Some people have asked me in the past, after six years in recovery, so why do you carrying on working a 12 step programme?
First and foremost I continue to work a programme to make sure that my sobriety is of the best quality it can be. By this I mean that each day can hold new struggles. I may have self esteem issues that suddenly come back on any given day or I may have anger issues. If I am working the programme to the best of my ability then these issues can be dealt with in an effective way.
Anger and resentment are the number one offenders for relapse. If I am working Steps 10, 11 and 12 on a daily basis then there is no need for anger and resentment to be a major issue in my life.
If Step one has been taking whole heartedly then there is no room for doubt when it comes to the question Am I powerless over alcohol and did my life become unmanageable?
Although the steps I am about to discuss strike up the age old debate of is their a god? I feel they are immensely important in my daily living. Step 11 asks me to improve my conscious contact with god through prayer and meditation. Right at the start of my recovery the word god put me off the 12 step programme. Now I feel this step is in a way my saving grace. When things get tough I can hand them over to a god of my understanding and get on with my day.
Everyday I try to be aware of the way I have treat people or if I have offended someone in anyway. Step 10 is now like a spot check almost instantaneously I will check in with myself to see if any given situation is sitting right with me.
Then there is Step 12 which asks me to help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. I feel this is also the step which helps me to remember I have to carry on working this programme if I want to stay sober.
In conclusion the programme helps me to stay grounded. If I have a problem then I know I have a solution to fix it without it having to play on my mind and get out of control which it would have in the past. It gives me a daily reprieve from “stinking thinking” my first reaction is always to see a situation in the worst case scenario my programme helps me to see the same situation but objectively. Because I have this new way to look at life and everything that goes along with it there is no reason for me to ever start drinking again over things such as resentment, anger or any other difficult emotion.