If you're familiar with the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, you know the song. In the song, a man is messing with another man's wife. When the husband prepares to shoot him, he asks for just three steps head start, and he will get gone for good! Cute song with a lesson. I had a lesson in life that required three steps to get me out, three steps to get my mind right, three steps into get my relationships healed, and three to live a normal life. Those twelve steps helped me walk the road of recovery and restored to me a purpose for living. It wasn't an angry husband I was running from, rather, I was running from an angry me. I didn't want to face myself, and see all of those character defects that were evident to everyone but me. I really thought I had no defects when I drank, but when I was alone, I would have rather faced that husband in the song than myself.
There was a moment of clarity when I realized a hopelessness that I hadn't experienced before. I came out of the fog of self-deceit and my delusional state of the "king of the universe." I needed help. Thank God that I got the help I needed. He led me to AA, AA led me to Him. I knew God from my youth from attending church and actually serving Him as a young man in my twenties, but through my personal pride, I walked away to pursue personal desires. I could have went to a church for help, but that could not have helped me. I had to be among people like myself, with the same problem. This is where I learned that recovery, real sobriety, would come in steps, not in one leap.
Enough about me. Are you in a similar situation? It doesn't have to be a drug addiction, or alcoholism. Everyone has some sort of addiction, everyone. Fear, that leads to worry, talking about others, working constantly, shopping, surfing the web, playing video games, having to be a board member in every program you involve yourself in, trying to control everything, all of these can be an addiction. Exercise can be an addiction. And there are twelve step programs for overeating, smoking, sex and pornography, and gambling. If you fit into any of these, you can get help. Unless you have the addiction, or fear, that someone will find out you have a problem, you can get help. Don't allow what others think keep you from living a life of freedom through surrender. There is nothing like it. Having your habits shared with others with like habits is liberating, to say the least. Here is how:
First of all, pray. Ask God to help you be willing to get help. Ask Him to guide you to the right person or program. Then make a decision to get to that meeting or make that call, take the advice you're given, and pray even more for God to help you to accomplish freedom. Depending on your problem, some can receive help through a spiritual mentor, if that problem has no twelve step program. An example would be gossip, I don't know of a twelve step program for that. By asking a person with spiritual integrity to help you, and give you someone to hold you responsible for your actions, will start you on the road to freedom. Here are three steps for you:
These are borrowed from AA's twelve steps and used by NA, OA, and most other programs:
1) Admit you are powerless. Because of your addiction, you are unable to manage
2) Come to believe you need God's power to help you.
3) Make the decision to turn your will and life over to His power.
These steps, along with prayer and a mentor's experience, will give you hope and you will see daylight in overcoming the addiction that holds you hostage. It's three steps toward the door of liberty.
As you truly accept the fact that you're flawed, as we all are, then take these small steps, you must do one more thing; be willing to help others with similar problems. Give what you've been given. This will ensure your freedom. God's grace will help you every step of the way.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith