Step 2 for the newcomer:
Step two simply states that “Came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” The principle behind this step is hope and there is a reason for this. The actual thing that the step is asking you to do is not have faith or even believe in anything but, to have hope that the steps and that higher power can help you. All you need is hope to have a good start.
In essence what step 2 is doing is the exact opposite of step 1. In step 1, alcoholics and addicts are asked to admit they are powerless and that alcohol was what had power over them. In step 2, alcoholics and addicts begin to hope and begin to find another higher power which can return them to sanity. Hope is especially important for alcoholics and addicts because when they first decide to get clean and sober there seems to be no hope and then they work step 1 and have to admit that they are powerless and then the situation seems even more hopeless. That is why step 2, is right after step 1. In step 2, the 12 steps are saying look there is hope.
Hope is something that most addicts and alcoholics didn’t have when they first came into the rooms of a 12 step fellowship. For many of them they found their first glimpses of hope not in the actual 12 steps or in the principle itself but in the people around them who were staying sober. Hope came in the form of; if that person can do it I can too. Hope is what lets the addict and alcoholic who is brand new know they should and can continue on and that there is a chance this can work.
Step 2: For the person with a little bit more clean time
And hope for those with time is not so much what is needed anymore as a principle but is something that should be given as a principle. Hope is shared. Hope is given to the newcomer by those with more clean time. That is why many AA’ers will say they are just trying to share their experience, strength, and hope. Because as we get more clean time we no longer need hope because we have seen the miracle of steps in our lives and we have begun to live along spiritual lines. Instead, we have to share hope. We have to sit down with a newcomer and tell them our story, we have to speak at meetings, we have to pick up yearly medallions to give hope to the person who is really wondering if they will ever manage to get their life back. Each person who has worked steps and is continuing to live a life along spiritual lines has the duty of carrying the principle of hope in every 2nd step they work with a sponsee and throughout their entire message. So even though we make gain hope in step 2 we always carry it with us to share with others.