Doing “The Work”

What is “the work”? We hear it referred to all the time in recovery when we seek treatment for our addiction to drugs and alcohol. “Work it because you’re worth it” twelve step meetings attendees proclaim at the conclusion of their meet up. “The work works”, they say, never truly defining what it is they are alluding to. “It only works if you do the work”, they nearly threaten, yet still they don’t explain what “the work” is.

Most often, in the 12 step world created by Alcoholics Anonymous, the work refers to the journey of the 12 steps. Each step requires a certain kind of assignment, as it is laid out in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Certainly, there is work to be done to get from step one to step twelve. For example, the fourth step which states “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves” asks us to make an informed inventory of our lives.

Is it possible that the “work” which occurs through the twelve steps is so remarkable that everyone who goes to twelve step meetings would refer to it so ambiguously? It is possible, but it is only part of what everyone is talking about.

“The work” in recovery is not graded. Unlike schoolwork, the work that takes place by choosing to walk this path happens spiritually. It is in fact spiritual work. Spiritual work happens incrementally, though sometimes it can feel like it happens all at once. Emotional work happens through emotional breakthroughs, realizations, and insights.

All of the work takes willingness. Like space travelers, we have to be willing to boldly go where we have not gone before wishing the depths of our spirits and our minds.

Is the work worth working? Absolutely. No doubt it all sounds very strange. There is indeed a mystery to all of it. For the millions of people around the world who have been recovering for years by doing “the work”, it seems to be working for them. They found the willingness they need to grow along spiritual lines, progressively. Are you ready to begin? The work is waiting.

Enlightened Solutions offers a combined approach to treating addiction and alcoholism, including evidence based treatment, twelve step philosophy and holistic healing. Treating mind, body, and spirit, Enlightened guides patients on the path of recovery, one step at a time. For more information on our programs for men and women, call 833-801-5483.