I went to an AA meeting one time for a friend's recovery birthday. My privilege was to introduce my friend and say a kind word. I did. At that same meeting were a couple of other folks who were celebrating recovery birthdays of their own. Their stories still ring true for me.
The young lady walked to the stage with a bee hive of "desire chips" hanging from her belt. She was celebrating 10 years of sobriety and had a message about those chips. I'm not sure how many of those chips were dangling from her belt… it was a bunch. She said words like this: "I used to be embarrassed about having such a hard time keeping on track in my recovery. But, I kept coming back because I really did want to be sober all the time. Then one day, something happened, and I have been on track ever since. So, be embarrassed and keep coming back!".
The next person to the podium was a dude who was being given a pen and pencil set for 12 years of recovery. His story was interesting. He thanked his probation officer who had threatened him 12 years earlier with, "go to 90 meetings in 90 days or go to jail". He chose 90 in 90. Then he went on to thank his sponsor for not "firing" him long ago. Next, he explained that he believed this past year had been the easiest because he had started working on the "Steps"…finally. Therefore, he was so astonished his sponsor had stuck with him for 12 years. This strategy is not recommended.
Why don't folks work on the "Steps"? I don't know that there is any one reason. Maybe one reason is that there are so many of them. Twelve steps are a lot for some of us to remember. So, I have developed a six Step plan:
There you have it, only 6 steps to remember from now on. So, on to the next excuse.
Some folks say they don't do the step thing because of a disbelief in a Higher Power. You can do a 12 Step type program without a belief in a Higher Power. The group "Secular Organizations for Sobriety" utilizes a 12 Step type program without a higher power; Google it.
Just about every venue, whether it is church, positive thinking groups, self-improvement books, etc., use a model that is like the mindset of a traditional 12 Step. By the way, the Step model is a pretty good way for anybody to live life, no matter who you are, and no matter if you have addiction issues or not.
Although all pain is real, one of the things that effect how well we can manage our pain has to do with also managing our thoughts and our emotions.
Dr. Candace McDaniel
8021 East Thornton FWY, Suite A
Dallas, Texas 75228
Call (214) 328-4848 or
for more information