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Step 2 of Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) seeks to help those struggling with alcohol addiction achieve and maintain sobriety. The program operates on the 12-Step method, which sets out a concise roadmap for finding recovery. Step 2 of Alcoholics Anonymous focuses on introducing the concept of a higher power and using this concept as inspiration for sobriety.

What is Step 2 of AA?

Alcoholics Anonymous Step 2 states that, “We came to be aware that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” This step follows the first step, in which an individual admits they have an alcohol problem and are powerless to stop drinking on their own.

Step 2 can be uncomfortable for some people because it seems to encourage people to believe in God. Those who don’t have religious beliefs or who aren’t comfortable with the concept of God sometimes balk at this step. However, Step 2 isn’t really about God—it’s about finding something outside of yourself to inspire you and help you remain sober. Many AA members, religious or not, have found this step useful in finding inspiration and building a drive to achieve or maintain sobriety.

What Does Step 2 of AA Mean?

To really understand what Step 2 of Alcoholics Anonymous means, you must look at it in comparison to the first step. The first step asks people to admit they are powerless over their desire to drink.

This is a difficult thing to do because many who struggle with addiction think that if they could just try a little harder, they could stop drinking or that they just haven’t found the right answer yet. Admitting you need help means making yourself subordinate to those who are helping you, at least temporarily, so that they can guide you in the right direction.

This is what Step 2 encourages you to do, except it puts the problem onto a spiritual plane. Instead of asking you to allow other people to help you, it asks you to consider the possibility that there’s some sort of power greater than yourself that can guide you towards a better life.

It then asks you to define for yourself what that power might be so that you can be open to its guidance. Some people find it helpful to talk to a spiritual adviser, an AA sponsor, or a counselor to help them accept and define their higher power.

Ways to Follow Step 2 of AA

Think about what inspires you to stay sober.

Some people use their best selves as a higher power—the way they are when they are sober and doing exactly what they want to be doing. Other people are inspired by a favorite television show or character, a famous person in history, or the love they want their children to feel. Still others use God or other religious beliefs. Don’t worry about whether your higher power makes sense to anyone else; just choose something or someone that works for you.

Talk with other AA members about their experiences with Step 2.

If you’re not religious, you may not know how to apply Step 2. Talking to other AA members can help you get some perspective.

Many people come to AA with the same thoughts and feelings that you may have when thinking about this step. Other members can support you on your own quest to understand and use Step 2 and can share their experiences so that you can see some alternative ways of interpreting this step.

Be open to new ideas about this step.

Sometimes it’s difficult to accept this step because of your feelings about God or religion. In addition, taking this step further solidifies the idea that you’re not able to control your drinking on your own, which can sometimes be scary.

Instead of trying too hard to understand this step, try reading it over once a day and just accept whatever thoughts and feelings come into your head. You may find yourself understanding it more as you reread.

Step 2

How Can a Person Get Help for an Alcohol Problem?

Help for alcohol addiction is easy to find, but it is not always easy to ask for. Overcoming an addiction to alcohol can be a long and sometimes frustrating process, but if you’ve made the decision to stop drinking you’ve crossed the most important hurdle in your recovery.

If you’re ready to get help with alcohol addiction, visit the AA website to find a support group near you. There are also many secular programs that may help you achieve or maintain recovery.

However, if you or a loved one need detox support or addiction treatment, you may benefit from attending treatment at a dedicated rehab facility. American Addiction Centers (AAC) operates treatment facilities nationwide, with navigators standing by 24/7 to help you get admitted into treatment. Our addiction helpline may also be able to help connect you with rehabs near you. To speak to an admissions navigator, call .

Are you covered for rehab? You can use the form below to see if your health insurance provider may be able to cover all or part of the cost of rehab and associated therapies.

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