Step 2 Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

"Step two offers hope that sanity is possible, and at the same time it implies that, in our addiction, we were insane. Our insanity manifested in many ways. We often put our addiction first and everything else second. We may have placed ourselves in dangerous situations or taken terrible risks. And the more we denied our addiction and its consequences, the less we were in touch with reality." Sex Addicts Anonymous pg 26

We can work Step Two more than once. This last part of the step indicates when it helps to work Step Two again - when we recognize that we are insane.

When we express our hope that some power "out there" can take away our addiction by reaching out to the fellowship, we often get relief from the addiction for a little while, a "reprieve" as it were. We often want to hope that once is enough and that one such act of faith will last for the rest of our lives. For many addicts, once is not enough. The addiction comes back. It may take days, weeks, months, or even years before it does, but it comes back.
How long of a reprieve did I get?

The Twelve Steps point to what to do when the addiction comes back or when we recognize the insanity: look again for a higher power. Many of us will get a "moment of clarity" in the rush to acting out where we suddenly realize that we are on that path again. (The more we work the steps, the more likely that "moment of clarity" will happen.) At that moment, we have the opportunity to work Step Two again. We can ask ourselves, "Am I living as though I am sane, have power in this situation, and can manage my life? Or can I look for some power outside of myself that can restore me to sanity in this situation at this exact point in time?"

For the religious Person

What has been my experience with trying to handle such situations by myself?

Many addicts will prepare for these situations by getting contact information of others in the group, load up their cell phones with phone numbers, and ask people if they can be called at the hours where the addiction is likely to strike.
What are the situations where I am likely to face my addiction again? Who can I contact at those times?

Many people talk about receiving a "daily reprieve" where we get one day's freedom by our actions each day. Tomorrow is another day.

Looking at the insanity of our lives has layers upon layers. These layers keep bringing us back to work this step again and again even after working subsequent Steps.

We start this step with the: Insanity in our Addiction. Over time, we come to realize that prior to the acting out, we were doing Insane Obsessions. Then, we start seeing that prior to the obsession, we were spending hours in Insane Fantasies. Under those fantasies, we were living an Insane Life. We were living life with insane work environments, insane work habits, and insane relationships with dependencies, manipulation, and power plays. We had insanity with our money, our food, and living arraignments. We had insane attitudes about ourselves and others with "black and white thinking", deprivation, entitlement, rationalizations, and perfectionism.

And under that insane life, we had: Insane Denial. It is insane to expect a person with a broken leg to run a marathon. Yet, we expect ourselves with all our brokenness, to be living as if we were perfect or living up to someone else's fantasy. We tried to live as though we did not have our special needs and did not take care of our needs. In order to do that, we deny the consequences of our behavior; we deny the hurt; we deny the resentments; we deny the fear we have been living in.

What events show that I was insane in my addiction?

The different parts of the insanity form an addiction cycle. Each part feeds the next.

When we are living insanely, we are ripe for a trigger to move us into a fantasy. Many times, we told ourselves that "I can handle this situation by myself" only to switch to a fantasy in the next moment and wind up in the addiction later on.

Recognizing this cycle offers hope. Whenever we recognize that we are in the cycle, that can be taken as a hint from our higher power that it is time to work the steps RIGHT NOW! It is time to take an action of hope and recovery and reach out to others. When we do so, we change the urge to act out into recovery action.
At each point of my cycle, what are recovery actions I can take?

"Key to Step Two is not just believing in a Higher Power, but believing that this Power can and will restore us to sanity. Many of us thought that recovery might work for others but not for us. We thought that our problems were different, that our situation was unique." Sex Addicts Anonymous pg 28 Many people need to try this before they can believe it. Here are some stages that someone might go through in coming to believe.

How have I seen the program work in other people's lives?

How am I finding that other people can offer suggestions that work in my life?

Where am I on the stages of coming to believe that this program will work for me?

Often, in order for our recovery to be effective, we need to address the insanity that we were living in prior to the obsession and acting out. What in my life would need to be addressed?

One technique for identifying the insanity is to go back to the last time you acted out and look at all the events that preceded that activity. Time after time, we tell ourselves lies that enable us to take the next step towards acting out. Looking at each point, write down the lie that you told yourself. Examples are: "I have to work over time.", "I deserve a break because I worked overtime.", "It doesn't matter because I don't care about this relationship lasting."

"And in time we discover that our faith grows not so much from a set of abstract beliefs, but from daily practical experiences of recovery and healing, as observed in others and in ourselves." Sex Addicts Anonymous pg 27
What evidence am I seeing that being part of this program is helping my sanity? How am I discovering that my higher power is restoring me to sanity?

Some people may think that we are moving into Step Three when we try this program. However, there is a substantial difference between trying something that we are not sure will work, and making the decision to turn our will and life over to it. Step Three happens after we have tried recovery and found that it works, but it works at a cost. Sometimes, the cost is quite high; we may give up friends, we may give up jobs, we may give up marriages, we may give up homes. In Step Three, we decide that we will pay that cost. Here, all we are doing is trying this to see if this program actually works for us.