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The steps are to help me be 'useful'

How do I "work" the steps on a daily basis?

GYE Corp. Sunday, 11 December 2011

Someone asks Dov:

Everyone keeps mentioning how they "work" the steps everyday. Can I have specific instructions on how that is done every day? I know the steps and try to work em, but clearly I don't get it...

Dov Replies:

Working the steps is exactly what it sounds like. First we need to work through them in a concerted way, with other recovering people who have worked them successfully as part of their sobriety for a while.

Once we work through them in a deep way over a period of a few weeks or months, most people can begin to use them in daily life and grow like weeds. In the meantime, we stay sober. Working and using the steps is what many folks find is necessary if they are to remain sober. Life gets too uncomfortable without the steps. It doesn't work very well, either, which leads to acting out for addicts.

Of course, even with step-work, since I am an addict I need no particular excuse or discomfort to act out and destroy my life... I desperately need G-d to allow and help me stay sober today....It's just that an addict like me, trying to go through my life without using the steps is like driving with my eyes closed. Just plain stupid.

In my case, I had to be part of a "program" or "fellowship" - something bigger than myself. And I had to be involved in some kind of progressive work - otherwise 'my same old struggle' returned eventually and I landed on my @$$, sooner or later.

Do you do ALL 12 steps every day? Do you review them every day, or do you "work them"?

In general, I do not see the steps as the way to not act out or to get sober, rather, I see them as a way to be let into a new motivation for living and become able to stay sober. And even that is only a daily reprieve - because I never get the power to stay sober. I get a miracle - a freebie from Hashem, called 'today's sobriety'. That's how I read the book and how my sponsor's sobriety works. And it has worked for me so far, thank G-d.

So, to try and respond to your question, I'd suggest that the steps be used to grow up. That means that they are used as needed, some in order, some out of order, some in writing, some verbally - with little tefillos attached to them, some one day, some another day. But none of them can be worked completely by ourselves (without other sick people to help me); none can be worked without recognizing my dependence on Hashem's assistance to work that very step; and none are there merely for me to feel better/be happy... They are there to help me be useful (for a change) rather than abandoning my sanity and my life to lust. Cuz that is what lust does to me, so I cannot afford to act out. If I still see lust as a thing I can afford, then I must have forgotten - or never did - my first step, period.