In working through Step 1 you’re convinced of your powerlessness over gambling and the unmanageability of your life from gambling. You no longer have the capacity to restore sanity to your life on your own.
Now for Step 2. Most people take this step one piece at a time.
The first three words of Step 2: “Came to believe” tell you that your spiritual recovery is a journey, rather than an instantaneous fix. Working a 12-step program will result in a character change that doesn’t happen overnight.
Most people get frustrated with the time it takes to recover from an addiction. Once you’ve made the decision to work on your gambling it’s easy to become impatient. You want to see progress, forgiveness, trust and financial stability return right now!
You’ve probably been struggling internally about this issue for a long time. Now that you’re ready to get to work, you’re stuck wondering why people and situations aren’t responding faster to your new-found motivation. Hold on … not so fast!
These problems with people and money did not develop overnight. Nor will you find the solutions overnight. The words you say and promises you make now hold no weight with those you love. They’ve been hearing your words for quite some time. They need to see your actions and behaviors change to know that you’re truly sincere.
It’s a long road. Take it one day at a time.
Now for the second piece—“a Power greater than ourselves.” This is an important time in your recovery to be open-minded to all solutions to your gambling addiction. The 12 steps ask you to do things differently than you’ve done before. You’re being offered a new way of living through a spiritual solution.
With a spiritual solution, you’re not required to believe in anything. Rather, the 12 steps offer suggestions. People working a successful recovery program have used a variety of concepts to define their Higher Power. These may include:
The third piece, “could restore us to a normal way of thinking and living” means that a Higher Power is necessary to having a sound mind that leads to normal thinking and right actions that lead to normal living.
Your ego says you can handle your problems on your own. But despite all your efforts, you haven’t been able to think and live normally. If you’re like most people, you can’t argue the fact that when you were gambling, your thinking was distorted and your actions were at times abnormal.
Character change doesn’t happen through willpower. It happens with the help of a Power greater than yourself. By working the steps, with that Power, you will come to understand and practice the characteristics of kindness, generosity, honesty and humility.
In the old days you lied to please people, avoid consequences or make things easier for yourself. In recovery, your heart will be opened to see just how selfish and self-centered your behavior was at times.
It’ll be amazing to see yourself slowly moving from “taking” to “giving.” From “judgment” to “acceptance.” From “greed” to “generosity.” A Higher Power and you walking side by side can work together each day so you can become better than you have ever been.