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12 Step

12 Step Recovery

Recovery from the ravages of drug or alcohol addiction is possible, and 12 step recovery is one of the tools that those assisting other alcoholics or addicts use.

I consider myself to be a recovered alcoholic, meaning the condition for me has been handled and ended.  This is a view that the sponsor I have in AA fully understands and agrees with.  Unfortunately many in 12 step recovery consider full recovery to not be in the realm of possibility. 

They would consider that one is always in a state of recovering, and that one will be recovering for the rest of their lives.  I consider this viewpoint to be very disheartening and depressing.  I think this comes about from the misconception that alcoholism or addiction is a disease and not a condition.  Alcoholism and addiction can predispose one to disease for sure, often propagating and prolonging the diseased condition that a body can become susceptible to.

If one reads and understands the 12 steps thoroughly I think one would find no mention of alcoholism or addiction being a disease.  The real treatment to me and the real value of a 12 step recovery program would be identifying, confronting, and handling the three main factors behind alcoholism, addiction and relapse.

These three factors in my estimation are the physical and mental cravings for drugs or alcohol, guilt over the things we have done or failed to do as a result of our use, and depression that results from the lifestyle we have taken on in an effort to maintain or ease our habits.

Looking at a life-long disease, which has never been proven by the way, is to me hopelessness, and a justification for our failures to get clean and sober.  A 12 step program run by the steps and not opinion, offers hope and a path out of mire for many.

An old Zen saying is “The truth is one, but the paths are many”.  A 12 step program is but one of these paths, and for those that this path works for I can only say – Thank God!

Every individual is different so each person needs to work their program. Don’t work a program that was made for someone else. Do what works for you and only you. If you do not then you are setting yourself up for failure. As mentioned earlier, drug and alcohol addiction is not disease or something that is incurable. You can overcome this as this is a condition of life. Everyday people state that they have 10, 20, or 30 years clean. How can a person have 30 years clean time and still stand up and say that they are a drug addict?

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