How to Cope With Loneliness in Recovery
February 22, 2023
February 24, 2023

Early on in sobriety I considered the Third Step Prayer on page 63 as both a “decision” and “turning over” of my will and life over to God. However, the Big Book directions tell us that we have already made this decision on page 62 (bottom paragraph) and that this step was only a beginning. It was already made!

The Third Step Prayer requires asking God for relief from “the bondage of self,” although I had no precise knowledge of what that was. However, the bottom paragraph tells us to “launch out” on a course of vigorous action.

I would think this requires writing Step Four so as to understand, to some degree, my shortcomings and defects of character. Also, I believe that Step Five was important to allow my sponsor to point out the further aspects of my bondage of self.

So, the Third Step Prayer was only a beginning and will have “little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face and be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us.” (p. 64)

These additional steps were necessary to provide the information about what I was asking God to remove when I got to Step Seven.

I spent the first five months of my sobriety without doing the Step Three follow up as listed above and almost drank—thankfully I immediately found a sponsor who took me through all twelve steps and have not had to drink since. I will be eternally grateful for the clear-cut directions in the Big Book.

By Bob S.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the AA Cleveland District Office.