12 Ways to Make a 12 Step Program Work for You
To some 12 Step programs, seem easy because they have a clear path to recovery. This is not necessarily true. There is no clear path to recovery, recovery is hard work but there are things that you can do to make it a bit easier on yourself during your 12 Step recovery.
1. Learn the Meaning of Each Step
By learning the meaning of each step as you do them, it will help you understand what to do and why you are doing it. It is important that you understand what you are doing as well as why you are doing it.
2. Follow the Steps Carefully and Completely
There are workbooks and other aids to learn the 12 Steps, use them. Don’t try to skip through anything. This is your recovery, you should work as hard as you need to at it.
3. Talk to Those Around you, They Know what you are Going Through
There are people around you in 12 Step meetings that have similar experiences as you. You need to talk to them. Their experiences will help you understand your own.
4. You have a Support System that is Part of the Program, Use It
The built in support system of both the meetings and the people at the meetings, is an excellent support system.
5. Keep a Journal of your Progress
Journals are excellent ways to review your goals. You can see the progress you are making through daily writing.
6. Ask Questions
When you don’t understand something about the program ask questions. Many people in the program can answer them. Through asking questions, you will gain a better understanding of the 12 Steps and recovery in general
Listen to the stories of others, the questions other people ask, and the answers to the questions that you ask. By listening, you will find that you are not alone and that there is a way out of addiction.
8. Ask for Help from the Program, your Peers, and a Higher Power When you Need It
When you need help ask for it, everyone is there to help you and you are there to help others. Sometimes by helping others and asking for help yourself, you find a way through the maze of recovery.
9. Decide that it is Going to Work for You
Make a conscious decision that the program is going to work for you. Don’t allow negative thoughts to influence your recovery. Once you decide it is going to work, usually it starts to.
10. If you Feel Like you are Going to Use go to a Meeting
If you crave drugs or alcohol and you feel like you are going to use them, find a meeting, any meeting and go to it. Being around others in the same situation can help you control your cravings and prevent relapse.
11. If you Can’t Find a Meeting Call your Sponsor
Sponsors are there for a reason. If you don’t have a meeting in your area to go to they can help you get through the worst of the cravings and other issues without a relapse.
12. If it is Not Working for you Try Something Else
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are a variety of treatment options that can work with 12 Step programs or as alternatives to a 12 Step program. In fact both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs often have a 12 Step component for those who wish to try it. For more information on your treatment options, call us at 1-800-895-1695. We can help.