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How The 12 Steps Helped Me With Mental Illness And How It Can Help You With Anything!

Why do you do what you do? Do you even know? Or are you just floating along with the ups and downs of life ending up in something you don’t want to be in?

This method has given me great peace, freedom and stability.

Having a strong core is the most important thing you can do for yourself. The core of a workout is the most important part. It’s the same with your belief system. We are made with some negatives inside and out. Sometimes it’s our own negative that screws us up and sometimes it’s outside of our control. It’s inevitable you will end up in something negative. It’s a guarantee we will experience something that we’re not sure how to handle.

We actually only have two decisions in life. The question is will we choose good or will we choose evil? Everything else comes and goes….

The 12 steps really helped me with stability in such a way nothing else could. Although I have manic episodes I have great stability.

Stability gives me the freedom of the feeling of doom. I had a terrible fear about the future for absolutely no reason. I just waited for the fall! Losing this fear has given me such a peace that I no longer need to worry about something I couldn’t do anything about anyway!

I had heard that the 12 steps can often help mental illness so I started there.

Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (Mental Illness In My Case)

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  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 we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs. 

    The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are Copyright © Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
    In practicing our Traditions, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. has neither endorsed nor are they affiliated with me. Alcoholics Anonymous®, AA®, and the Big Book® are registered trademarks of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.


I learned a lot from this. My life was such a mess at one point!

I chose God (the Christian God). We don’t all choose God to be our Higher Power. I’m not sure what has been your belief, but it doesn’t have to be the same as mine. As long as you have some kind of Higher Power.

Your Higher Power must have three characteristics:

  1. Must be stronger than yourself.
  2. Must be dependable.
  3. Never changing.

For example, if your dog is your Higher Power look at their positive aspects. These are, quite often, what makes him/her stronger than you. A dog unquestionably knows unconditional love. We could all learn in this area.

I’m not saying make your dog your Higher Power but some people need something more visual.

I suggest that your Higher Power is not a person because everyone is flawed. It’s hard to be secure with people because they often change their minds in an emotional state. This can promote insecurity. It’s like trying to walk on the beach when the wind is blowing the sand every which way. It’s hard to get a sturdy footing on a base when it keeps shifting.

I had to get to know my Higher Power and took the time to do it. I read devotions based on the bible for about a year. I slept with my bible really focusing on Psalms and Proverbs (these help you with your relationships, people, and God). I read and read and held on to some of the promises and asked God to let these promises include me because previously I wasn’t so sure of God’s promises.

I no longer go to church because when I did I would get at least one religious fanatic attached to me, as I do have a tendency to attract the “nuts” (birds of a feather?). I have people who like to make me their “project”. I need to put boundaries with these people and go to church really. I just have no interest or desire to have anything to do with that type and it pretty much turns my stomach to even think about it!

I decided to look into myself and explore my motives. I looked at the things I did and why I did them and studied my reasonings. Click here for a method that helped me understand me.

I chose to learn more about what makes up my character and how to have a good one. I focus(ed) on unconditional love and try not to judge others although I do make many judgements. I try to keep a respectful distance from everyone. I believe in guarding my heart.

I didn’t have a lot of people to make amends to because I don’t stir up problems with people although they do with me. So, I watch(ed) karma in action. People who do things against you do get theirs. When your motives are innocent and you don’t want to hurt anyone it happens. There is absolutely no need to act negatively in an already negative situation. It only reflects negatively on your part and opens you up to a negative outcome.

Right now I have this nut job thinking I’m turning the lights off in her unit. She’s saying she saw me do it! I rarely leave from in front of this monitor. We both have protection orders on each other. She got one first and I didn’t want her to have an upper hand. I don’t think they usually give them to both parties but of course, I won. She was visibly upset). She used to walk outside my door talking to me through the door in a negative way! What is the point of this I’ll never understand! At this point, she has stated that she is going to inform the mayor! We were at one time what she called “best” friends (I personally never use that term I’m the best friend I’ve ever had. If only I had a friend like me!)

I don’t follow the saying that what you put in you put out because we’re not always in control of what our input is. I like to focus on the positive, though. This seems to help me day to day. I look for the good in every situation.

I also think that saying “fake it till you make it” is a bunch of BS! I don’t fake anything I pride myself on authenticity. No one likes a fake unless they’re a fake too and these shallow friendships don’t last long. I was fake during my adolescent years and I found that I had to go with the flow (be like everyone else) to fit in and I’m just not that person. When I was in late teens early 20’s the bipolar really came alive, but no one had any idea and the stigma of mental illness that’s the last thing anyone would have done.

About Meditation
If racing thoughts are one of your issues try this:

I also had to think about what I was thinking about. I noticed that a lot of my thoughts were repeated. This helped me capture the thought and change it. Racing thoughts is a common issue with bipolar, especially in mania. I had this song going through my head that I hated! I had to think of another song and get it into my head. It was just three words going through my head and it was driving me crazy!!

I find that cleaning helps my thought process. So for the time I clean I listen to Charles Stanley. It’s good to find a good motivational speaker whoever you choose. I liked the Law of Attraction too. That’s especially good if you don’t believe in God.

I hope your spiritual awakening is as good as mine. I believe this is a very intimate experience. I have gained insight and understanding.


So put your blinders on and look straight to your Higher Power and go!


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