An Explanation of Step 2 of Alcoholics Anonymous
A twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems. Originally proposed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a method of recovery from alcoholism. The meaning of it is meaningful. Now let us look deeply into the step 2.
Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
A close reading reveals there are three parts:
Firstly ,beginning to believe. (While it is certainly that, it is also the beginning of faith in the Program, the Steps and ourselves – the assurance that, however small our trust, we really can recover. Coming to believe is most often recognized as starting to believe in, or accept the notion of a Higher Power.)
Secondly , getting in touch and accepting the insanity of our addiction. (It is in much the same way that we come to recognize just how crazy our addiction has made us. )
The last is accepting a Higher Power. (The 12 Steps ask only that we come to believe in a power greater than ourselves. How we define that is up to us, but define it we must – at least in a most general, and hopefully gentle, sense. Now, we’re told, if we are to recovery, we must somehow come to believe. Essentially, we must become willing to believe in something other than ourselves – something that we can turn to for help. In the beginning this might be the group itself. Our definition doesn’t need to be very specific at all, just the acceptance that somehow, some way a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.)
Having accepted powerlessness, AA’s Step 2 reinforces the idea that change is only possible if a power outside of oneself can come to the rescue. The theme of greater forces saving powerless individuals reminds one more of ancient myths than modern day realities, and for many the promised happy ending never arrives.