In the April 10th piece, I asked how we were to deal with life’s problems without relapsing back to our addiction and I wondered how the Steps would look rewritten and outlining a way to solve real perhaps life-changing problems. So, you are confronted with a problem, maybe a big one. It’s causing an uncomfortable anxiousness that escaped what the usual remedies failed to solve. So, for what it’s worth, maybe this will help us work through a solution for the really tough ones … here goes …
1. Ask yourself if you are powerless over the problem, the solution is beyond you, maybe your life is in a paralyzing spot.
2. Remember that help is available: get to a meeting and see if that helps.
3. If that is of minimal help and we can’t solve it, and its outcome is in someone else’s hands, consult with your Higher Power seeking His way, not yours.
4. Make sure you have all the facts and confirm what facts have to be changed to solve it.
5. Identify any part of the problem you can assist with solving in whole or in part.
6. After seeking counsel from your sponsor or at meetings, meditate – don’t tell Him how to solve it and get His OK.
7. After making contact with your sponsor, a meeting and meditation, and find you have obsessed about the problem too much and created an anxiety in your day-to-day life, seek comfort from your Higher Power and increase your “meeting schedule.”
8. List those persons you have to work with to solve it.
9. Plan to contact those persons and review your plan to do so with your sponsor.
10. Re-read your plan regularly to make certain it is still “the next right step.”
11. Stay in touch with your Higher Power and exercise your spiritual life.
12. Report appropriate pieces of your steps to those who encounter similar anxiety-producing problems and add this to your regular gratitude list.
Well, maybe this version of the Steps isn’t as helpful as it might be, but who knows? What I had been doing wasn’t working so let’s try a new idea to get to the bottom of this.
…to be continued to May 29th
-Jim A/ Covington,
* With humble apologies to Bill W. and Dr. Bob and the millions who have worked the Steps to recover from their addiction.