Step Two of Chronic Pain Anonymous – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Initially, I found that help in the stories of those sharing experiences during daily phone conferences. Even though symptoms edged the tone of their voices, their joy in living sparkled. They laughed. If others could learn this new way of living through the practice of the Twelve Steps, then I would too, but I’d have to change.

Step Two hinged upon belief, a practice that necessitated exertion. Mustering such, given my chronic exhaustion, was a learning curve until relating it to another Ingredient: willingness to believe that there is a Power greater than ourselves. Again, it was about willingness, filling my becalmed sails and moving me forward. No longer could I continue crippling myself with nasty judgments, nor blame others for inept remedies for my chronic illnesses. Clearly, I was not in control. I had to stop playing God and concede to this other Power.

That’s when the simplicity of CPA’s belief became unwieldy, given my penchant for more content, as if such could control my sense of God. Step Two asked me to surrender my arrogance and obey: in its wake followed the beginnings of humility and this Power’s lifting the emotional, mental, and spiritual turmoil of living with terminal illness, provided that I worked the Twelve Steps, one day at a time.

Restoration followed.

Another Ingredient critical to this process was Accepting life on life’s terms. Dying was integral to living—no exceptions. More to surrender…

But I needed more help from this newly discovered Power. That came in Step Three.