of these parts can be a real stumbling block if you let it be – let's
take a closer look.
Beginning to Believe
Coming to believe is most often recognized as starting
to believe in, or accept the notion of a Higher Power. While it is
certainly that, it is also the beginning of faith in the Program, the
Steps and ourselves – the assurance that, however small our trust, we
really can recover.
It usually starts because we begin to identify with
some of the others at meetings. Suddenly or slowly, we realize that our
addiction, and the resulting behavior, was not unique – we are not the
only one who has suffered in that way.
Accepting the Insanity of Our Addiction
It is in much the same way that we come to recognize
just how crazy our addiction has made us.
It's important to realize that no one is telling you
you're mentally ill or truly mad. Rather it was the practicing of the
addiction, the drinking, using, over-eating, sexual compulsion, etc., that
made for insane behavior and thought.
Accepting a Higher Power
Any concept of a Higher Power is both potentially
controversial and highly personal. The 12 Steps ask only that we come to
believe in a power greater than ourselves. How we define that is up to us,
but define it we must – at least in a most general, and hopefully
Of course, some of us come to Program with a belief
system already in place – and that's just fine. Many others, however,
have stopped believing in a Higher Power or never did believe in one in
the first place. We may have tried prayer and/or religion while practicing
our addiction, only to decide it didn't work. We may have had experiences
in a church that have turned us away from the whole idea of faith.
Now, we're told, if we are to recovery, we must somehow
come to believe. It can seem impossible, but it's not. In fact, the Big
Book has a whole chapter devoted to the non-believer.
Essentially, we must become
willing to believe in something other than ourselves – something that we
can turn to for help. In the beginning this might be the group itself. Our
definition doesn't need to be very specific at all, just the acceptance
that somehow, some way a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to
Love, peace and