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Finding The Willingness To Believe: A Second Step Study

The second step of the twelve step program of Alcoholics Anonymous reads “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” By looking at the step more closely we find a few key concepts. First, we are told that a belief in a Higher Power is something that we can come to, which tells us that if we do “the work” outlined for us in the twelve steps, we will come to believe in that power and that power will restore us to sanity. Second, we are reaffirmed that the state of our lives is unmanageable due to whatever it is which has rendered us powerless, whether it be substances, behaviors, traumas, relationships, or mood/personality disorders. Rather than use the phrasing of the first step which mentions unmanageability and powerlessness, the second step mentions sanity. Being told we are going to be restored to sanity also tells us that our sanity has been lost, meaning we have gone insane to some capacity. However, this second step assures us that believing in a power greater than ourselves can help us restore the sanity which has been lost.

Belief is often something that is described as being felt before seen. A great example of this, of course, is when a parent is grappling with the crushing moment a young child starts to question their belief in Santa Clause. Parents will say something inspiring and creative along the lines of: you don’t have to see Santa to believe in Santa; your belief in Santa is something you feel and that feeling is enough to believe in.

For survivors of trauma, feelings can be hard to understand. Experiencing trauma in any form rocks us to our core and changes our entire relationship to belief because what we believe about the world, our place in it, and our purpose in existing within it, changes. Feeling a belief isn’t quite enough for us, though for many of us, that feeling was chased for years. We believed in the feelings we were provided from drugs, alcohol, problematic behaviors, other addictions, eating disorders, sex, toxic and abusive relationships, and much more. Everywhere we looked, we believed that the power of this “entity” would restore us somehow, or at the least, help us forget the pain of the trauma we had experienced in our lives. After a while, we lost the willingness to feel, we lost the willingness to believe, and we lost the willingness to restore ourselves in any way.

To come to believe in a power greater than ourselves, we will have to find a different kind of willingness which acts as a form of belief in and of itself: the willingness to believe.

You can walk through your trauma. The Guest House Ocala offers residential treatment programming for trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Call us today for information on our customized programs and availability: 1-855-483-7800