Alcoholism and Addiction: They Can be Managed
Alcoholics Anonymous is a program in which a diverse group of individuals share their experience, strength and hope with each other on how they have achieved the most beautiful gift: sobriety.
This group is an affordable addiction treatment – it costs no money – and accepts people from all walks of life. This affordable addiction treatment is a way of life that will teach you how to live and enjoy life without the use of drugs and alcohol.
Living without drugs and alcohol and enjoying life while you are sober probably sounds a little backward to someone with an addicted brain; however, if you follow the guidelines the affordable addiction treatment sets out for you in earnest, you’ll learn how to have an exciting sober life.
These “guidelines” are also known as the twelve steps:
1. We admitted we were powerless over all mind altering substances and our lives had become hopelessly unmanageable.
2. Approached the belief of Power greater than ourselves which could possibly restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to give our will and our lives over to the care of our Higher Power.
4. Wrote a honest moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to our Higher Power, to ourselves, and to another individual our wrongs.
6. Were more than ready to have our Higher Power remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
8. Wrote out all individuals we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to all wherever possible.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong immediately admitted it.
11. Continued prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power praying only for knowledge of His/Her/It will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Have a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we carry this message to all alcoholics and addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
After reading through the “guidelines” or twelve steps Alcoholics Anonymous recommends, you may feel taken back. It sounds like a tall order, but almost anything is better than the way an alcoholic often lives. Sound advice would be to give it a try.
When you try this affordable addiction treatment, be sure to be as honest and rigorous as you can.
Going Through The Steps: It Works
When you look at the first step, you’ll most likely agree you’re powerless over your drug of choice. Whatever you have done to try and stop using in the past just seems to backfire and you end up right where you started.
You may have tried to only use drugs on the weekends or never use drugs or alcohol in the workplace. If your drug of choice was Heroin, you may have tried to switch to alcohol and the list just goes on. The only way to truly stop abusing drugs is to remain abstinent from all mind altering substances.
The first step toward abstinence from all drugs and alcohol is to find God. When Alcoholics Anonymous or any other twelve step program uses the word God, they mean your own perception of a Higher Power. You don’t need to believe in what your parents pushed you into believing while you were growing up. What you need to believe in is something greater than yourself, which will help restore your sanity. Being restored to sanity will take time, but working through your fourth and fifth steps help heaps and bounds.
Alcoholics Anonymous: A Judgement Free Zone
When you get to the fourth and fifth steps, it’s important to be honest and thorough. You’re only as sick as your secrets, and chances are high that most of the people in Alcoholics Anonymous have done the same things you have.
With that being said, when you’re writing down your fourth step, understand that the person you were during active addiction doesn’t define who you are in recovery. So write down the good, bad and ugly. Get it all out on the table so when you go over it in step five, there is no resentment that can hold you back from succeeding in your recovery process.
When your resentments are out on the table and you’ve identified your part, you are brought to steps six and seven. In step six and seven you’ll write down your defects of character and ask God to remove them. An example of character defects would be dishonesty and manipulation.
You may want to remove dishonesty and manipulation from your character because there’s no room for it in a sober life. You aren’t going to rapidly become honest and less manipulative: it’s going to take time. You’ll only be able to identify the behaviors and correct them as the recovery process progresses.
After you have corrected your behaviors, learned that it’s okay to continue working on these defects and forgiven yourself – you are ready for steps eight and nine.
The Process of Forgiveness
Steps eight and nine take the focus off of you and shift it to those you’ve caused harm to. These people may have done more harm to you, but you still need to clean your side of the street.
After you make a list, you’ll begin to make these amends. Some may turn you away and others may cry in relief. As long as you make the effort to clean your side of the street, you’ve done all that matters. When you have made most of your amends, you’re going to be taken through steps ten through twelve.
Living Life, Sober
The remainder of the steps are done one time. They’re teaching you a way of living. You need to stay in contact with your Higher Power, admit when you’re wrong, make amends when necessary and carry this message of affordable addiction treatment to other suffering individuals. As stated before, it sounds like a tall order, but the steps are simple.
The twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous make up a simple recovery program for people with substance abuse disorder. If you decide to work this affordable addiction treatment program, be sure to prepare yourself for a miracle. This miracle being a smile on your face, a family member trusting you with the house keys or a promotion at work.
The twelve steps will give you back the life that drugs and alcohol stole. The only thing the program requires you to do is be honest in your efforts and practice the program in all your affairs.
Changing your life to be spiritual may seem scary – any change can be scary; however, nothing is scarier than being strung out on drugs and alcohol, not knowing where your next meal is coming from or if the drugs you got are laced with something that may kill you.
The decision to get clean and sober is ultimately up to you and the guidelines are not going anywhere. If you need help finding a meeting or a more intense inpatient treatment program, please give us a call. Your life is worth it.