12 Lessons in Recovery (and in Life)
When you can experience difficult, painful experiences, you have a choice. You can use these challenges to become stronger, or repeat the lesson again. These life lessons will continue to repeat themselves until you get what you need to learn. In order to do that, the right support becomes vital.
12 Step Programs For Just About Everything
12 step programs consist of free support groups around the world that teach people how to live without substances or destructive behavior. The first program, Alcoholics Anonymous, was the most famous, but you may not realize that there are programs for food addiction, gambling, debt problems, and relationship problems.
The most common program I recommend to my clients is Al-Anon. It's a program for family and friends of alcoholics but if you come from a dysfunctional home, you're welcome. Most people have some addiction in their family history which qualifies you as a member.
How Recovery Works
When you begin 12 step recovery, life gets easier because you're no longer alone. As you learn how to work the program you begin to trust that everything that happens (even the tough stuff) provides valuable lessons. Sometimes you learn from the painful experiences because they encourage growth and letting go of old behaviors that no longer serve you.
Here are some lessons in 12 step recovery (and in life) that help you learn how to live with more serenity.
12 Lessons Learned In Recovery
- You have two options, go to any lengths to recover or do it alone and struggle.
- If you keep coming back no matter what - you can get through anything sober.
- Doing service helps you work with others, speak up and become a part of the group.
- Admitting your powerlessness is the hardest part - and you'll revisit that with each new dilemma.
- When things are going well, sabotaging progress is common.
- Surrendering happens only after you've exhausted everything else.
- Working with a sponsor teaches you how to trust others and accept yourself.
- Meetings are a safe place to go when feeling overwhelmed and alone.
- The traditions won't matter until you see the unity and safety they provide.
- A spiritual awakening is an "ah-ha" moment of clarity that creates transformation.
- Know that relapse is not your fault. It means there's more work to do.
- Being willing to let go of the drama is the beginning of lasting serenity.
If you'd like to read more about 12 step programs, read 12 Step Myths. There are lots of misconceptions that prevent people from checking out these programs but it works if you work it!
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