Not affiliated with or endorsed by any 12-step program
When working the steps in 12-Step programs, we do a lot of writing. The first step requires us to write about our sordid past (and often current) behaviors in order to drive home the concept of powerlessness. Step 4 requires a written inventory of our past and current resentments and character defects so we can surrender them to God. In step 8, we make a list of all of the people we have harmed—and that can require a lot of writing—to prepare to make amends to them.
These are very valuable exercises with great outcomes, but it occurred to me that not much writing is done about the future. What are my desired outcomes and what kind of a person do I want to be? I know where I have been, where I am now, but where am I going? Where do I want to go? Who do I want to become?
I am particularly concerned about this because I am aware of the stalled progress I sometimes see in my 12-Step program. There are people with decades of recovery that still seem to be stuck and give the...
Getting sober is the first, most important order of business for a person that is addicted. Traditional 12-Step groups have good methods to get you sober: get a sponsor, attend and participate in meetings, make phone calls, work the steps, etc. Being radical is encouraged; for example do a “90 in 90”—that is, attend 90 meetings in 90 days. Early in my recovery, I was so desperate to get sober that I was attending 5 or 6 meetings a week.
The saying is that the program “works if you work it.” But what if you are having trouble staying consistently sober? Why do relapses seem so horribly defeating? Why is it hard to get traction and maintain consistent sobriety?
Let me relate my personal experience. I entered my 12-Step program in May of 2016 and had 11 months of consecutive sobriety. At that point, I had become a little proud and complacent and allowed an “I got this” attitude to creep in. I went on a weekend retreat, stayed alone in a hotel...
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