your selfishness has taken you. Is it successful? Consider writing what it’s like for others to live in your world and be in a relationship with you?

Write your own third step decision in prayer form (use a dictionary to define father, child, principal, agent, director, actor, employer, and employee). Then, write a third step prayer to affirm your decision. But before doing so, think well before making a commitment to enter into this contract between you and your God.

  • Are you okay with these roles?

  • How’s your life gone with you assigning the roles?

  • What does this decision mean to you?

  • Can God rid you of your selfishness and fear? Not just relief, but actual freedom from the bondage of you.

  • What are the terms and conditions of the contract? (page 63)


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