Tag Archives: SANCA Wedge Gardens

Step work in recovery: Step 8

Make a list of all of the people you have harmed and become willing to make amends to all of them.

“Step 8 is when we bring other people into the healing process – the people harmed during our active addiction, those we meant to harm and those we harmed by accident,” says Karen Griessel, a social worker at SANCA Wedge Gardens.

She explains that this step is about identifying the damage caused, being willing to make amends and practising by treating everyone respectfully.

“Practically, we need to start this step by listing all the people we can think of, even if we are not sure whether we will be able to make amends. The downside is that often the willingness to make amends to certain people is not there, due to resentment or fear, for example.

“An important concept in this step is that harm comes in many different forms, such as that caused by stealing or the harm done to oneself, such as getting a sexually transmitted disease as a result of unsafe sex. Deeper emotional harm is caused by striking the most vulnerable places of the heart,” says Griessel.

The spiritual principles in this step are courage, willingness and compassion, which are the opposite of resentment, blame and self-pity.

“When we have stripped away the distracting influences and have exposed the solid core of serenity, humility and forgiveness, we can move on to the next step,” says Griessel.

For more information about SANCA Wedge Gardens Treatment Centre, visit www.wedgegardens.co.za or call 011 430 0320.

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Step work in recovery: Step 7

In this step, humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings, says Karen Griessel, a social worker at SANCA Wedge Gardens.

The spiritual principle linked to Step 7 is humility.

Humility is defined as a freedom from pride or arrogance – the quality or state of being humble.

By definition, humility is the very thing many alcoholics and addicts have been missing throughout their addiction. Pride and arrogance are the exact things keeping many of them sick for far too long.

“We practice humility throughout the steps. First, by admitting our powerlessness over the drink or drug, handing our will over to a ‘power’ greater than ourselves, looking deeply into our past and understanding our part in the resentments we held so close and sharing these indiscretions with another,” says Griessel.

“All of these are important pre-cursors to our biggest test in humility. For many of us, this can be difficult. These traits are the very essence of who we were until this point in our lives. However, if we are willing to move forward by trusting our Higher Power, we are promised that we will lose interest in selfish things and gain an interest in more healthy outlets,” she adds.

Griessel explains that this promise furthers the idea that we will become free from the bondage of self, allowing us to focus our efforts on others and creating a better life for everyone involved.

“We must understand that, as we take this step, all of our character defects will not miraculously disappear overnight. However, we are making the conscious decision to humble ourselves to our Higher Power and ask for guidance to become the person we would like to be.

“As we travel through sobriety, Step 7 is one we might need to revisit as new defects of character appear or old ones resurface. Whatever the case may be, we must continue to practice humility by asking our Higher Power for help and guidance,” says Griessel.

Step 7 prayer

“My Creator, I am now willing for you to have all of me, good and bad.

I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.

Grant me strength as I go out from here to do your bidding.”

For more information about SANCA Wedge Gardens Treatment Centre, visit www.wedgegardens.co.za or call 011 430 0320.

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Step work in recovery: Step 6

In this step, we were entirely ready to have God remove all of these character defects, says Karen Griessel, a social worker at SANCA Wedge Gardens.

“By now the person has developed humility and can see theirself more clearly. Becoming entirely ready means reaching a spiritual state of being, aware of the defects, but also growing tired of them as the person knows that only a higher power can successfully remove them,” she adds.

The difficulty is that defects are often ingrained into our behaviour and unfortunately our worst character defects surface in stressful situations.

“People struggle with understanding where their character defects end and where their character begins within the complex structure of their personality. However, it’s important to not get too obsessed and rather focus on the efforts and be conscious in the process,” says Griessel.

Spiritual principles in this step are commitment, perseverance, willingness, faith, trust and self-acceptance.

“Ultimately, working this step, the person develops a vision of the best person they would like to become,” says Griessel.

For more information about SANCA Wedge Gardens Treatment Centre, visit www.wedgegardens.co.za or call 011 430 0320.

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Step work in recovery: Step 5

In this step, we admit to God, to ourselves and to another human beings the exact nature of our wrongs, says Karen Griessel, a social worker at SANCA Wedge Gardens.

“This is about the admission the person makes, together with the previous admissions of having a disease, needing help and that there is a Power that can help you.

“Two things that are important in this step are courage and a sense of trust in the recovery process. This will help you work through specific fears and go through with the admissions needed. Facing fears is essential in knowing them but, more importantly, in moving forward in spite of them.

“By making an effort to share your fears and by admitting them to the God of your understanding, the spiritual meets the everyday and the ordinary meets the extraordinary, which makes the admission meaningful.

“By surrendering to the truth, you will learn how to build honest relationships, which are very different to the relationships in addiction, which are mostly about taking from others through lies and manipulation. This uncovers the exact nature of your wrongs by identifying patterns and reasons for a common thread – this process is commonly known as a character defects inventory.

“It must be said that without the spiritual principles of trust, courage, self honesty and commitment, it will be impossible to get through this step. Ultimately. Step 5 promotes self-acceptance, which opens the door for further and deeper recovery.”

For more information about SANCA Wedge Gardens Treatment Centre, visit www.wedgegardens.co.za or call 011 430 0320.

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Step work in recovery: Step 4

In Step 4, people undergoing the 12-Step programme make a searching and fearless inventory of themselves, says Karen Griessel, a social worker at SANCA Wedge Gardens.

“The first question to ask when starting this step, is what it is that recovery means to you. Thus begins the journey of rediscovery. We can use the analogy of the onion peeling away denial, disease of addiction, character of defect and the harm caused to get to the core authenticity of the true self that is healthy and pure. This will hopefully be your spiritual awakening.

“Let’s look at ‘searching’ and ‘fearless’ as guiding words in this step. Taking a fearless inventory means going ahead despite our fear by having the courage to be honest and the determination to carry on even when it gets tough. This is where the hard work starts in the step work… by taking a moral inventory which broadly takes into consideration individual morality, values and principles of oneself.

“The inventory should be recorded which will include resentments, feelings, guilt, shame, fears, relationships, sexual relationships, abuse, assets, secrets and, ultimately, what it takes to move on. At the end of the day, it is about getting real with oneself, like taking off that continuous scab so that the wound can finally heal.”

For more information about SANCA Wedge Gardens Treatment Centre, visit www.wedgegardens.co.za or call 011 430 0320.

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Step work in recovery: Step 1

Having a framework to tackle recovery is essential and the 12 Steps are very helpful during this process, says Karen Griessel, a social worker at SANCA rehab centre Wedge Gardens.

Today we look at Step 1: We have admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, and that our lives had become unmanageable.

This is where healing starts.

“Comfort can be found in realising that addiction is a disease and not a moral failing and making the principles of acceptance, humility, willingness, honesty and open-mindedness a fundamental part of the self – after accepting being an addict that has hit rock bottom and knowing one must surrender,” says Griessel.

She explains that when in active addiction, the disease is alive because the person is trapped in obsessive, compulsive, self-centred routines – with endless loops that lead nowhere but to physical, mental, spiritual and emotional decay.

“Denial, despair, isolation, powerlessness and reservations are all part of the unmanageability of the disease of addiction. This needs to be admitted before an individual can move on from their old ways and accept that a new way is called for.”

For more information about SANCA Wedge Gardens Treatment Centre, visit www.wedgegardens.co.za or call 011 430 0320.

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