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The Benefits Behind Talking It Out and How It Shaped Recovery

Modern day recovery and treatment for addiction is built on talking. Talk therapy is nothing new. When Bill Wilson and Bob Smith, the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous met on a fateful night they were not revolutionizing the power of talking. They were revolutionizing the power talking had in keep two alcoholics sober. Bill Wilson had been sober for over six months. After years of coming close to death, losing jobs, and punishing his family, he had found a program which worked for him and helped him stay sober.

The original “steps” came from the Oxford Group, which included many of the modern 12 steps known today. After having a “spiritual experience” and commencing to take certain steps, Bill Wilson was able to find sobriety. One night as he was traveling for business he found himself in the lobby of his hotel in Ohio anxiously eyeing the bar. He was shocked by the power of his alcoholism. After hard work and abstinence he had gotten his life back on track, saved his marriage, and had no need to pick up a drink. Yet, here he was faced with temptation and craving, a war between the rational and irrational happening in his head. Wilson was struck with a thought that only another alcoholic could understand him. Who could he call?

After rifling through the phone book, he decided upon a priest and asked if he knew of an alcoholic with whom Bill could speak. This, Bill was introduced to Dr. Bob, who was not sober. The two men spoke at length about the good ol’ days, the bad times, and the challenge of sobriety. Bill shared his experiences and Bob wanted to know more. Showing Bob the way of the steps, the two men realized they had discovered something profound: one alcoholic talking to another and showing them the spiritual path of the steps, works. Together they founded Alcoholics Anonymous which has been helping millions around the world and serves as the foundation for most addiction treatment.

Part of going to treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is working with a therapist and talking about underlying issues behind drinking and using. Another part is developing the many skills, tools, and techniques for staying sober after treatment. Working with a therapist is one of those tools. Connecting with other recovering addicts, as well as alcoholics, is another tool, because with them, you can always talk. Talking it out is a first resort and a last resort when faced with temptation, challenge, or difficulty in recovery.

Nobody can understand the personal and intimate experience of chemical dependency the way somebody else who has been chemically dependent can. Often, just the act of talking can relieve the stress and tension being caused by whatever the problem is. Not talking in recovery can be dangerous. Letting the stress and tension pile up in addition to the overwhelming responsibility of feeling like everything has to be done alone can lead to an emotional shutdown, which is a danger zone for the addicted mind. The minute you start talking, you take away some of that power and start the healing process. When in doubt, talk it out. It’s how recovery started, how recovery sustains, and how you will stay sober.


We’re here to talk with you. You are not alone. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers partial care programs for addiction, alcoholism, and dual diagnosis issues to men and women seeking transformative healing care. Bringing together the best of holistic healing and clinical therapy, our twelve step inspired treatment seeks to help clients thrive in lifelong recovery. For information, call us today at 833-801-5483.

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