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Becoming Jennie

By: Jennie Ketcham

Jennie Ketcham is the author of I am Jennie, a blogger and a former porn star who began her recovery from sex addiction on VH1’s "Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew" and "Sober House with Dr. Drew" in 2009. She writes a popular blog, BecomingJennie.com, about her new life as a writer, student and recovering alcoholic. She lives in Los Angeles.

Came to believe

(not rated)

Oct 08, 2012

http://www.reneweveryday.com/assets/1/7/7c16521ef82e42a6978d4d821ca834581.jpgThe word “believe” in conjunction with “a power greater than ourselves” has a tendency of stirring up difficult emotions within a newly-sober woman or man, myself included. Personally, it isn’t until I begin looking in my rearview that I can read Step Two in its entirety and seethat we “came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” What’s neat about looking back into and subsequently reworking Step Two is that I now understand the word “believe” has less to do with the social standard of believe — which entails truth and some basic religious backing — and more to do with “believe” as a clause.

believe |bi'lev|

verb [trans.]

1. accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of

•       accept the statement of (someone) as true

•       [ intrans. ] have faith, esp. religious faith

•       (believe something of someone) feel sure that (someone) is capable of a particular action

•       [with clause] hold (something) as an opinion; think or suppose

I came from the world of pornography where religious zealots occasionally tried to “save my soul” from my own destitute and disgusting lifestyle. Once I left the adult business and got familiar with Twelve Step programs, Step Two induced thoughts of religious folk and the religious folk that came to mind were not the kind and compassionate ones that generally populate this earth. It was the pushy kind. The Westboro Baptist Church kind. The kind that were easy to distinguish from other people because they stood on street corners in Hollywood preaching through megaphones and condemning men that held hands and kissed one another. I couldn’t separate believing from religion.

It’s taken time, but in redoing the Twelve Steps, I am coming to believe in a different kind of experience with the phrase, “came to believe.” It isn’t about faith in the “Here is God, praise be his name” way. It’s about allowing the thought to exist in my mind that there is hope I can live a different way. It’s about a supposition that can grow into certitude that I can get better. It’s about admitting, “When I use anything to numb the way I feel, I become insane.” Finally, it’s about trusting that someone who has experience with a woman like me, whether it’s another alcoholic, a Twelve Step Program as a whole or a more ambiguous Power greater than myself, can help eliminate my need to use the mind-and-heart numbing substances that make me insane. “Came to believe” isn’t just about learning to have faith in a Power greater than myself that can restore me to sanity; it’s about learning to have faith in me, too.

Step Two juxtaposes beautifully next to Step One. Yes, I am powerless. My life is super unmanageable, whether or not I pick up a drink. I am not the world’s mega-manager. To a certain extent, this Step is a relief. The fight is over and the need to overpower that which has been assuaging my sickness has been relinquished.  While there is no hope in a fighter who has admitted her powerlessness, there is if I can believe in my ability to be restored. There is hope in the notion that something, which simply might be a swirling mass of electrons following the inarguable laws of physics, a mass that happens to take the shape of a doorknob or a cloud or a wave and yet represents something so much greater, can restore me to sanity. The most mind-blowing revelation that came in round-two of Step Two is that I have come to believe I can heal.

I don’t have to heal myself, and I am not alone. 

Image courtesy of stock.xchng.com.

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