Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step Two asks us to believe that we can be restored from the chaos and unmanageability that the insanity of addiction has wrought upon our lives. Having admitted «the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth» as we worked through Step One, we could now say, «so help me God,» or Mother Nature, or Fellowship, or Group, or however we can come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves. At this Step we start to develop the willingness that prepares us for the actions to be taken the Steps ahead.
We came to Nicotine Anonymous and hope was created by taking the Second Step. No matter how rigid our doubts have been, now we are asked to believe (or at least suspect the possibility) that a restoration of sanity we witnessed in other members could also be possible for us. In the way Step One caused us to be laid bare, now Step Two can come to embrace us with hope.
2-1: Have I come to believe that coming to Nicotine Anonymous meetings can help me?______Why?
2-2: Have I witnessed other members sharing how coming to meetings has helped them?______
2-3: How do I define hope?
2-4: Have I experienced hope in my life?_____Describe examples and circumstances.
2-5: Do I experience hope attending my Nicotine Anonymous group?_____Explain.
2-6: How does experiencing hope affect my life and the decisions I make?
2-7: What actions have I taken recently that create hope?
2-8: How do people, places, and things influence my hopefulness?
Belief has power. A belief can either shut us down or raise us up. Personal beliefs can be deep and mysterious, even to ourselves. Many of us told ourselves «it is impossible to stop using my [nicotine product].» We came to believe that as a fact, and it shut down our attempts to stop. In Nicotine Anonymous we experience the positive power of belief. In our group we witness that it may be challenging to stop using nicotine, but with a positive belief in a Power greater than ourselves, freedom from nicotine is possible.
2-9: Do I have beliefs that shut me down and prevent hope?_____If so, list them.
2-10: Do I have negative beliefs about myself that I’ve come to see are not true? Identify and describe.
2-11: Do I have beliefs that create hope?_________If so, list them.
A Power greater than ourselves is a spiritual principle. At Step Two our understanding of a Higher Power need not be complex. At this point the Power simply needs to be more powerful than our addiction. Once we clear nicotine from our bodies and/or proceed through the remaining Steps, we can reflect more deeply on our understanding and how we want to incorporate this Power into our daily lives.
Some newcomers resisted this Step because some words in our text sounded religious to them. They reacted as if they were being instructed to become religious or to join a cult. Absolutely not! Words in our literature such as God or Higher Power are meant as synonyms for the spiritual principle of a Power greater than ourselves. There are members who simply interpret the word/letters G О D to represent Good Orderly Direction. Members can use whatever words they choose to involve a Power greater than themselves in their recovery.
For those who find difficulty with having faith in this Step, consider «acting as if» you believe that there is hope you will be restored to sanity. This is not a suggestion to be dishonest with yourself or others. It is a method other members have used to become open to new possibilities.
Fundamentally, our experience has been that we cannot and do not recover from nicotine addiction on our own power. We accepted our powerlessness over nicotine in Step One.
2-12: What is my attitude toward believing in a Power greater than myself, today?
2-13: Am I willing to consider allowing a Power greater than myself to restore me to sanity?______Why?
2-14: If I am not yet willing to fully accept a Higher Power to help me, can I «act as if» I am, «just for today»? Explain.
2-15: Have I experienced a Power greater than myself in any way, at any time in my life?_____Describe the circumstances.
2-16: Based on my own understanding, what characteristics would and would not be attributed to such a Power?
2-17: What do I think the differences are between universal spiritual principles and religion?
2-18: What are my current beliefs or attitudes about God or faith-based issues, and am I open to reassess any of them?_______Explain.
2-19: How can belief in a Higher Power serve me in my daily actions and attitudes?
Restored to sanity? Had we been in a state of «insanity»? In Step One we came to terms with the unmanageability of our lives, but insanity? In the Fellowship, one common definition of insanity is that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the results to be different. In spite of the real risks for painful and deadly consequences from our tobacco use, we expected that somehow we would be immune, we would be different than others, or we would not care. How rational is that?
Or, how many times did we try to quit without a realistic plan, without support, without changing anything, and expected the same «method» to work? Or, how many times did we relapse, thinking we could have one smoke, one dip, and that one would
not lead to one right after another? How many promises to stop did we make and break, but still expected others to believe us, and were even angry when they expressed doubt?
An indication of being restored to sanity is when nicotine is no longer controlling our lives. Even more so when, as stated in «Our Promises»: «We begin to forget we had been nicotine users, except at meetings.» There is sanity when we have balance between forgetting we were nicotine users, and remembering to never take our freedom for granted. There is sanity in vigilance while serving the Fellowship that supported our freedom. At meetings is where we can remember where we have been and why we do not want to keep repeating negative behavior patterns.
2-20: When reviewing how my life became unmanageable due to my nicotine use, can I
identify behaviors and interactions with others that were not rational or sane?_
2-21: How did I act toward others when, for some reason, I was not able to use, or had run out of, my nicotine product?_____________________________________________________
2-22: Have I avoided medical checkups or ignored medical symptoms?_Explain.
2-23: When and/or how did I act in repetitive behavior patterns/ and yet expected different outcomes?
2-24: Have I previously obsessed in thinking about stopping my nicotine use? Explain._________________________________________________________________
2-25: Have I quit using nicotine before, and then relapsed?_____Describe the thoughts
that led to the relapse._______________________________________________________________
2-26: Do I accept that recovery is a process that occurs over time and involves more than stopping the use of nicotine?______Explain.
2-27: Have I come to believe that I need to change?_______Why?
2-28: What examples provided by my fellow members have inspired me and how have they affected me?
2-29: What does it mean to be restored?
2-30: To what do I want to be restored?
2-31: In what ways has my sanity been restored already?
2-32: What have I done or thought recently to allow that process to move forward?