Step 6: Ready to get healthy

Step 6 of A.A. is:

“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

Yes, there is “God” again … a Higher Power can be whatever you believe in, whether the God of your organized religion, the people in the room or in your life who support you, or any other “God” as you understand Him/Her.

However, for me, the important focus of this step was getting ready to to let go of all that baggage, all the crazy and hurtful behaviour that I thought was normal in my drinking and drugging days.

Some might think it would be easy to get rid of old baggage. But that baggage is comfortable, familiar, maybe not anything you are proud of but you know it well. It is scary to let go of old habits, even ones that we know are unhealthy.

Going through Step 4 – the searching and fearless morale inventory, and Step 5 – admitting them all to God and to someone else, meant facing all of my shortcomings, the insanity of my life of drinking and drugs. But they were my habits, and each one of them was a hard  habit to break, hard to see how much it hurt me and the people I cared about, hard to recognize how it could hurt people I didn’t even know.

In those early days of sobriety, it took real effort to make it through each day without drinking. That meant it was hard to stop those old habits, to let go of them, to find new ways of living that were healthy, and safe and good for me.

That is what this step was about for me: letting go, being ready to leave all of the crazy behaviours behind. And working on believing that I deserved to be healthy, to learn new habits and let go of the bad.

Learning to believe that we are deserving of a whole and healthy life can be a pretty big journey for many people. Working through Step 6 was a very important part of turning from the shaky person who relied in booze and drugs to survive to a person who believed in herself.

My thanks to the Creator, to people who shared their stories in A.A. meetings and after, and to the many caring friends and family – supported by A.A. and some helpful therapists – who have helped me on that journey.

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