How to Apply the 12-Step Program to Your Life
While we’re still in the start of the new year with spring right around the corner, you may be considering ways that you can boost your recovery journey and enhance your daily life. New Year’s resolutions made with good intention have been left by the wayside, especially if goals are lofty and steps aren’t being made. However, you may still wish to strengthen your coping mechanisms, participate more in our support groups and engage in more material that uplifts the soul. If you’re currently seeking treatment at Enlightened Solutions, you’ve achieved an incredible feat – recovery is the first step towards greater living. No matter how challenging life can seem at times, it’s good to know that you’re not alone; as you’ll likely discover, there are so many people who are working hard to enrich their lives as well – and while it all takes hard work and dedication, the 12-Step program can help people achieve their recovery goals.
The 12-Step Program: What it Is
Originally developed in 1938, 12-Step programs have changed the lives of thousands of people by providing them with tools and resources to heal. 12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), are meant for anyone and everyone – and the fellowship provided can greatly help people feel supported as they navigate recovery. In 12-Step programs, anonymity is a crucial component so that members feel safe – and that helps people to express themselves more freely in meetings as well.
In Akron, Ohio, Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson, two men who had battled with substance abuse, designed 12-Step programs based on what had worked for them personally in achieving sobriety:
- Fellowship with others
- Surrendering to a higher spiritual power
They ultimately wanted to create something that brought people together to gain a connection with a higher power, with honest, peer support and spirituality being several crucial components to recovery. Now, there are 12-Step programs that have become expanded all over the world – and their aim is now to not only help those who struggle with substance use disorders, but also those who battle with other addiction issues, such as gambling, sex, technology addiction, and others. Certain spiritual components associated with inner growth include humility – and 12-Step groups talk about these types of concepts while also allowing people to engage in discussion about these ideas. Humility is an incredibly important tool for healing because it allows us to gain perspective by doing the following:
- Realizing that a higher power has more control than our sense of ego
- Being honest with other people about our faults
- Attempting to make amends with others when possible
- Viewing recovery as a way towards greater spiritual connection
There are a number of topics that can be covered throughout the 12-Steps, such as honesty, faith, surrender, willingness, forgiveness, recovery maintenance and more. If you’re looking to really get involved in a 12-Step program this upcoming year, it’s time to get started.
12-Step Program Application
The great part about 12-Step programs is that they’re incredibly straightforward and allow for easy application of what’s been learned in meetings. Even though each person may be experiencing something different, the reality is that the underlying pain is quite universal; this way, peers and advocates in recovery can be sure to speak the same type of “language” with one another because it’s through emotion and pain – and that is something everyone can relate to. If you’re looking for something that can be used to help you in daily life, 12-Step programs are incredibly helpful to get you there – and they’re not meant to serve as a cure.
It’s easy to apply the 12-Steps if you think about it:
- Make a visual representation of the 12-Steps. Consider each step specifically and what it means to you, and this will make it much easier to apply to your daily life.
- Acknowledge some of the major questions that you may be having about the 12-Steps. For example, you may be wondering if you have any fears about believing in something greater than yourself – or you may like to contemplate on what the idea of sobriety means to you. Thinking and even writing out your answers in a journal can help you solidify the 12-Steps in your daily life.
- Read books that promote what you’re doing. Go to a library and take a look around – get recommendations from those who are in your 12-Step program. Reading can often open the gateway towards other perspectives and life circumstances, which can enhance your recovery.
- Make an active decision to add more love and connection into your life. Focus on looking at the good qualities that you have, as well as the good qualities in others. Connect with a Higher Power through meditation, prayer, nature walks and more.
At Enlightened Solutions, we want to help you heal from addiction and are committed to putting you and your recovery first. We offer a comprehensive range of services including outpatient treatment, post-rehab services, continuing care, and long-term treatment including 12-Step programs. Enlightened Solutions offers a safe and nurturing space for recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 833-801-LIVE.