A Step 2 Working Guide

All are welcome to submit writings here for editing and possible inclusion in literature such as pamphlets, webpages, books or chapters, fliers, or guides. All are welcome to provide feedback on each piece.
Forum rules
The first post in each thread should contain a piece of literature for review by other members of GAA. Preferably each post contains the full text, but if the text is very long or in a format garbled by this forum software, it can be put in another online document with a link provided here. All comments are welcome here. If the piece is in a Google document, detailed comments can be submitted directly into the document.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

A Step 2 Working Guide

Post by Jeff »

Here's something a few of us have been working on writing up: We've been using it, or something like it, with sponsees for a while.

Step 2

We came to believe that power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Now that we have begun to understand that our gaming addiction is a very serious disease (a brain malfunction), it's time to get on with treating it. Our powerlessness over our addiction is our fundamental problem; we compulsively game and it makes our lives unmanageable (you explored this in Step 1). Our "decision-maker" is broken--we simply don't do things that we know will be good for us. We often don't even do things that we want to. This is insanity. So a change is needed in our brains. But nothing that is broken can fix itself, and we have seen, in Step 1, that this definitely applies to us. If we could fix ourselves, we wouldn't be here. We need something from the outside, something that can become more important to us than what we get from gaming. When we are compulsively playing games, our addiction is our "higher power." To recover, we need power that can match and exceed it. In Step 2, we will explore what this could be and in the later steps we will see how we can tap into such power to stay away from games.

It turns out that we have already started this process. Answer the questions below, and then discuss them with your sponsor.

1. Why do you want to stop gaming?

The answers to this first question reveal what you are already using, even if only subconsciously, as higher power (power that you believe can help you stay away from gaming). For example, an addict who is working on recovery because he is distressed over what gaming has done to his mental functioning is relating to his intellect as a higher power. An addict who is working on recovery because she is distressed by the harm her actions are causing her children is using her ideantity as a mother as a source of higher power. (Which of the ways that gaming interfered with your life are most distressing to you?)

2. Why did you come to CGAA?

3. Why did you decide to get a sponsor and begin working the 12 Steps?

These reasons are two additional sources of higher power, that is, they are things we have (finally) put ahead of our gaming addiction. It's important that we believe that our sources of higher power can help us:

4. Have I begun to believe that being a part of the CGAA fellowship and working the CGAA program can help restore me to sanity? What reservations or concerns do I still have?

Our recovery begins with these three sources of power, but we may need more. As we proceed, we can add, remove, or change items on our list of sources of higher power. Indeed, there are many things in the world that represent power greater than ourselves. Various organizations or institutions, groups of people, nature, philosophical or spiritual principles, God--we could not list them all. The work of this step is to explore which source(s) of power we believe can help us recover. We need all the help we can get, and it's important that we be able to connect with whatever can help us.

This next exercise will help us to think about what we need and want from power greater than ourselves.

Exercise: When we were very young, those who fed and clothed us had almost complete control over our lives (they were much more powerful than we were). Many of our beliefs (conscious and subconscious alike) about power greater than ourselves were forged in this situation. This exercise will help us uncover those beliefs, and examine how we are still bound by them

Make a chart with four columns.
Column 1. Who were my caregivers when I was very young? (Usually this is just Mom and/or Dad, but sometimes there are others who were very important.) List each one and then fill out the remaining columns for each of these people separately.

Column 2. What was the emotional tenor of my relationship with this person? Were they kind or critical, helpful or needy, consistent or inconsistent, supporting or shaming, loving or abusive? How did I interact with them--did I feel safe or afraid? Try to boil this down to just a few sentences.

Column 3. How has the relationship in Column 2 affected my beliefs about power greater than myself and my current relationships with power greater than myself? Examples: How is it reflected in my relationship with employers, groups of people I belong to, government officials, God or my religious institution, or the world as a whole? Also, if we were taught to believe in God as children, it's important that our ideas about God be included here, even if we don't believe in it now, because that was an important power greater than we were when we were young.

What is similar between my relationship with my caregivers and my beliefs and interactions with various sources of power greater than myself?

Column 4. What do I need from power greater than myself in order to recover (and how is it similar to or different from what is in Columns 2 and 3)? Do I need to be judged or supported? Do I need to be guided or confused? Cared for or ignored? Kept or abandoned? What do I want to believe, and what do I hope for from the source(s) of power that will help me stay off games?

Discuss this exercise with your sponsor, who will share with you her or his experience in coming to believe.

New sources of power

In this step, we may wish to begin thinking about new sources of power that we have not tapped into yet. There are many possibilities. Some people may say that because they believe in God, or already have a spiritual/religious practice, they don't need anything new. If we're honest, we see that this isn't exactly true--if our faith or practice was working perfectly for us, we wouldn't have fallen so deeply into addiction. For those of us with religious beliefs or practices, we at least need to renew our faith or practice in some way, or begin to look at it in a new light.

For others, there are many places where we might find help. Some have found help in a "higher perspective," adopting philosophical/spiritual principles like wisdom and compassion, or have connected with a higher purpose, such as making a commitment to use one's life to be of service to others. Think about this question:

5. In addition to the fellowship and the program, what might be another source of power that I believe could help me recover? Does it have the characteristics that I said I wanted in the previous exercise?


In the first step, we were looking for a shift in perception--we got honest and began to see the scope of the issue that confronts us. In Step 2, the shift is a move toward open-mindedness--being confronted by the issue, can we consider that there might be sources of help available, and begin to look toward them and tap into them?

Moving on

It's important for us to know that we do not need to fully understand or fully "complete" the process of coming to believe in order to move on. The 12 Steps are not about learning facts or changing beliefs, although these things happen. But it's not our opinion that matters most--it's what we are willing to do. In the case of Step 2, our answers to the first four questions will be sufficient to begin, combined with what we found in the exercise above. We now know a little about what is more important to us than our gaming (so far), and we know a bit about what we hope for from the CGAA fellowship and program, as well as from any other source(s) of power greater than ourselves that we believe can help us. It's time for another step.
Last edited by Jeff on Mon May 13, 2019 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
Post Reply