The twelve step program have changed millions of peoples lives. However, because every person is an individual, it is logical to understand that everyone’s recovery should be different. Let us look for instance at this….have you ever met a sober bartender? I have. Yet, not every person in recovery has the strength or even the desire to work in a bar. I have met a few people that are in recovery, yet they are able to stay sober.
I am writing all of this to say that twelve steps are not the only way to get sobriety. There are people that need medication in order to successfully recover, such as antabuse, methadone, or suboxone. I am not going to get into these right now, but these medications have saved people’s lives. So, please do not beat yourself up if the twelve step program does not work for you. If you happen to know someone that is looking for a different type of recovery encourage them and support them. Recovery is difficult enough, but it becomes impossible if the people in a recovering individuals life do not support them.
I remember hearing the story of a young woman who had two years of sobriety and relapse. When she went to the AA meeting, everyone gave her a lecture about how she was not honest enough. Perhaps, they told her, she did not work with her sponser enough. Someone also told her that maybe she needed to she needed to go through more pain in the streets before she would get sober. This is not the way to handle a “slip.” That young lady has not drank or used drugs since the “slip” she had, nor has she went to another AA meeting. Instead of being looked down upon, she should have been encouraged and loved.
Now, please do not get me wrong. AA and all other twelve step programs do work. Just not for everyone.
This article is written by a substance abuse counselor located in Chicago, Il.