Misperceptions about the 12 Steps
There is an overwhelming abundance of misinformation out there about 12-Step Recovery. This misinformation comes from several sources:
- Groups or businesses that have an opposing agenda
- Individuals who never really understood the 12 Steps before abandoning the program
- Individuals who modified the model to meet personal preferences and subsequently decided, “It doesn’t work.”
Do the 12 Steps Work?
Is 12-Step Recovery for everyone? Is it imperative that everyone follow this model to successfully recover from substance or behavioral addiction? No to both questions, but it in fact most definitely does “work if you work it.”
There are very few places on the planet where you’ll find more honesty, courage, and support than in a 12-Step meeting. In these meetings, you can encounter others who have gone through the same challenges, and whose lives now vividly demonstrate that recovery is absolutely possible.
A 12-Step meeting is a safe place to go where you can deeply share while being heard with compassion. As you are being reminded of the consequences of using, you can learn how others have gotten clean/sober and stayed that way while building a life they had only before dreamed of.
Anyone willing to be honest, open-minded and willing can move from hopelessness and despair to a new way of life. And you will navigate the shift from being self-centered to being of service to others.
Taking Control of Your Life
Contrary to what some insist, 12-Step Recovery does not define us as weak and powerless, or “label” us in a negative way. Instead, it encourages us to take control of our life by recognizing and understanding our addiction and overcoming it.
We take responsibility for our lives, realizing that the power exists to change every part of our life so that we don’t relapse in the future. Relapse does not have to be part of recovery, but if it happens, come back. You will be welcomed, not judged.
Keep Coming Back
Every group is different. Some you will like, but some you won’t since they all have their own personality and mix of people. “If you haven’t been to a bad meeting, then you haven’t gone to enough yet!” has been aptly said.
Don’t continue to attend a meeting you don’t like just because it’s convenient. Keep looking and you’ll eventually find one that works for you.