“Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps…!”
“Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:”
It is all in the steps!
“Antecedent” - synonyms are precursor, forerunner, predecessor, and forebear. So to understand what
“antecedent” means is to accept the fact that something has to exist before something else can
Is The Antecedent of Addiction
Addiction is the Antecedent
One consistent variable within the onset of criminality is the existing antecedent of alcohol/drug/pornography/gambling use, abuse, and addiction. Society at large can only build so many prisons and jails to house a symptom of the real problem. Crime is a symptom. Alcohol/drug/pornography/gambling ―use‖ is the antecedent of ―addiction‖ and addiction is the antecedent of ―crime‖. Without God successful recovery is nearly impossible.
It is important to make a clear distinction between use (make use of, avail yourself of) and abuse
(misuse). The term addict should only be used if the individual is abusing and dependent on
alcohol or drugs or pornography or gambling. Scientifically it should be noted that it is impossible to become an addict unless one is first a user. Therefore, use is the first step toward addiction. Addiction is a separate and even more self-defeating force that abuses a person’s
freedom and makes them do things they really do not want to do.
Addictions are never single problems. Each of our major addictions consists of multiple others that have been affected by it. Breaking an addiction requires changes in many areas of our lives. The struggle of trying to stop smoking will be greater, for example, after eating, or at other times that have become associated with cigarettes. An alcoholic is likely to slip if he or she frequents their old drinking well. A narcotic addict will relapse if he or she continues to associate with the same old friends. A gambler will relapse if he or she eats in a casino just because the food is good. The over-eater won’t get better by obsessing over food commercials on television.
Regardless of how an addiction begins, the longer it stays out of control the more powerful it becomes. Stress and chaos build another addiction around our major addictions to protect the death grip it has, like a spreading disease steadily invading (entering by force) and encompassing one’s surroundings, including our families.
It is here that I want to give you an invitation to transformation. I have written for you my personal commentary and study of the recovery tool of ―How It Works‖ and more. Before each 12 Step meeting, a particular portion of Chapter 5 out of the Big Book, called ―How It Works,‖
is read by one of the members of the group as everyone else listens and savors (take pleasure in, relish, enjoy) every word. I personally would soak in this process of ―How It Works‖ as I tried to grasp ―It‖. Several months went by before I could remember any part of ―It‖ to quote ―It‖. I only remembered how good I felt when hearing ―It‖ read. More months past by before I could quote the steps as well, but I loved every minute while listening to them being read. Nevertheless, I knew that what I read and heard was going to restore what my addiction had taken from me and I would find my purpose in life.
I am a believer in ―How It Works‖ who has struggled with alcohol, prescription drugs and co-
dependency. The first time I was introduced to the 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous th(AA), it gave me sobriety (abstinence, clear-headedness) from alcohol. Before I began the 4
step of this program I balked from the pain that was oozing out of me. My sponsor sent me to Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) and Co-dependents Anonymous (Coda) to find myself and identify where this pain was coming from. There was a definition of ―depression‖ that was
repeated around the recovery rooms and it was not pleasant. The definition goes like this: ―Depression is like self pity oozing from every pore.‖ In other words, my sponsor recognized her limitations and I recognized her frustration in working with me. The last thing my sponsor told me was to attend my chemically dependent meeting daily. So, I went to three or four or more meetings every day. First I went to meetings for my primary addiction of alcohol then I started to attend other 12 Step programs. I am still grateful to this day for what I learned about myself in all 12 Step arenas because it was the same method and course of action in the process of peeling this onion one layer at a time. Another big lesson I learned right away was that it was not my sponsor’s responsibility to fix me, but my responsibility to make my recovery happen
through God’s mercy and grace. So, the sooner I stopped feeling sorry for myself and got into action, the sooner I would get to the promises that this 12 Step Program claimed were mine to have.
I am an ―old timer‖ in the program and I desperately want to have a personal meeting with you to
share my experience, strength and hope through ―How It Works‖. Come join me now as we drink from the existing well of the 12 Step recovery revival on our journey to another level of recovery and release the revival in you. You will read excerpts of the text and proceed to study it with me line upon line, precept (principle, instruction) upon precept, directly following the text.
Simple Study Approach
A Simple Study Approach to ―How It Works‖ and more!
Anyone can use this inductive study method. I learned it when using an Inductive Bible Study course. It involves three basic skills: observation, interpretation, and application.
Observation answers the question: What does the text say?
Interpretation answers the question: What does the text mean?
Application answers the question: What does the text mean to me personally? What
truths can I put into practice? What changes should I make in my life?
When you know what it says, what it means, and how to put its truths into practice, you will be equipped for every circumstance of life. These tools helped me transform my life and gain a deep and abiding relationship with a power greater than myself, and I know they will help you to do the same.
Study of Spiritual Infusion
1. Antecedent :
2. Read “How It Works” from Chapter 5 pages 58 – 60 of the Alcoholic’s
Anonymous Big Book.
3. Study Approach
*** How It Works ***
4. “RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed out path.”
5. “Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give
themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are
constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such
unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.
They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living
which demands rigorous honest. Their changes are less than average.”
6. “There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and metal disorders,
but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.”
7. “Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what
happened, and what we are like now.”
8. “If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any
length to get it – then you are ready to take certain steps.”
9. “At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way.
But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to
be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold
on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.”
10. “Remember that we deal with alcohol – cunning, baffling, powerful! Without
help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power – that One is
God. May you find Him now!”
11. “Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked
His protection and care with complete abandon.”
12. “Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:”
13. Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over ___________ - that our lives
had become unmanageable.
Have you ever experienced the phenomenon of craving?
Does your life seem normal?
In your past, did you ever seek not wanting to feel?
14. Step 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us
Did you ever entertain the thoughts that you were crazy?
Did your mind race thinking over and over again the same scenario?
Did you feel fear and anxiety?
15. Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and out lives over to the care of God
as we understood Him.
What were your feelings toward religion, the church, and God?
Are you willing to believe there is a power greater than yourself?
16. Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
The number one offender is resentments. Do you still have some?
Webster’s Dictionary defines resentment to be “a feeling of displeasure or indignation,
from a sense of being injured or offended”.
Do you realize this is tied to bitterness and un-forgiveness?
Do you have a sponsor or group you work with to get this inventory done?
17. Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact
nature of our wrongs.
Review your inventory so that you try and not leave anything overlooked.
Have you left out your go-to-the-grave secrets?
18. Step 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of
What are some of your defects that stand in the way of helping others?
What are you going to do about it?