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The 12 Steps: The First Three are the Problem

LVPicker

In an earlier Blog, I mentioned that the formation of dis-empowering beliefs, have their foundation in an individuals very first beliefs about the Universe. Whether the Universe is nurturing or negligent. This leads me to the quote I read "that it's a spiritual hole within us, that leads to addiction". This spiritual hole starts with the belief, that the Universe doesn't care about us, so it follows that God doesn't care about us. These two basic beliefs, lay the foundation for a whole mental structure of dis-empowering beliefs to be created. The dis-empowering thinking that leads to irritability and discontent, which leads eventually to addiction.

This brings me to the 12 Steps and the problem specifically with the first three steps. In Step 1 it says our lives have become unmanageable as opposed to our thinking. In Step 2 they go on to say that only a power greater then ourselves can restore us to sanity. This is vague and misleading, and even worse insinuating it's only through God that we get restored. They could just as easily said that only through outside help can you be restored to sanity. But it becomes clear in Step 3, what the intention is, when they say that we need to make a decision to turn over, not only our will but our lives to a God of our understanding, as the only way to find recovery, this is wrong. It's exactly this vague and opinionated view, that only through God can we be healed, that has keep the recovery rates in AA at such dismal levels. Add to this quandary, that it's left to a "sponsor" to explain these vague and misleading statements, a lay person who may or may not even understand it themselves.

If someone had just said to me in 1989, that the reason I no longer had the power over my drug of choice was because of my thinking, the beliefs that I had formed about the world, had become unmanageable. Making me so miserable and depressed, that I had abused my drug of choice, to such a level, that I had become allergic to it (an allergy of can't stop). And that I could not hope to understand my thinking without outside help (a sick mind can't fix a sick mind). That it takes a community of men and women who have found recovery to help me find mine. All I needed to do (and this is crucial), was make a decision, to believe that with their help, I could find a better understanding of both the Universe and maybe even God, I would have been much better off. Instead I spent ten years as a dry drunk, because I couldn't accept the first three steps premise. The 12 Step program keeps stressing that it's only through God that you can find recovery. Telling that to someone with NPD, whose belief systems are that the Universe is negligent to the needs of man, that Man is inherently sinful, and that God is only here to Judge, is not only egotistical but wrong.

The program's first three steps, push that it's only through God, that recovery is possible. Not until Step 4, with the help of a sponsor and others, do we can start identifying these dis-empowering beliefs, we didn't even know we had. Unmanageable beliefs that have formed over a lifetime and have caused us to become addicted . This preoccupation with God in the first three steps, causes a lot of people, to make the decision that the program will not work for them, and so they leave to find other programs or decide to go it alone.