Going Through the Steps–1 through 3 (Celebrate Recovery)

This will be one of those blogs where I just kind of spue my thoughts and feelings out on the page.  Forgive me if it is unpolished and not all that well thought out.  I just want to get it out.

So, today I met with my new Sponsor in my 12-step recovery process.  First, I must admit that I’m not completely certain about this whole 12-step thing.  I have some reservations about it.  But, people around me keep telling me how amazing it is.  So, I figured, “Well, why not?”  So, I’m trying it out.

The first three steps have been nice.  Kind of basic, but yet good.

Step1:  Admit I’m powerless.  Stop denying that I need help.

I completely get this.  I became a Christian about 15 years ago and although I accepted this in my head, I don’t think I had really fully accepted it in my heart.  Once I became re-addicted to porn three years later, I was humbled in the dust.  The more I tried to give up porn, the more I realized my powerlessness.  The more I realized how helpless I was in this, the more I began to stop denying that I really, truly needed help.  Even though my 10-year struggle with porn has been a complete mess and has hurt me deeply (and others), God has also turned it around for good in my life.  He has used it to humble me and to help me realize that I am not as good at religion as I thought I was.  Seriously, this really is an amazingly helpful first step–so necessary.

Step2:  Accept that God is powerful.

Along with step 1, I have accepted this in the past.  However, when you don’t really fully understand you’re own weakness, you also don’t really understand God’s perfect strength.  You consider yourselves as somewhat equals.  You can do a little and He can do a little.  But, once you get humbled by something like addiction, you realize that that is absolutely not the case.  There is nothing you can do but fall on your knees in complete trust in His power to save you.  I’m there–and it’s good…

Step3:  All about committing to Him.

Yep, I’m turning it over to Him.  He is strong.  I am weak.  Enough said!

There were a few areas that came up with my Sponsor that really got me thinking.  In the past, I have had some moments in my life where my faith has been pretty strong.  I have taken some pretty crazy risks for the Lord.  Others who I know have often pointed out that I seem to have pretty strong faith.  However, I’ve noticed something about myself.  Although there may be times when I’m really strong in my faith, there are other times when I’m not.  It’s during those times that I am especially weak.  I get into a cycle of anxiety and worry.  Even though I know that I have no reason to worry, I choose to do it anyway.  I don’t take the proper steps to overcome my anxiety–like prayer and study.  I just worry away and then make bad decisions.  It seems like this kind of anxiety has also been a primary reason for my porn usage.  I have gone there to try to pacify my worries.  But, it never works.  Anyway, I have come to realize this vulnerability and will be spending some good prayer time thinking about that specifically.

Another area where I’m weak is in the area of control.  I have a tendency to try to control things that I have no control over.  I’m a control freak I guess you could say.  I’m especially sensitive to the way things “are supposed to be”.  My name, Justin, actually means “Justice”.  I feel like I’ve always had a pretty strong sense of Justice.  I really hate it when things aren’t how they should be and it gives me anxiety and frustration.  My Sponsor said some things to me that really helped.  He was sharing a part of the “Serenity Prayer” that says, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I think I’ve always felt that I could change the world if I tried hard enough.  And, as a result, I’ve taken the world upon my own shoulders.  And, boy, is that heavy!  So, I’ve got to set that into the hands of Jesus–the only hands with the power to do anything about the problems.  I am only responsible for the things that I can change (even then Jesus is the one who has the power).  I am not responsible for the things that are outside my sphere of influence.  The wisdom to know the difference is a great thing I could really use right now.  I’ll be spending some time praying for that as well.

So, the first three steps have been a blessing.  I’ll keep you posted.

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