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Using 12 Step Meetings For Recovery

Before there was a solution to the problem of alcoholism, there was no answer. People who had an uncontrollable relationship with alcohol were sent to hospitals and psychiatric wards. Doctors warned patients that their brains and livers would be damaged for good with one more drink or drug, yet patients did not listen. Around the country small groups were finding religious relief through simply programs of action that were helping them stay sober. The message of one such group found a man named Bill who had a spiritual experience. After discussing his experience, strength, and hope with a fellow struggling alcoholic, Bill and his new friend Bob, had an idea. That idea became Alcoholics Anonymous, the original 12 step program. Since the release of the primary text for the recovery group, The Big Book Of Alcoholics Anonymous, in 1939, millions of people have found a spiritual solution to alcoholism, all over the world.

Many people find sobriety through the rooms of AA or similar twelve step programs like Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and Heroin Anonymous. For others, recovery programs are an essential supplement to their ongoing treatment and therapy. During treatment, you will likely be taken to multiple meetings of different kinds a week. In the meetings you can find a sponsor. Sponsors are meant to take a newcomer, someone with less than thirty days, through the twelve steps. After completing the twelve steps, you will then be in a position to sponsor someone else through the twelve steps.

Creating A Recovery Program Outside Of Treatment

When you graduate treatment you will either move to sober living or move on your own, which might include moving back home. Finding a new routine of twelve step meetings is easy to do with a few simple steps:

  • Research meetings online. All you have to do is do an internet search of “12 step meetings in ____” to find an online schedule
  • You can search for AA central in your area and call for a list of meetings nearby
  • Ask your AA central volunteer if they have ride shares in case you don’t have a way of getting to a meeting
  • Introduce yourself at a meeting and ask for phone numbers. New friends in recovery can take you to meetings, introduce you to new meetings, and support your recovery
  • Find a home meeting which you commit to attending every week
  • Get a new sponsor and work the twelve steps with them, call them every day, and check in with your daily inventory
  • Volunteer to a commitment at a meeting like being a secretary, a treasurer, or literature person

The spiritual solution of the twelve steps has worked for millions of people around the world. Enlightened Solutions adopts the twelve step philosophy as part of our integrative programs of treatment. For more information, call 833-801-5483.


intensive outpatient program

Trying Out The 12 Steps As A New Year’s Resolution

Before there were luxury treatment centers, detox hospitals, and intensive outpatient programs operating out of plaza storefronts, there was no answer to the insanity of alcoholism and addiction. In the early 1900’s medical professionals and psychological professionals alike struggled to find a solution to the problem of alcohol. How men (and women) could continue to drink to the point of insanity after repeated negative consequences like losing a job, losing a wife, or becoming ill, was baffling. When Alcoholics Anonymous was formed and released The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930’s, a revolution began. Citing alcohol as “cunning, baffling, and powerful,” The Big Book advocated for a complete and total psychic change as being necessary to relieve alcoholics of the phenomenal obsession to drink. Stunned, doctors saw results commence in their patients immediately. After being lost without an answer as to help such alcoholics survive, many were beginning to thrive right before their eyes. Once selfish people were selflessly volunteering their time to others who suffered. Quickly, the word of the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship spread.

12 Steps Created

In the beginning there were only six steps. Eventually, after working with renowned psychologist and dream analyst Carl Jung, Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, along with Bob Smith, also known as Dr. Bob and the other founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, created the 12 steps. Since then, the 12 step method has led as the primary approach to treating alcoholism. Most of today’s modern treatment programs have foundation in the principles and theories put down in The Big Book.

Self-help

Self-help is a popular theme which has practically become a hobby and lifestyle. The 12 steps are a spiritual program for living, inspiring the experience of a spiritual awakening sufficient enough to cause an alcoholic to stop craving alcohol. Though many shy away from the 12 steps due to the spiritual nature of the program, many others find that the lifestyle applies to many areas in life. Dozens upon dozens of diagnoses, conditions, and problems, have found relief and solution within the 12 steps.

Whether you are new to recovery, considering recovery, or need a boost of self-help, the 12 steps are an interesting and proven practice.

Enlightened Solutions utilizes the spiritual principles set down by the 12 steps and the themes of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. In addition to incorporating the 12 steps into treatment, we bring residents to meetings regularly in order to become immersed in the local 12 step community. For more information on our residential treatment programs for men and women seeking recovery from addiction, alcoholism, and dual diagnosis mental health issues, call 833-801-5483.


Be Of Service This Year

“Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail.”  This is written in the chapter “Working With Others” in the primary text of Alcoholics Anonymous, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. The informative chapter describes numerous situations in which an alcoholic can help another. Connecting with alcoholics who might still be struggling is an essential part of being a recovering alcoholic. It is, after all, how Alcoholics Anonymous began.

Cravings

Bill Wilson had finally gotten sober after a lifetime of miserable alcoholism. On a business trip to Ohio, he found himself in the hotel lobby pacing back and forth in front of the hotel bar. He had worked so hard to stay sober and was actually enjoying his sober life. Yet some phenomena was overtaking him. He had an intense craving for alcohol, even though he knew how tragic it would be for him to drink. Suddenly, a thought hit him. He needed to speak to another alcoholic. Only another alcoholic could understand what he was going through. By way of fate he ended up in the house of an older man suffering from alcoholism by the name of Dr. Bob Smith. At the end of a long’s night discussions regarding alcoholism and Bill’s recovery- both men had been helped. Bill was no longer craving alcohol and Bob was inspired to get sober. Alcoholics Anonymous, and the importance of being of service was born.

