A discussion about 12 Step and Anonymous recovery programs

Road sign that says, "Road to Recovery".

September is National Recovery Month here in the United States. In its 25th year, Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders. This year’s theme, Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out. It’s truly a time to celebrate recovery and also to take a good look at what’s going on around and within us.

This year, the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous turned 75 years old. This seminal text forms the basis for the recovery program which has been applied to just about every addiction you can imagine from Narcotics Anonymous to Overeater’s Anonymous to Debtor’s Anonymous. Literally millions of people have gone through the 12 Steps and recovered.

As many of you know I am a big advocate for 12 Step recovery as it saved my own life. Yet, I do not believe the 12 Steps are beyond improvement. For one thing we’ve gotten away from the original methods which were used within 12 Step society to help people get sober. Back in the 1940’s when a newcomer showed up at a 12 Step meeting, they were immediately paired with a “sharing partner” who would guide them through their first month in AA and walk through the 12 Steps with them. Today, these sharing partners are now referred to as sponsors. However, in today’s recovery world, though great efforts are usually made to recognize and welcome newcomers, when you walk into a meeting you may or may not even hear about sponsorship. It could take days, weeks or months before you understand what a sponsor is much less that it is critical that you get one and start to work the magic of the 12 Steps. People often take a long time to go through the steps, but historically, you would get through them in a month or so. It was all you were doing because you understood that your life depended on it and with that humility a great change took place in almost everyone who applied themselves to this process. Today, I often hear people citing the poor success rates of 12 Step programs in general and I think those declarations have some truth to them, but are also born out of ignorance as to how these programs actually work and why, in some cases, they don’t.

I also recognize that 12 Step recovery can be made much stronger if you include a conscious, non-addictive approach to food, practice of yoga, meditation and various breath exercises. These things are not only easy, but also joyful when they become a part of a person’s life. Furthermore, old practices which allow for rampant caffeine intake, cigarettes and abominable, sugar-filled dietary regimens in early or later recovery must go if a person is to develop the EASE which is critical to a life well-lived and enjoyed. These are the basic tenets of Recovery 2.0, a global movement of people numbering nearly 100,000 who believe that an holistic approach to recovery is what is necessary to move beyond addiction altogether.

Enjoy your recovery and your life, keep your chin up, keep breathing deep and look for ways to help others do the same.

With Love and Gratitude,

Tommy Rosen

via mindyourmind : reachout get help, give help http://ift.tt/1ue88xO

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