We are powerless over gambling; that admission brought us to the Gamblers Anonymous Program, where we learn through unconditional surrender that there is victory in defeat. After a time, we learn in Twelfth Step work that we’re not only powerless over our own addiction, but over the addiction of others. We cannot will another person to abstinence from gambling, for example, any more than we can hold back the sunset. We may minister to another person’s physical or emotional needs; we may share with him, cry with him, and take him to meetings. But we cannot get inside his head and push some sort of magic button that will make him—or her—take that all-important First Step.

Do I still sometimes try to play God?

Today I Pray

May I understand my all-too-human need to be the boss, have the upper hand, be the final authority—even in the humbling business of my own addiction. May I see how easy it would be to become a big-shot Twelfth Stepper. May I also see that, no matter how much I care and want to help, I have no control over another’s addiction—any more than someone else has control over mine.

Today I Will Remember

I cannot engineer another’s recovery.