Challenges in Recovery

December 31, 2008 at 9:38 pm 1 comment

Recovery from my alcohol addiction is a long and difficult progress. It involves the normal 12-step program but I have other additional hurdles to clear than most addicts.  I am dual diganosis (Autism-Alcoholism) plus I have to use faith-based recovery system as well.  By the end of the year, the goal is to be at a point where I can live semi-independently live from  my own,  accomplished all of the 12 steps, hold a leadership position in Orange County Sierra Singles 20-30 group, and have significant participation in helping with the running of  The Effect which is a 12-step Christian recovery ministry in Orange County.   For an  autistic person, these are huge goals but  there are realistic

The most challenging goal of the recovery process is the  12th step work.  Unlike a lot of AA people,  my duty is not to sponsor people or do H&I work.  Since I spend a lot of time of addiction research and I am very aware of alternative self-help groups other than AA, it is my responsiblity to bring one of the three major non 12-step fellowships into the OC and put it under my control.

A lot of people try to start the meetings in their area because AA does not work for them.  My philosophy is different. AA does work for me and it is my program of choice but there is no other self-help groups in our county for drugs and alcohol other than the 12-step programs.    Since it appears that I am only person in the county who is actively thought of starting one of the groups, the burden goes to me.

The AA 12th step step states

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs”

The steps has resulted in a spiritual awakening.   However, the meaning of “we tried to carry this message to alcoholics”  means that as recovered alcoholics, we carry the message of recovery to other people suffering with the disease of addictions.  Since AA was the only program that was availble at the time when Bill Wilson founded the program.  Based on the information that I have read, I know there is other ways than AA.  The vast majority of people who have successful recovery via AA only know about AA and not other programs. Therefore, the logical 12th step is spread the AA message to other people.  That is why AA is the ball game in  most of America and it has worked for millions of people and I think it going to work for me.

However, the circumstances are different for me because of knowledge and my acceptance that other recovery programs other  than AA can achieve the same success rate as AA..  I have read about other programs and have their books.  With more knowledge comes more responsiblity.  If I am aware of other recovery programs and no one has taken the effort to start them, than the responsiblity to start them in the OC by default goes to me.  Since there are thousands and thousands of people who can sponsor and do H&I work, than I would be performing work that provides little value to recovery community.   Since the starting alternative fellowship has significant value to OC  Recovery Community and I am only person that would even think of putting the effort into a such a project, the responsiblity falls to me.
The good thing that about the non 12-step group is that is controlled by an AA person and so there is no competition between my group and AA.  It was performed as my 12th step service work and therefore, the foundations for alternative recovery program that helps people who refuse go to a 12-step recovery and provide additional tools to people that work 12-step program to keep sober.   There will be more on this issue in later posts and especially as I get more sober time.

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Culture Wars OCD and Recovery

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