As our clients regain physical health & mental clarity, they begin to wonder what next. Why do I need to continue in a treatment program. You have to remember that addiction is an incurable condition and continues to progress even in one’s recovery. The reality of living can be overwhelming for any recovering addict/alcoholic. The disease continues to rear it’s ugly side even in recovery, through uneasy feelings of resentment, anger or fear.
The patient may be overcome by a sense of low self-esteem, self-pity, helplessness, loneliness and despair through acts of intolerance, indifference and rebelliousness. ‘Spiritual Bankruptcy’ is what we refer to a state of existence where lack of belief rules. Wishful thinking and lack of constructive planning are loud markers in a relapse curve. Sobriety begins to lose it’s appeal and a sense of hopelessness and worthlessness reappear.
At this point of the recovery program our 12-Step counselors step in to guide the client using a proven methodology that truly works. It is a program of spiritual principles, acceptable to all, irrespective of your age, caste, creed, religion, sex, social status… .
Lost and confused. Pain and Discomfort. Shame and guilt. Agony and hopelessness. Disconnected and Depressed. Loss of trust, belief and faith in everyone and everything. Being a multi-faceted disease is what makes Alcoholism / Addiction truly a one of it’s kind condition. The Physiological, Mental, Emotional, Financial, Family & Relationships , Social aspects of the destruction are clearly visible ,if not obvious , in an alcoholic. But these hide the most jagged edge of the disease. Spirituality.
“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.”
“No one likes to admit defeat. Our minds rebel at the very thought that we have lost control. We are big, strong, intelligent, and capable. How can it be that we are powerless? How can it be that our lives are unmanageable?”
“ I’m only sixteen (or twenty, forty) years old, and I have everything going for me; drugs/alcohol don’t control my life.”
“I’m just having fun, so what’s the big deal with getting high once in a while? I’m not hurting anyone. My parents / wife / children / friends are just paranoid. Alcohol / Drugs can’t hurt me.”
“Well, you’d get high too, if you had parents like mine – always on my back, complaining about my friends, the way I dress, my progress in school. I have to lie to them because they’d really make a big deal of it if they knew how much alcohol / dope I’m using. So what? Who cares? ““Well, you’d get high too, if you had parents like mine – always on my back, complaining about my friends, the way I dress, my progress in school. I have to lie to them because they’d really make a big deal of it if they knew how much alcohol / dope I’m using. So what? Who cares? “
“I don’t know. Sometimes I feel so depressed and lonely. Sometimes I don’t feel like living anymore. I wonder what it would do like to die just for a little while. I wonder if anyone would miss me.”
You want to be in control of your thinking, feeling, and behavior. You want to be in control all of the time, not just some of the time. You never want to be out of control of your behavior, not even for a second. The objective of Step One is to get in touch with our past as honestly as we can and realizing the damages it has done to us; physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, legally, socially, spiritually, in our families and relationships; we finally arrive to the point of admission. Admission of our Powerlessness and Unmanageability. This is the cornerstone of the foundation of our recovery process.
It will be on this foundation that we once again seek to re-build our once happy and purposeful lives.
“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
Most of us took one look at Step Two and said something like, “ I know this must be the wrong program for me, and this proves it. It’s a program for crazy people. I don’t need to be restored to sanity. I’m not insane ! “
The we thought about Step One and decided, “ Well, maybe I’m just a little insane – but only when I’m using chemicals ! “ Then we remembered we have not been able to stop using and stay straight. Some of us look up sanity and found it meant soundness of mind, judgment or healthy balance. Looking over our Step One definitely proved the need for some sanity in our lives.
The most amazing thing is this: We did the most insane thing over and over while we were straight. We took that first drink or other drug knowing and denying it meant trouble. We couldn’t control our addiction no matter how many times we tried. In fact no human power can relieve us of our alcoholism / addiction. At this point in your recovery you begin to learn from experiences of other recovering members that we all need to believe in a power outside of ourselves, greater than ourselves, more knowledgeable than ourselves. You may call this power God or your Higher Power.
The spiritual nature of the 12-Step program is not religious. It allows you to have a Higher Power of your understanding. The only suggested guidelines are that this Power be loving, caring and greater than you. Having faith in something or someone allows us to continue in the recovery process with the trust that we are heading in the right direction.
“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”
“Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
“Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”