Consideration for the First Three Steps
Please begin using the following prayer: “God, please set aside everything
I think I know about You, AA, CA, addiction, alcoholism, the 12 steps,
recovery, and specifically, the first three steps, so I can have an open
mind and a new experience with You, AA, CA, addiction, alcoholism, the
Twelve Steps, recovery, and the first three steps. Please show me the
The following two exercises will connect you with the first half of step
1 (powerlessness). Please write if you are moved to do so.
Please read “The Doctor’s Opinion” and pages 17-23. Looking
at your most recent experience with the physical craving, turn statements
into questions but only use your last relapse period as the reference
point in answering the questions.
Please read pages 23-43. Looking at your most recent experience with the
mental obsession, turn statements into questions but only use your last
relapse period as the reference point in answering the questions.
Please explain your last relapse. Describe in detail and in the third person
what you watched take place internally, both emotionally and mentally,
and then describe what took place physically once the spree started. How
was your mind changed after the spree started? You may also find there
were moments in which you thought of God during your spree — please
explicate these as well.
Consider the idea of coming to Step One from a place of fear (such as the
fear of using/drinking, or dying). Write whatever comes to you.
Consider the idea of coming to Step One from a place of seeking power and
courage, refusing to accept your lack of power, and looking for a spiritual
experience. Write whatever comes to you.
Write a brief bulleted list of current unmanageability using page 52 to
look at the second half of Step One (unmanageability/spiritual malady/untreated
Look at your life in the weeks leading up to your last relapse and look
at it currently, and ask yourself the following:
Where in my life am I having trouble with personal relations?
Am I keeping my word? Do I say what I’m going to do and do what I say?
Where and when am I unable to control my emotional natures?
Where am I hunted by misery, depression, fear, anxiety, and the annoyance
Am I worried about making a living and being a provider?
Am I living a full and happy life? Am I happy doing what I’m doing
to make a living?
Do I struggle with being happy? Where do I suffer from a feeling of uselessness?
Where do I think I am ill-equipped to help others?
Are there areas in my life in which I attach my security to a person or
Does my current internal state resemble my internal state when I was last
separated from alcohol or drugs?
Does my current unmanageability have to do with not trusting God?
Consider the connection between your current unmanageability and your current
agnosticism (areas of your life in which you have a great deal of fear
or harms have been created). Write a current conception of God based on
your current unmanageability and its connection to your current agnosticism.
(Hint: This will not look pretty — this will show you how your actions
indicate you have a God with limited power. Do you see the connection
between your current unmanageability and your current agnosticism?)
Do you believe, with God’s help and realization of the Truth, you
can have a new spiritual experience and overcome your spiritual malady?
Take this consideration into prayer and meditation. If you’re moved
to, please write.
Read “We Agnostics” and ask yourself what these spiritual terms
mean to you today. In your recent experience, what do you find yourself
worshiping? Do you worship your thinking? How little do you worship God?
What are the central facts of your life? Once you do this, shift gears
and write a new conception of God based on qualities your best friend
in the world has — the man that has your back always and never fails
you. While you complete this exercise, consider the powers that drugs
and alcohol gave you. What did they do for you?
Let’s work with this conception moving forward — this is your
conception and no one else’s.
Begin asking your God to ground into you this new conception of his power
in your life and ask Him to show you the connection between your current
agnosticism and the areas of your life in which you live by self-propulsion,
you are an extreme example of self-will run riot, and you are in constant
collision with something or someone (pages 60-62). We must see that the
spiritual life is one based on the reduction of self. Remember, self manifested
in various ways has defeated us.
The Third Step Requirement: Are you convinced that your life runs on your
ideas and belief systems do not work?
How is the world a better place that you’re in it and sober or have
you been wresting satisfaction and happiness out of this world since showing
up in AA/CA? How’s that working for you? Consider where your selfishness
has taken you. Is it successful? Consider writing what it’s like
for others to live in your world and be in a relationship with you?
Write your own third step decision in prayer form (use a dictionary to
define father, child, principal, agent, director, actor, employer, and
employee). Then, write a third step prayer to affirm your decision. But
before doing so, think well before making a commitment to enter into this
contract between you and your God.
Are you okay with these roles?
How’s your life gone with you assigning the roles?
What does this decision mean to you?
Can God rid you of your selfishness and fear? Not just relief, but actual
freedom from the bondage of you.
What are the terms and conditions of the contract? (page 63)