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Step Two: Excerpt from The Little Red Book


Step Two: Came to believe that a Power Greater than Ourselves could restore us to sanity. Step Two deals with mental illness. For, “However intelligent we may have been in other respects, wherever alcohol has been involved, we have been strangely insane. It’s strong language, but isn’t it true?” No alcoholic acts sanely while drinking. Chronic poisoning from alcohol results in compulsive drinking and insane behavior. Will power is not a factor in recovery until the compulsion has been removed. Since reservations defeat any honest at tempt to stop drinking, we find it necessary to recognize our mental instability. Dodging the truth only results in distorted thinking and opposition to help from a Power greater than Ourselves. Those of us who have had an honest desire to recover from the mental sickness that alcoholism has imposed upon us have successfully used this Power. Our sick personalities find a sure source of power and healing in God, as we understand Him. God renews our minds and straightens our thinking. Step Two opens a vista of new hope, when based on willingness and faith. What we call this Power is a matter of choice. Call It what we will. Naming It is unimportant. The important thing is that we believe in It; that we use It to restore us to mental health and fitness. Faith in a Higher Power is a basic law of recovery. It is always evident in the lives of successful members. What they have done, we can do. By practicing the Twelve Steps we gain a conscious contact with a Power greater than Ourselves sufficient to live sanely in contented sobriety.

Mental handicaps stand between us and recovery. Our lack of self-criticism defeats an honest evaluation of our alcoholism. Usage of the word sanity offends our false pride. We admit our illness but rebel against questions of mental soundness. This partial acceptance is a hazard to our sobriety. We benefit most from accepting Step Two with no reservations. The beginner, you will avoid confusion in the interpretation of this Step if he approach it with a sincere desire for the accepted A. A. meaning. Remind yourself that you are making the A.A. recovery program your way of life because it is essential to your recovery from alcoholism. On it depends the well-being of your mind and body, your happiness, and the security of your home – your very life. It might very well be suicide to disagree with any part of it, so resolve to be open-minded and accept the Twelve Steps in their entirety.




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