Working Through the 12-Steps of Recovery

Recovery Reflections: May 3, 2017

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 Megan.

We will pre-record readings from 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!

Alcoholics Anonymous

May 3, 2017: Cleaning House

Somehow, being alone with God doesn’t seem as embarrassing as facing up to another person. Until we actually sit down and talk aloud about what we have so long hidden, our willingness to clean house is still largely theoretical.

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg. 60

It wasn’t unusual for me to talk to God, and myself, about my character defects. But to sit down, face to face, and openly discuss these intimacies with another person was much more difficult. I recognized in the experience, however, a similar relief to the one I had experienced when I first admitted I was an alcoholic. I began to appreciate the spiritual significance of the program and that this Step was just an introduction to what was yet to come in the remaining seven Steps.

Lies and Manipulation

“I didn’t just turn into an addict when I picked up; I have had these tendencies my whole life,” Megan said.

When I was very young, about six or seven, I remember telling profound lies to the other children in my school because I didn’t feel accepted. I felt as if these kids would pay more attention to me if they felt bad for me. So, I would go get my mom’s makeup and put fake bruises on me to make it seem like I was abused. In all reality, life at home was good, there were a few fights here and there but I was never beaten like I made it seem.

The lies and manipulation had come long before the drugs and alcohol. From what I can remember I was telling and convincing others of little lies about my life here and there for attention and to fit in. I always felt out of place and making people feel sorry for made me feel better for the time being. Then, I was introduced to drugs and alcohol. The drugs and alcohol made me feel like I fit in, they made me feel accepted and superior.

“Drinking wasn’t really the problem,” Brandon said.

Now that I look back at the patterns of my life I realize heroin was not the source of my problem; I was the problem. It was me that had to be fixed. If you take the drugs and alcohol away from me nothing is going to change unless I follow the spiritual principles of a 12-step program.

The 12-Steps and the Recovery Program

“As I went through the steps I was able to release a lot of this stuff,” Megan said.

I tried to get clean and sober without the help of the 12-step program many times. Within a couple of weeks, I was already lying, stealing and using drugs and alcohol to mask the pain I was feeling inside. It wasn’t until I truly gave the 12-steps my all that I knew there was another, better and healthier way of life out there.

As I was going through the steps I was ready to be honest. I was terrified of the possible judgment but now I know you don’t find that in the 12-step rooms. Being honest through the steps was the best thing I could have done for myself. It is the reason I am still alive and well today.

Yes, I was honest but when it came to the fourth and fifth steps, honesty wasn’t easy. Telling my sponsor all the terrible things I have done in my life caused me to live in fear. I remember shaking as I sat in front of her getting ready to unload my fourth step on her.

“For all the fear I put into life being ahead of the 5th step once it was over all of that fear was unfounded,” Corey said.

All the fear I was feeling diminished after a few minutes of doing my 5th step. Instead of fear it was serenity. I have never felt so free in my life. Some of the reasons why I drank and used were all out of my head and I was ready to move forward and stop living in the past.

Since that day my life has never been better, even the bad days aren’t comparable to a day of using drugs. I am finally free to live and enjoy my life as other people do. For a long time, I didn’t believe the steps would work. But now, almost two years later, I know I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for the 12-step program.

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