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 The Sixth Step of Dual Recovery Anonymous*

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Step 5 | Step 7

6. "Were entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove all our liabilities."

A core principle behind the Sixth Step is that we review what we have done in the first five Steps and decide if we're ready for the new life offered in dual recovery. Being ready involves a clear decision, a commitment. We must be willing to let go of our old ideas to make way for new ones.

IN OUR OWN WORDS: Members share their thoughts on the Sixth Step

Once I got done with my inventory and Fifth Step, I felt really different about some things. I actually felt a desire to grow and change that went way past just keeping clean and taking my meds. I think it was because I had a direction to go and things to do that were solidly based in reality and really, I figured most of it out by my own efforts. Not by myself--but it was my work. No one did it for me.

The Sixth Step was hard for me. I had such a habit of saying "Yes but" to any suggestions for change or anything new. I always seemed to have an excuse why something wouldn't work for me. There is a certain comfort in old familiar patterns and ways of thinking. Letting go of things that I knew didn't work was really a challenge for me. So when it says, "entirely ready" that was a big deal for me. I could know intellectually why something needed to change but getting it to sink in on a deeper level was hard work. I had to go back and use Step Three a lot for each little thing that needed changing.  Interestingly though, it was at this point that I quit having cravings and drug dreams all the time. I knew I was moving ahead in spite of my fear.

I had a hard time figuring this Step out until one day when the topic of our meeting was The Serenity Prayer. One member shared how she used it to align her will with that of her Higher Power which she called God. This little prayer I felt, could be just the tool to help me get ready to change.

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.

I first thought that Steps Six and Seven were about miracles. Like somehow if I was ready and willing enough, God would simply remove my liabilities. But it's really about me becoming willing to do the legwork it takes to follow His will for me. The wisdom and guidance is there, but it's up to me to take the responsibility to put it into practice and use it. I have to walk the walk.

Step Six boils down to getting sick and tired of being sick and tired. You can't live with the consequences of your old ways of thinking and doing things anymore. The problems were made perfectly clear in the earlier Steps so now you have awareness. Awareness makes it even more uncomfortable. So you become willing to change. In fact you become willing to go to any length necessary to change. I guess the other option would be to go back to drinking and drugging till you aren't aware any more.

Even though I was clean and sober for awhile, I still was filled with self-defeating thoughts and behaviors,  resentments, and mistaken beliefs about the world and myself. I was still afraid of feeling a lot of things and of my own emotions and reactions.  All these things left me very vulnerable to relapse and symptom flare-ups. In Step Six I realized just how much work I still had ahead of me. I stopped and reviewed the first three Steps, talked at length with my therapist, my sponsor and a counselor at my church. I knew I couldn't change everything all at once but I needed a plan. I needed some way to break all these things down into manageable portions that I could deal with. That's basically what my Sixth Step was. Oh, and lots of praying for willingness and strength to stick with it.

Step 5 | Step 7

*Adapted from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

*The Twelve Steps of AA are reprinted and adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. AA is a program of recovery from alcoholism only - use of the Twelve Steps in connection with programs and activities that are patterned after AA, but that address other problems, does not imply otherwise. THE SIXTH STEP OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS* 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Fellowship Step Discussion Booklet - This is a printable booklet of this Step Discussion section of the web site in Adobe Reader (PDF) file format.

0 The 12 Steps of Dual Recovery Anonymous  Introduction
1 We admitted we were powerless over our dual illness of chemical dependency and emotional or psychiatric illness - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2 Came to believe that a Higher Power of our understanding could restore us to sanity.
3 Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of our Higher Power, to help us to rebuild our lives in a positive and caring way.
4 Made a searching and fearless personal inventory of ourselves.

Admitted to our Higher Power, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our liabilities and our assets.

6 Were entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove all our liabilities.
7 Humbly asked our Higher Power to remove these liabilities and to help us to strengthen our assets for recovery.
8 Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9 Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10 Continued to take personal inventory and when wrong promptly admitted it, while continuing to recognize our progress in dual recovery.
11 Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power, praying only for knowledge of our Higher Power's will for us and the power to carry that out.
12 Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others who experience dual disorders and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Download PDF Booklet  of this entire Fellowship Discussion portion of the web site on The Twelve Steps of DRA. Adobe Acrobat required


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