Step 2 reads as follows: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” The implication here is that we come to believe. We don’t have to know, figure things out, go anywhere or do anything in particular. We just have to mentally agree that there is something outside of myself that can fix this awful problem I have with alcohol and drugs. Nothing more and nothing less is required of us at this point in the 12 steps.
Some people may have had some religious training in their upbringing. Quite a few of these people will return to the Higher Power they learned about while growing up. Others may not do this at all. To begin with some people will choose the ocean or some other phenomena in nature as they make their beginning to believe. That’s all that is necessary to start. The Higher Power will reveal itself in due time.
The second part of the step concerns some people. The part that says “restore us to sanity” can be troublesome for some people. This part of the step means that we have to realize that our behavior and thinking processes have become insane. To admit that one’s actions have been insane can be a daunting task. But it is necessary in order to take this step and move on in the program.
The evidence for our insanity is quite clear. We drink and drive with one eye closed, so we don’t see double. We spend the rent money at our local bar. We engage in risqué behavior whether or not we are in a committed relationship. We steal money from our children’s piggy banks. We get fired repeatedly from different jobs. Finally, we cannot hold a job. We come to be in a state that all we do is to live to drink.
Are not these types of actions insane? Insanity can be defined as “doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” Isn’t that just what we have been doing with our bad attitudes and belligerent behavior? It certainly appears to be true! Normal drinkers stop when they begin to feel a bit tipsy. We don’t stop until the alcohol is all gone. We keep on drinking no matter how drunk we are. And we usually end up in an insane blackout of sorts.
So, this admission is necessary so we can see where our drinking has taken us. We have choices; death, insanity or jail if we keep on drinking. Our bodies do have an expiration date and drinking can help to speed this up. Or we may develop all types of health problems due to our drinking. A normal person would seek treatment if diagnosed with a terminal illness. But the alcoholic will deny to the death that there is nothing wrong with him that was caused by drinking. So, it is quite true that our thoughts and actions have been insane. This admission will give us the impetus to go forward in the 12 steps.