As we did with Step 1, Step 2 in a 12-step program can be individualized to be more meaningful and personal to each of us.
Step 2 in the Alcoholic Anonymous book published in 1939 was this: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” The key principle in this step is realizing that we can return to a life without substance abuse. We believe there is a path back to a normal life.
This “power greater than ourselves” could be anything that brings back the sanity we couldn’t achieve alone. When the AA book was published, the use of capitalized nouns (eg, “Power”) suggested something spiritual or more than human. We now know that there are many “powers” that can return us to sanity when we believe this is possible.
Some examples of that “power” can be more down to earth and easier to understand or grasp without requiring faith in a Judeo-Christian supreme being. Here are a few examples:
a. We came to believe that others who understood or had themselves recovered could help us return to and maintain sanity.
b. Came to accept and to understand that we need strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore our sanity.
c. We believe we must turn elsewhere for help.
d. Came to believe that we could recover.
These and other examples come from the compilation in “The Little Book: A Collection of Alternative 12 Steps”, by Roger C. (published by AA Agnostica).