Grace means gifts given by your Higher Power, or Program, that you need not (in fact cannot) earn. Many addicts have tried to “become worthy” of recovery, bargaining with God. “If you will just let me stop drinking (or stop using, or lose weight, or whatever) I promise I will …” Most have found that this didn’t work. Turning this logic around, they felt that their Higher Power was somehow displeased with them, and that’s why they were still struggling with addiction. This kind of shame feeds directly into the disease.

For people who are used to paying through the nose for treatment, counseling, or diet clinics, there is a powerful urge to think “there must be a catch.” It seems as if recovery can’t really be a gift from God or your Program.

The “old tapes” of control, do-it-yourself, and try harder don’t get erased; you must make new tapes as alternatives. For a long while, it may be very easy to start beating your head against the wall again.

Attaining Grace

Simply stop fighting the gift and let it happen. If you believe in a traditional God, just say “thanks, God.” If not you can appreciate the wonder and life-giving qualities of life or whatever you can vaguely identify as a Higher Power or Program.

Grace, see also: Abstinence, Acceptance, Beliefs, Gratitude, Guilt & shame, Higher Power, History of Twelve-Step groups, Humility, Magical thinking, Prayer & meditation, Program, Sanity, Serenity, Service & giving, Spiritual aspects, Spirituality, Step Eleven, Surrender, Trust.

Updated 11 Sep 2015

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Addictionary 2 by Jan & Judy Wilson

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