12-Steps Series, Part I: What Alcoholics Anonymous Has to Offer
Over the next few posts, we’ll take a look at one of the most popular ways to address drug and alcohol abuse and addiction: 12-step treatment. In “the rooms,” as 12-step meetings are often referred to by participants, people have the opportunity to process through their past relationship with drugs and alcohol and learn how to make better choices in the future. How does it work? How do groups like Alcoholics Anonymous help you to fight back against the temptation to relapse? Some benefits include:
- Community support. Being surrounded by other recovering addicts and alcoholics can reinforce the knowledge that you are not alone in your struggle. This can be huge when you feel awkward and unsure of yourself as you begin to build a life in the “straight” world after living so long in the world of active addicts and alcoholics.
- Somewhere to go. One of the biggest burdens in early recovery is empty time. The days and nights you once spent getting loaded are now starkly open. Many find sober living to be boring and 12-step meetings can give you something to do with yourself when that boredom threatens to take you down.
- Structure and expectations. Working the steps, respecting the bylaws of the 12-step organization, taking part in the 12-step experience – the structure can be hugely beneficial to you as you learn how to function without drugs and alcohol.
- Something to focus on. When you aren’t constantly focused on getting your next high or getting another drink, you may find your mind turns to negativity and self doubt. 12-step meetings help you shift your thoughts to the positive.
- Emphasis on community and volunteerism. Too often, recovering addicts and alcoholics focus on their own recovery, but the goal of 12-steps is to help you “get out of your own head” and give your energy to others in need – often, those who have far more problems than you do.
- A place to vent. Life is frustrating and it’s often the little irritations that make you want to grab or drink or go get high. Venting to people who understand that at a 12-step meeting can help you get your emotions under control before you blow your recovery.
- Making new friends. Beyond the comradeship that you find at the 12-step meeting itself, you can meet people who you genuinely like and connect with. Making new friendships that are positive and supportive in recovery is a huge part of becoming successful – and remaining accountable – as you move forward with your life.
Learn more about how we incorporate 12-step meetings and principles into our recovery program here at The Orchid when you contact us today.