Recovery is a Gift

The new year is an opportunity to refresh your service hood. Recovery is a precious gift which, many who have recovered have found, must be given away in order to be kept. Being of service to others in recovery can take many forms. Make a list of the ways you would like to give back this year. There is little doubt you will not regret it. Here are some of our favorite ideas at Enlightened Solutions.

  • Complete the 12 steps
  • Sponsor another person through the 12 steps
  • Take a service commitment at a meeting
  • Speak at H&I meetings (hospitals and institutions)
  • Donate a small amount to your favorite charity, organization, or cause
  • Pick up some small etiquette practices like showing up on time, writing thank you notes, and being courteous to all
  • Help the less fortunate

Enlightened Solutions believes the philosophy of the 12 steps offers a spiritual and philosophical foundation for a practical program of living in recovery. For the problem of alcoholics and addiction, we have a solution. For more information, call 833-801-5483.


Enlightened Solutions Step Study: The Spirituality of Service in Step 12

After Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, had his breakthrough spiritual experience, wrote out the inventory of his grievances, and made amends wherever possible, he began to help other alcoholics. Throughout the hospitals and wards he had once resided in as an incurable patient, he sat, sober, at the bedside of other men who were struggling with alcoholism. Day by day, man by man, Bill shared the wisdom of his experience, strength, and hope. As Bill related his story to others, many men found they shared a common ground. Inspired by Bill’s miraculous ability to recover, they began to think recovery might be possible for them as well. This is the foundation of Step 12.

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs,” is how the twelfth step reads. “Nothing,” the authors describe in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, “will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail...You can help when no one else can.”

Feeling misunderstood is the plight of many suffering alcoholics. With as much love, anger, urgency, or patience as they could withstand, family members and loved ones of alcoholics tried to point out their problem. In the depths of misery and despair there is a certain self-centeredness that disallows the perspective of another to get in. Many alcoholics experience a deep and toxic sense of shame, guilt, or stigma for being an alcoholic. Before they can recover, they must believe they have a problem. Additionally, they must believe that problem is not without a solution.

Having experienced the power of recovery, treatment, and transformation, you have the responsibility, which is truly more life a gift, to give back and give it away. Often it is said in recovery that in order to “keep it” we must “give it away.” Think of it like this: when one finds a diet that works, they are quick to tell the world. Whatever the gimmick that helped them lose weight, the underlying celebration is that they feel better after not feeling well at all. Step 12 is our spiritual diet. We feel better after we were practically banging on death’s door. Being of service to other alcoholics is the way to carry that message and say, “If I can feel better, so can you.”

 

Enlightened Solutions uses 12 step philosophy to help clients grow along spiritual lines as a way of enhancing their recovery. We believe in the power of participating in a positive and supportive community, like the one 12 step fellowships encourage. For more information on our programs of treatment for men and women seeking to recover from addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring disorders, call 833-801-5483.


12 Step Necessities

Without any basic knowledge of what the twelve step world is like, it can be pretty overwhelming when entering it for the first time. Enlightened Solutions believes in utilizing twelve step philosophy to help our clients get the most out of their treatment experience. Diving into the twelve step community is about more than just the twelve steps themselves or going to twelve step meetings. Here is a quick guide to some of the necessities for living a twelve step lifestyle in recovery.

History of 12 Step Recovery

Bill Wilson was a chronic alcoholic with no cure in sight. One day, his old drinking friend visited him and said that finding religion helped him get sober. Soon thereafter Bill had a spiritual experience while he was in the hospital and never drank again. On a business trip, however, Bill found himself alone and very uncomfortable. Feeling tempted, he realized he needed to speak to someone who understood- another alcoholic. Through his experience chatting with a local alcoholic named Dr. Bob, he founded AA. Two alcoholics talking about shared spiritual experience. From there they developed what we know as the twelve steps today.

12 Step Meetings

Twelve step groups primarily operate through meetings. Held in churches, community centers, clubhouses, on the phone, or even online, twelve step meetings are happening all day every day. Twelve step meetings have a range of topics. From Alcoholics Anonymous to Gamblers Anonymous, anyone can find a twelve step fellowship to find recovery in. Meetings are a way to meet people experiencing similar problems and hear stories from those who are recovering.

12 Step Sponsors

A sponsor’s primary purpose is to carry the message of the spiritual experience found through the twelve steps to newcomers. Newcomers are people with thirty days or less in the program of their choice. Having completed the twelve steps themselves, sponsors act as a guide for taking new people through the steps. A sponsor can be called on for advice, guidance, and to check in.

The Twelve Steps

Most twelve step groups base their twelve steps off of the original founded by Alcoholics Anonymous. The steps are a guide to having a spiritual experience, which the AA founders thought to be necessary in order to give the brain the psychic change required to stop drinking. Included in the steps are conceptualizing a higher power, inventorying our lives, making amends, prayer, and meditation.

Recovery starts with You. Start your recovery with Us. Enlightened solutions offers a holistic program of treatment for men and women seeking recovery from addiction. For more information, call 833-801-5483.