Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Step 2, Exercise 4: Restoration

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to a normal way of thinking and living.

Step 2, Exercise 4: Restoration

Restoration to a Normal Way of Thinking and Living.

At the start of Step 2, we examined what a normal way of thinking and living might look like and wrote down some things that were meaningful to us. Things like taking better care of ourselves and others, acting with integrity, being accountable, driving safely, eating better, developing healthy diversions, respecting the value of money, becoming more spiritual, achieving balance.

Take another look at your list. Note how many of those things have been restored or begun to be restored in your life. Has willpower alone made it possible or is some other power at work in your life.

When I look back at the list the vast majority of my time right now is spent in the normal way of thinking and living side of things. That’s not to say there are not moments where I start to lean over to the other side, or even stay there a bit too long. The good news is that I am usually able to right the ship, but not by myself. It takes G.O.D (Group of Degenerates) to help me get back on the right path and it also took G.O.D to restore these things in my life.

Willpower - control exerted to do something or restrain impulses.

There is only so far my own thinking and doing will get me in this program and I understand that now. Willpower, in my opinion, is all about my want and need to control situations and by using it, I am not willing to allow other people in to help me. If I focus too much on willpower then I start to isolate myself from G.O.D which in turn starts to isolate me from all those closest to me in this program. Once isolated and fully relying on willpower alone, that is when the addiction will grow stronger and I could find myself sliding back towards it’s control. If I am under the control of my addiction once again, then I know that means I will gamble.

So for me, instead of using willpower, I have surrendered and I know, through faith in my higher power, that if I try daily to do the next right thing, I won’t gamble today and a normal thinking and living will be restored to me. There’s no struggle, there’s no restraining impulses and there is no attempt of control by me, instead I have G.O.D who I can turn to at any point and ask for help or guidance through ANY situation. Maybe I work The Steps or attend a meeting or be there for someone else, whatever it is that my higher power presents to me, that’s what restores me to a normal way of thinking and living. 

Step 2 allows us to become reacquainted with what we believe and trust to be true for ourselves and moves us in the direction of faith.

Do you have a better sense of what’s right for yourself today? Are you willing to continue to move forward in faith?

Write about:

The most meaningful thing you learned about yourself through working Step 2.

Something for which you've become grateful while working Step 2.

Something good/positive you've done for yourself recently.

Absolutely I have a better sense of what is right for myself today and it is because I no longer need to think or worry about it. I feel like for so long in my recovery I told myself that I was fully working the program but the reality is I had never truly believed in the concept of a Power greater than myself. Now that I do, I feel like this weight has been lifted. 

If you have ever watched the TV show Westworld, they have what is called The Maze. One of the characters, The Man In Black, is obsessed with it and figuring out what it all means. I feel I was like that with recovery to a certain degree. That it was almost a puzzle to solve, when in fact, it’s not. The Man In Black is told that The Maze isn’t meant for him and he gets angry (really fucking angry) when he doesn’t understand the meaning of it. Instead, The Maze is actually meant for the hosts in the show and it is to allow them to find consciousness. Arnold, who created The Maze, initially believed that consciousness was an upward journey, but he was wrong. He realised it was a journey inward, like a maze. That’s how I feel now about recovery. I realise that it is a journey inward and for me to realise that I had to fully believe in Step 2.

So the most meaningful thing I have learned about myself through working Step 2 is that I am teachable and that Honesty, Open Mindedness and Willingness are still the key principles that my recovery is built on. I was able to be honest with myself that I didn’t believe in a higher power, even though I convinced myself that I did. I was open minded enough to be able to tackle and get past my struggles with separating religion and spirituality which was one of, if not the main reason why I didn’t have a higher power. Then I was willing to actually embrace what Step 2 was all about. Willing to admit I was wrong and that I do need this part of the program for it to fully work for me. 

When it comes to what I am most grateful for while working Step 2 I think that has to be the people that I have around me now I am in recovery. With each passing day, to the point of boring myself sometimes in meetings by mentioning it, I can see how important these human connections are in my life and that this, for me, is not only one of the best things to come from my recovery but also one of the most important. No one will be able to solve problems in my life. They may be able to give me suggestions or guidance but I still need to implement it. What I do know is that I will never be alone going through anything anymore. There will always be somebody there who is willing to listen or willing to be there with me. That is what I am most grateful for.

Finally, something positive I have done for myself recently is I have started yoga and I have also got mala beads so I can start meditation. Both of these, I hope, will enable me to reach a more relaxing and calm sense of being, especially in my home life, on a more regular basis. I have two young kids and they can be full on and my patience (or lack thereof) is something I have been trying to work on for a long time with limited success. So this is my next step of trying to work on some character defects.