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  • Writer's pictureChris Thompson

Step 2 of AA Explained In Detail



Joining Alcoholics Anonymous can be an intimidating task. If you aren’t religious, the language of some steps might throw you off a bit.


The 12 steps that AA operates under are not meant to turn any person away and can be interpreted differently depending on who is reading them. If you want to make a difference in your life and escape addiction, AA welcomes you into the group.


The main goal of AA is to get you to commit to your sobriety. This group focuses on being sober, improving yourself, and feeling supported by those in your community. The focus should not be on the seemingly religious terms, as those can mean anything to you that you want them to.


For many, it takes a leap of faith to ignore the religious connotations and understand that AA is open to all. Keep reading to learn more about what step two of AA means and aims to do!


Breaking Down the Language

“We came to be aware that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”


The language of step two might hinder some people’s choice to join the group. We often associate a greater power with God, and those who do not believe in God or follow a different religion may not think they belong in AA.


At the beginning of Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930s, the people who founded the group were guided by a spiritual influence. The created language was derived from this spiritual awakening but is not meant to exclude anyone.


The goal of AA is to allow for a safe space to overcome your addiction, using principles and methods that have helped countless members into sobriety.


What Is This Greater Power?

The greater power referenced in step two of the 12-step program is anything you want it to be. There is no one person, being, or subject that is being referred to.


After completing step one of admitting that you have a problem with substance abuse and are powerless to the act of drinking, you will want to look for outside inspiration to seek help. Religious or not, people who have undergone the 12-step program to overcome addiction can use step two to find inspiration and motivate them to remain sober.


This greater power should be important to you — something or someone that you look up to and want to become sober for. The greater power could reference your community, your mother or father, a late grandparent, the universe, a sibling that looks up to you, Buddha, the power of the ocean, music or art, or even Mother Nature.


You can choose who inspires you to become and remain sober for. You don’t need to disclose who you consider your greater power, but simply understanding that something or someone out there has put faith in you can propel you through recovery.


What Is Step Two Asking You To Do?

Step Two asks you to consider what could be your motivating factor and how to incorporate them into your recovery. It’s about choosing your own higher power and putting faith in yourself that you are on the right path.


This step is often about the hope that comes after you’ve accepted that you need help. You’ve done the hardest part of asking for help, and now you need to put your faith into something else to maintain motivation.


You have to accept that something out there can help you reach your goals and that it’s not just about you making the right decisions. When you focus on your greater power, the right decisions can fall into place.


Some people that struggle with choosing a greater power during step two can benefit from chatting with an AA advisor or spiritual advisor. There is never any judgment while figuring out who you want to look up to, and it might help you better grasp what recovery will look like for you.


Acting on Step Two

To work towards step two, you must let go of preconceived notions about what AA is and how it’s meant to work. The steps there are meant to guide you and help you consider what you need to improve. The focus should not be on who or what the greater power is but on what it can do for you.


In step two, we understand that we are not alone and cannot complete recovery alone. We require help from a greater power, whomever that may be, to see the progress we seek. Once we believe it’s possible, we can continue moving through the 12 steps.


Keep Your Mind Open

It can be difficult for some people to accept this step. You have to keep an open mind about what it means and define it yourself. You have to accept that you cannot control your own drinking and that if you can’t, something else out there might actually be the one in charge.


You must allow yourself to look beyond just you as your main form of support. When it comes to addiction, you are often your own worst enemy.


Giving up the control that you think you have over your alcoholism can allow you to see your disease in a new light. It shows you that as much as you want to be in control, you have to be open to changes and harsh realities.


You don’t need to fully understand this step right away. It might take some time for you to fully get what it means, but if you keep an open mind and are willing to let go of control, you’re on the right path.


Seek Out Support

The whole point of step two is to understand that you cannot control your addiction on your own. You require an outside source to help get you back on your feet. At first, you might not consider your community or those around you the greater power, but as you enter recovery, it becomes clear that they serve as your backbone.


Support from individuals who have undergone addiction might look different than support from friends and family. People with previous addictions can understand your situation on a different level.


They can offer you the cold hard truth: You cannot escape addiction alone or while being enabled. Friends and family will support you with unconditional love but might not always understand what you’re going through.


You should try to attain support in a number of ways so that you don’t have to go through recovery alone.


Be Hopeful

This part is often easier said than done. Use your higher power to find what inspires you to be the best version of yourself. Understand that you can achieve sobriety by looking for hope in all kinds of places.


Whenever you feel like relapsing or have negative thoughts related to your addiction, know that there is something out there greater than you and your problems that is working with you, not against you.


Being hopeful is also about being mindful and aware that you are not going through recovery alone. Allowing yourself to lean on others for support, keeping an open mind when trying new practices, and not giving up will make the process easier and more exciting.


Know You’re Not Alone

If you’ve accepted step two, you know you are not alone by now. Something out there is bigger than you that is worth working towards. You are not on your own in this recovery, and so many people out there want to see you succeed.


Community is key when overcoming addiction. Whether in-person or in an online community, surrounding yourself with people who want you to meet your goals can make the process less scary.


With Sober Sidekick’s app, you can access a community of sober-seeking individuals to help you grow and recover. You can meet people with similar goals and backgrounds with whom you can form relationships and help support during their journey.


When you download the app today, you also gain access to a variety of resources and addiction professionals that can provide you with advice to help overcome your addiction.


Sober Sidekick is a great place to start if you’re looking for accountability, trust, community, and truth. With online Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and the ability to talk to someone whenever you need it, you'll better understand that you really aren’t alone and that something out there is looking out for you!


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