Step 2 and 3 of AA – finding a Higher Power!

Step 2 and 3 of AA – finding a Higher Power!

Here is another podcast about recovering from alcoholism on This one discusses the good and bad side of Step 2 and 3 of AA and is the second of a series of discussions with Jon who has his blog at about the 12 steps which make up the core of the AA programme and are described in chapter 5 of the Big Book. Jon was an AA member for many years but has also done CBT type therapy and read a lot on other solutions. He has helped take people through the steps and has many years of continued abstinence from alcohol and drugs and is very knowledgable about AA history. At one time he thought that AA was correct in all its ideas, but has modified his views over time. I only attended AA for 18 months and was always cynical of the religious side of AA and just accepted it was from the mid west of America in the 1930’s, and really made use of the fellowship rather than the steps. I always used to dislike chapter 5 being read out in meetings and always felt the need to take personal responsibility for my recovery. We talk about the concept of a “Higher Power” and the fact that more and more people are turned off the idea of recovery when they see these steps that talk about God. Like most of the AA steps there are good and bad things about them and they are open to interpretation.

Step 2 of the 12 steps of AA

“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Step 3 of the 12 steps of AA

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Jon describes how he would help a sponcee with these two steps and we discuss some of the reasons they do help some people but not other people. When you are working step 2 and 3 you are starting to take on the beliefs of the AA group, and conform to the 12 step way of thinking. Members who do not do this are generally not fully accepted by the group, and I was one of these!

Asking for Help in AA – Finding a Higher Power!

Here is Jon’s “Higher Power” asking for help!

The Beatles Help

Here is my more self empowered “Higher Power” Harry!

Harry Cripps


  • jonsleeper
    Posted at 17:09h, 12 October Reply

    Great picture. Apparently The Beatles were actually spelling “NUJV” as it looked much better than HELP in semaphore. Please note that I got the name wrong when we were talking about the person responsible for “God as you understand him” … it was JIM BURWELL, not Bill D. Slip of the tongue there, sorry about that. For an excellent biography of Jim Burwell go to AA Agnostica. The author, Bob K, is a wonderful writer on early pioneers in AA:

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