Managing Alcoholism With The 12 Steps
Hello everyone! My name is Bianka. I would like to give you another warm welcome to Detox to Rehab’s Recovery Reflections. Please join us and listen to the experience, strength and hope shared by Corey, Brandon, and myself.
We will pre-record readings from Narcotics Anonymous: Just for Today and Alcoholics Anonymous: Daily Reflections. We express how this reading has helped our recovery or how it has impacted us. We thank you and hope we can inspire your recovery journey!
February 6, 2017: I can’t – We can.
“We had convinced ourselves that we could make it alone and proceeded to live life on that basis. The results were disastrous and, in the end, each of us had to admit that self-sufficiency was a lie”
Basic Text p. 59
“I can’t, but we can.” This simple but profound truth applies initially to our first need as NA members: Together, we can stay clean, but when we isolate ourselves, we’re in bad company. To recover, we need the support of other addicts.
Self-sufficiency impedes more than just our ability to stay clean. With or without drugs, living on self-will inevitably leads to disaster. We depend on other people for everything from goods and services to love and companionship, yet self-will puts us in constant conflict with those very people. To live a fulfilling life, we need harmony with others.
Other addicts and others in our communities are not the only ones we depend on. Power is not a human attribute, yet we need power to live. We find it in a Power greater than ourselves which provides the guidance and strength we lack on our own. When we pretend to be self-sufficient, we isolate ourselves from the one source of power sufficient to effectively guide us through life: our Higher Power. Self-sufficiency doesn’t work. We need other addicts; we need other people; and, to live fully, we need a Power greater than our own.
Just for today: I will seek the support of other recovering addicts, harmony with others in my community, and the care of my Higher Power. I can’t, but we can.
We Can’t Do This Alone
“The therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel,” Brandon said.
In the 12-step rooms we share our stories with each other our experience, strength, and hope for a reason- to help one another stay clean and sober. The 12-step program works because us recovering addicts and alcoholics help each other. We help one another by sponsorship, fellowship, and being honest when honesty is needed. There is nothing better than having people to relate with that can show you how to live a normal life without the use of drugs and alcohol.
A Power Greater than Yourself
“I needed someone else and a power greater than myself,” I said.
Having people to relate to will help in many aspects, but you also need a Higher Power to guide your life in the direction it needs to go. Without a Higher Power, it is next to impossible to stay clean and sober.
“The whole point behind the steps, behind the program, is to build a relationship with a Higher Power,” Corey said.
It is next to impossible to stay clean and sober without a Higher Power because as an addict we can’t guide our lives by ourselves. When we guided our life by ourselves, we ended up getting high or drunk.
“If we are clean and sober and alone life is going to be miserable,” I said.
If someone was to somehow manage to get and stay clean and sober without a Higher Power life is not going to be so great. The only thought that would be on your mind is that next drink or that next hit. That someone will eventually fall off the wagon and end up drinking or drugging once more.
“This is a ‘we’ program,” Brandon said.
In order to stay away from that drink or drug we need other recovering individuals in our life as well as a Higher Power. Our recovery depends on it. We can do this, but we cannot do this alone.
NA and AA
The NA: Just for Today focuses on working with another recovering individual AA: Daily reflections puts attention on the concept of a Higher Power. While each reading is different, they share the same importance. They give me confidence and guide me in the right direction. Also, it reminds me of how lucky I am to be living a life of recovery.
February: A RALLYING POINT
Therefore, Step Two is the rallying point for all of us. “Whether agnostic, atheist, or former believer, we can stand together on this Step.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 33
I feel that A.A. is a God-inspired program and that God is at every A.A. meeting. I see, believe, and have come to know that A.A. works, because I have stayed sober today. I am turning my life over to A.A. and to God by going to an A.A. meeting. If God is in my heart and He speaks to me through other people, then I must be a channel of God to other people. I should seek to do His will by living spiritual principles and my reward will be sanity and emotional sobriety.
A God Inspired Program
“Yes, it is a God inspired program but it doesn’t have to be the God you had when you were little in church,” I said.
It is not uncommon to see the word “God” and want to veer away from the 12-step program. When they say “God” they mean a power greater than yourself. It doesn’t have to be the God you learned about in Church. It does not have to be the God your family believes in. It should be something that is bigger than you that can restore you to sanity.
“Choose your own conception of God,” Brandon said.
To make it easier to understand, your God can be nature, the ocean, or the 12-step rooms. It can be anything that you truly believe that will do everything possible to keep you from living on self-will.
“This is a spiritual program, not a religious one,” Brandon said.
All that matters is that we live spiritually, not religiously. If you do have a religion that is okay too. But for the people who do not- have no fear. It is not as scary as it sounds. Let go, breath, and think of a Higher Power that will guide you where you need to be in life.
“God does impossible things like helping me to stay sober,” Corey said.
Once you have for your Higher Power, you can call it God. It is your Good Orderly Direction. If you are living on God’s will and have the power to carry it out, your future looks bright. Only God can keep us clean and sober. This program works, but only if you work it.