The 12 Suggested Steps and the Set-Aside Prayer

with 2 comments

A woman at the Sunday night meeting referred to “the twelve suggested steps” glibly and comfortably during her share….I inferred from her delivery that this is how she always refers to the steps. I thought “I ought to do that, that’s cool.” but it is a bit pointed, and I already say something other than  “I’m an alcoholic.”  I don’t need to come off like “what a maverick!”  (I say “I am powerless over alcohol.” Because I have to think about it to say it and I hear it when I do.)  I think it’s cool because the Maverick in me wants to remember to lighten up and create my own unique-like-everyone-else Program, as I have often been advised. Then I don’t think I should go there because the Fundamentalist in me hears “How It Works” all the time as well as some Greenville favoritisms such as “the chapter is  not called How It Thinks” to “figuring it out is not one of the steps.”  How can it all be true?

Yes, here is the dilemma:

Part A: “rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path…..some of us sought an easier softer way….we beg of you with all the earnestness at our command to be fearless and thorough from the very start” (from Big Book, How It Works)

Part B:  The Twelve Steps are but “a suggested program of recovery.”  “Take what you want and leave the rest.”

Big sigh. It was recently suggested to me that I forget my omniscience regarding AA and sobriety and just start from here. Ok. Evidently it is just time for that because it makes a lot of sense.  I knit my brow at the conundrum above, but not for too long.  I have decided to do the Twelve Suggested Steps( henceforth TTSS) sooner than planned (i.e. right away) because evidently they work and what am I going to lose? I mean, can it get worse? (This wisdom came from Therapist K last night, sealing the deal on my conviction regarding TTSS).

In perfect solidarity I was reminded this week of the set-aside prayer, which I will make an effort to say before essentially anything from here on out:

Please help me set aside
Everything I think I know
About myself, my disease,
These steps, and especially You;
For an open mind
And a new experience
With myself, my disease,
These steps and especially You


Written by xty

August 25, 2010 at 00:21

2 Responses

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  1. I have been keeping up with your log, and have maybe, finally, had…whaty?…an ephiphany? I think the question I’d like for you to answer, or at least be able to explain to me, is why are you so different from every other addict, regardless of the substance, who has had success with a 12-step program (As of 2007, and this is only AA, the average length of sobriety for all members was over 8 years with 33% or so having more than 10 years)…
    I ask this, and very sincerely, because as I read yur blog, and being somewhat more detached than in an earlier life, I’m aware of the degree to which you have to redefine everything as it applies to you, and I don’t have a clear perspective with regard to how you are so unique from the rest of us…You’re intelligent, but not the only intelligent person to ever deal with an addiction, you’re articulate, but again, don’t have a corner on that merket either…The “God thing” is an issue – yeah, what else is new?…
    And in all honesty, I’m not bringing this up in a diminishing manner, but in reading your recent blog entries, I have been struck by the constant, pervasive need for you to have everything redefined so that it can be used by you, implying something different about your addcition that none of the rest of us have either discovered or are aware of, and I’m curious to know what you think it might be…


    August 27, 2010 at 13:25

    • hm. okay. wow. so this is what you’ve got following a post that ends with the set-aside prayer? I’ll answer your question with a question: why does a sober alcoholic seem surprised and baffled that a troubled alcoholic is in denial, egotistical, stubborn, and crazy?


      August 27, 2010 at 23:35

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