12 Step

12 Steps

The adventures of becoming familiar with the 12 Steps, let alone apply them, can be rewarding and frustrating at the same time.  I was involved in the 12 steps and 12 step programs for many years, with relapse after relapse, after relapse.  I finally wend to a non-traditional recovery program for 6 months before I finally got clean and sober, and have remained so since 2001.

I remember having lots of issues with Step One, years ago when continually attempting to apply the 12 steps to my alcoholism and drug addiction.  I could certainly conceive of being less powerful when in the throes of my use, but just couldn’t or wouldn’t embrace the concept of being totally powerless.  I did a lot of soul-searching and consulted with a lot of 12 step group members.  The amount and variety of opinions was simply amazing to me, and no one seemed to be able to my mind at rest on the subject of being powerless.

If I was truly powerless, then why was I even trying to get clean and sober!  I knew that if I had even one drink or drug then I was on my way to a full scale binge and would be out of control.  But the concept of powerlessness still evaded me.

I was the wise counsel of a sponsor I had at the time that finally helped me through this step.  He told me “You certainly are NOT powerless UNLESS you pick up that first drink or drug, then you are turning the power over to the drug or alcohol to rule you”.  Wow!  I could think with this.  I was choosing to become powerless!

During my stay at Rehab I also learned how drugs and alcohol can lodge in the fat tissues of the body, and release into the blood system years after one had ceased use.  This explained previously unexplainable urges to use or drink again.  This could make me just enough less powerful that I would be willing to go all the way and become powerless by actively using or drinking again.  The 12 steps took on new meaning to me.

I did a full body purification and detox designed to get these hidden drugs and alcohol out of my system.  I can now honestly tell you that I haven’t had one physical craving for drugs or alcohol since completing this in the summer of 2001.

The lesson learned here is that the 12 steps are a good guide to being clean and sober, but without full and complete understanding and a technology to achieve results, the 12 steps are all to often 12 steps to nowhere despite all our best intentions to help ourselves and others to get somewhere.