The Lure of the 1-2-3 Waltz by Kyczy Hawk

step 12 magazine life

My life in recovery has been full and rich in both grace and challenges. I have raised my family, become married, returned to school, and embarked in not one, but two new professions. I have cared for a brother who was in a severe accident rendering him wheelchair bound and suffering from a traumatic brain injury. I have sat with both my parents as they passed on. I have remained clean and sober through it all.

Life comes at me in big and small ways—challenging me and my identity over and over again. The pleasant and the unpleasant can both disturb me. The voice that says I am not worthy can distract me from the wonderful things that happen to me. The voice that says “that’s what you get” when things are difficult still whispers in my ear. Either way these feelings, these world views come from a place of unrest. Why am I disturbed, why am I trying to control the uncontrollable? I may start to eat in an unhealthy way, become extra busy and avoid my feelings. I may become unhappy with silly things like bath mats and table settings; developing a craving for new and more—shopping in an unwise way.

When I feel this way I do what a practiced person in recovery may do; I go back to the steps. When I am well I go deep , but more often I am lured into the 1-2-3 waltz. I just do steps one, two and three. These are useful, it is genuine work to realize that my behavior is harming myself and maybe others. It is wise to note that my outlook and behavior are unmanageable. It is true that I can’t get myself “sane” and healthy all by myself. The mind that got me here is probably not going to get better by itself. I have to connect with my higher power, talk to someone else, and turn it over. And I do.

Noting that the same issues keep coming up over and over, observing those times my behavior is once again verging on  compulsion and obsession, I know there is more work to do. There is something brewing underneath the conduct that requires investigation. My program of recovery has a path for that; it has a process. It is the steps- but ALL of them. Don’t just stop with tip toeing through the first three.

The deal is—if I just do the 1-2-3, I won’t get down to the nitty gritty. I won’t dig deep enough to figure out what the root cause is. I won’t get to the part where I share with my sponsor, find out my shortcomings and work the rest of the amends steps on my actions. I will just turn it over, and it will come back again.

The longer I am around, the more I realize that ALL the steps are for me: not just the first three and last three. I do them ALL. I avoid the lure and get into the work. And if something else comes up I do them again.

Kyczy Hawk is in long term recovery and is enthusiastic about her life in sobriety. She is the “secretary” of the “Yoga Recovery” meetings, Sundays 7am PST on In The Rooms ( ). She is a yoga teacher and author of Yoga and The Twelve Step Path and Life in Bite Sized Morsels. For more yoga tools, visit her website at: She is aided and amused by her family who keep her busy and humble.