Step Three

We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

I am Abigail, and I am powerless over my emotions.

I solemnly and sincerely affirm that I will work to gain emotional health and create a life reflecting the value and beauty of my humanity. I will take this forward by working twelve steps.

I know that my life is unmanageable. I know that in me there is an inner light of truth and integrity. There are also false ideas of what people expect, what safety is, and how to achieve it, which make me act against my own interests and prevent me from finding my own goals.

As an addict uses twelve steps to heal addiction, I will use them to heal my crippling self-hatred and inner conflicts, and my withdrawal from the world. I find the life I have created through these things unbearable, unfulfilling, miserable, dull and lonely. I believe that a better life is possible. I will concentrate on the things I can change, which most clearly include my own thoughts and behaviour.

I commit to acting in integrity from my inner light. I commit to noticing when I fall below this standard. I know that I have fallen below it through fear and hurt, but humans heal from hurts, and much of my fear is of things that cannot really hurt me. I will take responsibility for my own thoughts and acts.

I know that there is a power greater than my conscious self, which is, my whole humanity, conscious and unconscious, and the inner light of every other human being, whose wisdom I will hear if I have ears to hear. In that power, I will heal.

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In step four, there are different ways of making a “searching and fearless moral inventory”. Jeffrey Munn, in “Staying Sober Without God”, suggests looking at our “resentments, fears, and harmful actions”. For me, the main problem I have identified so far is my inner conflicts. So I will start with those. What things do I hate about myself, and what value or beauty could they have? What good can I see in them, and how could I love them?

Eating and sex are human needs. From sex addicts anonymous, codependents anonymous, sex and love addicts anonymous, and overeaters anonymous comes the idea of three levels of behaviour- call them red, amber, green. Eating a whole packet of biscuits at one go would be Red. Swiping yes on every woman on the dating app would be Red. But for me, I don’t know what I must avoid except withdrawing further. Something I see is clearly going to fail and hurt me but do it anyway- it is, however clumsily, working towards some goal. So, what goal has it, and how could I better achieve that?

Taking responsibility for my life seems important.

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