An Explanation of the Higher Power in Addiction Recovery

One of our most utilized addiction programs at Sunrise Ranch is Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.)

In the outlined 12 Step’s, the second step is stated as,

“Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

People of a variety of atheistic, religious and spiritual backgrounds have received recovery from Sunrise Ranch and A.A. For some, the concept of a ‘Higher Power’ has a negative connotation. For others, they believe their concept is set in stone. The word ‘sanity’ can also be questioned.

Step 2 is a perfect example as to how difficult engaging in recovery can be. Challenging patterns and beliefs would be uncomfortable for anyone. Like the difficulty of Step 2, the level of recovery requires a clients willingness to participate in the discomfort.

The following is a break down of the Step 2 process and recovery:

Came to believe” The word ‘came’ is derived from the word  ‘come’ which means, “to approach or move toward a particular person or place.” This ‘coming to believe’ takes time. Similar to the process of recovery it is not done in 30 days, 90 days or even 1 year. It is an ongoing process for the rest of a persons life. What we ask from our clients is for them to be willing to take steps on the recovery journey. 

Greater power” Another strong term is ‘greater power.’ Here the person is asked to question, “Is it possible that there is something greater than myself?” For some this ‘greater’ is intuition, science or the environmental elements. For others it is something along the lines of a religious practice including Buddha, God or Jesus. A greater power is often viewed as a source of inspiration and comfort which is essential to recovery. This greater power is often a symbol for opening up ones mind to new concepts and ideas. 

Sanity” In the justice system, insanity is seen as: “A mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior.” Every person who walks into Sunrise Ranch has a unique story. The common thread that ties them together is the pain that addiction creates. Utilizing the help of clinicians, therapists, and A.A. addictive behaviors and stories can be changed if steps are taken.