We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings - Step 7

For anyone seeking recovery from addiction, this seventh step on your way to twelve requires honesty with yourself, willingness to change, and action. An additional key to working this step is to remain in the spiritual realm, specifically remembering to use your developing relationship with God. Sadly, many never get this far and have long since stopped doing the work. Some relapse to alcohol and drug use. The saying, "one, two, three, drink!" refers to the high percentage of alcoholics who drink after doing only steps one, two, and three, balking at the process of looking at themselves in step four and beyond. Individual alcoholics and addicts find that to stay clean and sober they must also do the action steps of four through nine, then maintain their recovery and spiritual fitness by adopting as a way of life all of the steps, including ten, eleven and twelve.

Some addicts who stop before reaching step seven control their drug and alcohol use or even stay clean and sober...and miserable, or nowhere close to as spiritually fit as they could be. Keep in mind the goal of "sober and happy" or "clean and contented" and give yourself a break by working ALL of the steps, in order, and with a sponsor who has worked them before you, or is at least one step ahead of you!

The point of doing the first six steps before attempting number seven is to learn about yourself, to learn what your feelings, thoughts, behaviors have been and how they have controlled your life and affected others. With genuine honesty, you may realize that you have not been the best person you could be, or certainly not the person you want to be, and that you need supernatural help. In step two you came to believe that a Higher Power could work in your life and in step three, you made a decision to turn your life over to God as you understand Him. You say you have done all of that? Right. Okay, great, then review it and let's move on and knock out step seven!

If you could just do this, just change the things you do not like, you probably would have done it long ago. But...through the process discussed above, you may now know what you want to change about yourself, what shortcomings you want to let go of; putting that into action is another story and few are able to do it. Sometimes, "Just Do It", just doesn't work for long. This is where the part about "humbly asked Him" comes in. Few, if any, real addicts can will themselves to stop using drugs and change. If you could, you would have done it long ago. If you are an addict and have stopped, great! To stay stopped, you probably have invited God into your life and asked for help. Likewise, anyone wanting to grow and progress needs help, help from other human beings who have gone before and supernatural help, specifically help from God.

"We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings." If the Him with a capital H is not palatable to you, deal with it. Consider changing your mind. Give a try to believing there is a Higher Power, it is not you, and that He, or whatever pronoun you want to use, can help you. The next concept is that while H.P. can help you, He will not remove your defects if you insist on hanging onto them. The old saying that God can move mountains, but I had better bring my shovel applies here. The point is that there are some things you cannot do on your own. You can, however, prevent your recovery from happening...you will always have the choice to return to being an active alcoholic or druggy or a clean and sober but unchanged and miserable person. You and God together can get and keep you clean and change you! Not into doing the work to change? Think drug free is good enough? Still refuse to believe in anything greater than yourself? Bummer.

Dr. Dawn's book, Mission Possible, A Missionary Doctor's Journey of Healing, is available for $15 on Amazon.

Dr. Dawn Obrecht is the only MD addiction medicine specialist on the western slope of Colorado. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and her office is in Steamboat Springs. She teaches a communication course to medical students at the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver info@docdawn.com.


 

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