Step 3 of the 12 Steps of Addiction Treatment

Step 3 of the 12 Steps of Addiction
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Heard in a AA meeting: “The problem is Me! The solution is Beyond Me! And the program of action is Let It Be!” “Is the stone heavy? Put it down and rest.” “Rest in just being – rather than doing.” The central affirmative action in Step 3 of the 12 Steps of Addiction Treatment is a decision. We become willing to take action to do something different. We find that our troubled minds arise from our own self-centered reactions to life events. (62: 2) We may loosen our grip on our fearful sense of self. We can stop exhausting ourselves as if we were in charge of making things happen in this world. We were never meant, or equipped, to do it alone, as this excerpt from Step 3 of the 12 Steps of Addiction Treatment of Narcotics Anonymous tells us. 

We are asked to turn our will and lives over to the care of what we do not understand. Yet we may define our own conception of this power, as we may for our own understandings of other spiritual expressions and spiritual terms. (47: 1) Working Step 3 of the 12 Steps of Addiction Treatment will help us discover what works best for us. And by working Step 3 at our drug rehab center we are allowing an unsuspected inner resource (567-568) to care for us, not control us or conduct our lives for us. We are not giving anything away; we are not struggling to become something we are not. We are learning to cooperate with what we always were. We are complete and whole as we are; the stuff we mixed in was to survive. We are aligning ourselves with a Spirit of the Universe (46: 2) – one with our own best and highest nature.

Step 3 of the 12 Steps of Addiction

Step 3 of the 12 Steps of Addiction Treatment is hardcore

Spirituality as taught at our drug rehab center is our tool based on personal experience, which gets better the more we experiment with it and use it. Step 3 of the 12 Steps of Addiction Treatment reflects a spiritual progression through practice from hope to faith to trust. The decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of a higher power of our own understanding is one we may make each day, one day at a time. The authors of the Big Book call Step 3 the keystone (62: 3) to the wonderfully effective spiritual structure (47: 2) of a spiritual awakening that is being built by the discipline of the practice of the 12 Steps within the fellowship. How do we work Step 3 of the 12 Steps of Addiction Treatment? We do it by working Steps 4 – 12. Can you believe? 

The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. (Are you convinced – yes-no?) (AA p. 60) Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find
that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a
position to be hurt. So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic (addict) is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though they usually do not think so.
Above everything, we alcoholics (addicts) must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!

God makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His
aid. Many of us had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live up to them
even though we would have liked to. Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by
wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God’s help. This is the how and the why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work. (Would you agree – yes-no?) Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director (yes-no?). He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept in our drug rehab center program, learned from NA is the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom. (AA p. 61-62)

Ever heard of the Step 3 Paycheck:

When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new
Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our own little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn. (AA p. 63)

The surrender we experience in Step One, couples with the hope and belief we find in Step Two, make us ready and willing to continue on the path toward freedom in Narcotics/Alcoholics Anonymous. In Step Three, we put our belief in a Higher Power into action, making a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the God. This is the science and mathematical key behind the first three steps that come together and transcend (go above) what we once thought was possible, thus is its spiritual nature. 

Essential to working the Third Step is our willingness to allow God to work in our lives. We develop this willingness over time. The willingness we experience in our early recovery is valuable even though we may be willing only to a certain degree. Although this may feel like unconditional willingness, many of us have discovered that our willingness grew as we learned to trust a Power greater than ourselves.

The decision we make in Step 3 of the 12 Steps of Addiction Treatment requires that we move away from our self-will. Self-will our drug rehab centre counsellors will teach you, is composed of such characteristics as closed-mindedness, unwillingness, self-centredness and outright defiance. Our self-centred obsession and its accompanying insanity have made our lives unmanageable. Acting on our self-will has kept us trapped in a continuous cycle of fear and pain. We wore ourselves out in fruitless attempts to control everyone and everything. We couldn’t just allow events to happen. We were always on the lookout for ways we could force things to go as we wanted.

for more information about Step 3 of the 12 Steps of Addiction Treatment or our drug rehab center get in touch on 0824424779 or email We do recovery, very, very differently here. Inquire today, as to how we do that.