A Gentle Path

2 April 2016

I’ve been reading a library copy of “A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps” on my Overdrive phone app.  Great book, and I’ve been focusing on Step One,

We admitted that we were powerless of our addiction –
That our lives had become unmanageable.
Carnes talks about recovery as a transformational journey, with some elements that I can be sure to come to understand or feel:

•I accept the life that I have known is over.

•I move into a new and blessed phase of my time here.

•I accept pain as my teacher, and problems as the key to a new existence for me.

•I seek guides in my life and understand that they may be different than I anticipate.

•I accept the messages surrounding me.  Negativity is replaced with positive acceptance.

•I realize that I have had a hard life, and that I deserve better.

•I let the spirit melt the hardness of my heart.

•I comfort and nurture myself.  As part of the surrender of my pride, I will let others give to me as an act of faith in my value as a person.

•I accept my illness as part of the trauma of this culture and my family.

•I appreciate that in the chaos of the now, my instinct and beliefs may work against me.  My recovery friends help me sort out healthy instincts and beliefs from unhealthy ones.

•I recognize that time is transforming my loneliness into solitude, my suffering into meaning and relationships into intimacy.

•I do not blame or search for fault.  It is not Who, but How and What happened.

•I commit to reality at all costs, knowing that that is where I will find ultimate serenity.

•I accept that life is difficult and that leaning into the struggle adds to my balance.


One of the biggest learnings I’ve had from reading the first chapters of this book is that stress and fear are at the heart of all addictions.  Stress and Fear.

There is a high correlation between childhood emotional, physical and sexual abuse and subsequent addiction.

Until we can accept the fear, anger and sadness, we cannot grieve.

Carnes suggests that after 90 days in recovery, the addict can share a First Step.  For me, that would be on or about 23 June 2016.  Give or take.

I have to remember that inside me is my True Self, and my Addictive Self.  I can choose to cultivate and/or access either of these people inside me.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.



2 thoughts on “A Gentle Path

  1. Thanks Mark. I have loads of teaching in my life, as it were! I am on a job search since the end of March, so things are in flux. Need to focus on my recovery, do the things I’ve been doing to stay sane and abstinent.


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