Step Twelve of Chronic Pain Anonymous – Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others with chronic pain and chronic illness, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

 Step Twelve’s spiritual awakening evidenced Higher Power’s unconditional love for me; it seized my awareness and often buoyed me above the worsening symptoms of my terminal illness. As a lodestone, His presence steadied the subtle erosion of my energy, until again surrendering and living within new limits. The only way out of total exhaustion would be my death, but that did not seem imminent.

More opportunities to study the Twelve Steps with my sponsor and to practice the Twelve Steps filled the in-between moments of each day, even pre-dawn hours. Sharing the fruits of this endeavor during conference calls also attested to Higher Power’s healing presence in our midst. And Sunday Skype meetings with a co-sponsor from Australia also deepened the spiritual awakening we shared, our hearts warming with enthusiasm.

The rub of Step Twelve came in practicing these principles in all our affairs. That required consciousness and the willingness to change, and to change often. Given decades of robot-like behaviors, I’d find myself in disassociation or idealization or some other defense mechanism—much easier to deal with than the unknown of my diminishing body. Again, I’d scrape off the muck with Higher Power’s help in Step Two and surrender in Step Three to its serenity in the present moment.

So the ultimate goal of CPA recovery is to so live in accord with Higher Power’s will that I become a co-creator with Him: New life abounds with joy, all the more reason to let go and let God.