How To Get Sober with a 12 Step Program

Alcohol, narcotics, and other addictions can be very difficult to break.When you have a clear path to follow and people to support you, it’s easier to handle such a monumental and brave task.A twelve step program to get sober is a great way of moving forward on your journey to recovery.

Step 1: A twelve step program is what you should look for.

There are lists of programs on the web, in doctors’ or public health offices, and even in libraries.There are lists of meetings in your area.Many of these organizations have online meetings on their websites.

Step 2: There are a lot of meetings in different places.

Some meetings will meet your needs better than others and each group will have its own identity, approach, and unique feeling.

Step 3: A sponsor can be obtained.

A sponsor is someone who is also going through recovery and is a bit further along than you.You can talk freely with your sponsor who is also comfortable with you.You and your sponsor meet informally and are there to help each other out in times of need.In order to decrease involvement in unrelated matters other than sobriety, Alcoholics Anonymous suggests choosing someone of your gender identity and sexual orientation.

Step 4: Your sponsor can help you with the 12 steps.

The steps are the same in all programs and can be used for recovery.Your sponsor may want you to attend meetings and read program literature.If you need a different approach, it’s okay to change sponsors.If you can’t reach your sponsor, call someone else from the program, attend a meeting, or read some program literature until you get over your tough spot.

Step 5: In order, do the steps.

You are more likely to recover if you follow through the whole program and not skip any steps.The challenge presented by each step pushes you to think.Don’t admit you have a problem then take on membership responsibilities, such as becoming a sponsor to someone else.Before you can support someone else, take the time to truly journey through the steps at the pace you need.It takes time for emotional growth, maturity, personal awareness, and recovery.The steps give meaning to a life that is struggling to find meaning.

Step 6: You should identify with a home group.

In a home group, you attend regularly to vote on issues that affect that group and feel comfortable enough to build and sustain friendships, and participate in group responsibilities, such as introducing new members or chairing a meeting.Having a home group increases your sense of belonging, often missing in the lives of people living with addictions, and allows you to have a secure and strong support system.You can attend other meetings if you have a home group.

Step 7: Stay with the group.

There are good reasons to keep going, even if you feel that the program is not effective.The longer you attend a group, the more likely you are to call on a sponsor when you need help.The more meetings you attend, the more likely you are to be Abstinent.

Step 8: Don’t stress about religion.

There is talk of God in many twelve step programs, but you don’t have to be religious to recover.You and your sponsor can discuss how to relate to the non- religious program.There are many different belief systems with twelve step mantras.Perseverance, justice, power, and so on are some of the basic principles.Recovery and self-awareness are the main goals of any twelve step program.

Step 9: Stay anonymous.

Though you may want to develop a feeling of camaraderie, understanding, and fellowship, you don’t have to reveal too much personally identifying details.The success of the group depends on being able to talk freely and not worry about people knowing who you are.You should only give as much information as you feel comfortable giving.

Step 10: Keep realistic.

Many of the programs are designed to work in concert with any other treatment you are currently undergoing with a professional.Peer groups are not a cure for addiction.Many of these programs do not offer other services such as nursing care, legal advice, housing, or other social services.

Step 11: Attend no matter where you are.

There are 12 step meetings around the world.

Step 12: Be aware of your fellow member types.

There are certain personality types that emerge when you attend a group like this that have nothing in common but their addictions.Knowing what to watch out for will help you stay on track, as some people get derailed in meetings by other members with ulterior motives.There is a term for a person who tries to date a weaker member in order to take advantage of them.There will be tears.Don’t let yourself get emotional in the group.The group that has been in recovery for years is made up of the old-timer.Don’t be afraid to call on him for help if you find him intimidating.He can be a very valuable support person because he has seen it all.The person who cannot see how the program applies to him, still thinks of alcohol in a romanticized way, and tends to blame others for his problems is the dry drunk in AA.

Step 13: Accept that you need help.

You need assistance in breaking the cycle if you admit that your addiction has power over you.Some say this is the most important step.People with addictions believe that the substance they are addicted to is helping.That is why the first step is so important.It’s important to be honest with yourself that you have a problem.Step 1 is empowering because you have opened up the possibility of healing.

Step 14: You should have an open mind.

Although many 12 step programs talk about believing in a higher power in order to help restore your sanity, what this step is really all about is having an open mind to all the possibilities now being presented to you as you explore your journey towards recovery.Think of the 12 step program as the “higher power” if it helps.

Step 15: Take yourself over to the journey of recovery with those helping you.

This step traditionally talks about giving yourself over to God for help, but what can apply from this situation to all 12 step programs is having faith that others, such as your sponsor, can help you.The goodness and experiences of others are what this step is about.

Step 16: Have faith.

If you want to look closely at the situations in which you find yourself drinking, Step 4 is usually about putting yourself under a microscope.There are certain situations that cause you to use alcohol.Once you understand yourself, this step can be very enlightening and empowering.

Step 17: Accept help if you ask for it.

When you get tough love, you have to be really open to accepting help from your friends, family, sponsors, and others.These steps may involve sharing secrets you haven’t shared with someone else before, but this is a natural progression, and you may feel ashamed of some of the things you’ve done.Ask your friends to steer you away from places that can lead to addiction.Be willing to change.

Step 18: Make afresh.

Accepting that you have hurt people with whom you need to make amends is the second most difficult set of steps.Making lists of people you have hurt, intentionally or unintentionally, directly, or indirectly, and asking their forgiveness is one of the steps in Steps 8, 9, and 10.As new realizations come to you, these lists are likely to be fluid.If your alcoholism caused you to drive drunk and hurt another driver, you need to ask for forgiveness from that person.

Step 19: Carry on.

If you follow steps 11 and 12 you will be dedicating yourself to the healing journey, continuing down the healthy path you are on, and sharing that knowledge and experience with others.You not only strive to increase your own potential, but often take on a service role of sponsoring or helping others to do the same.

Step 20: Take it slow.

Take it one minute, one hour, and one day at a time.It’s easy.Recovery from addiction is not a sprint.There is a danger of relapse in alcoholism.If you feel the urge to buy something that feeds your drinking problem, put a “no relapse” reminder note in your wallet so you can see it whenever you need money.

Step 21: Be confident.

You are in control.You are more likely to succeed if you are confident in your ability to abstain and recover.Understanding your role in your behavior can help you stop making excuses.You assume responsibility for your actions and believe you can control your life if you have an internal locus of control.It’s better to have an internal control over your future success.

Step 22: Do not give up.

Don’t give up if you are not immediately successful.There is a way to make this work for you.Recovering from alcohol abuse can take a long time.About a third of people who are treated for alcohol abuse problems show no symptoms a year later.Try visualization.Sitting quietly and focusing mentally on what you hope to achieve, watching the scene of you succeeding playing out in your mind is a very successful technique in facing fears and overcoming challenges.Affirmations to yourself.These little phrases, such as “I am taking back control of my life and my health” and ” I will succeed in my effort to get sober,” help you focus on what is positive about what you’re doing.

Step 23: Get more help.

Alcohol abuse can occur with another issue.You may need additional professional treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.The additional resources will help you deal with the underlying psychological and emotional problems that may have led to your current problem.It is possible to prevent relapse by treating the underlying issue.If your alcoholism or withdrawal is putting your health and safety at risk, you may need a period of treatment.Residential treatment facility and hospital settings have twelve step programs.Stick to your doctor’s orders.It is possible that you will be put on antabuse to make drinking alcohol seem repulsive.Many people find that getting in touch with their spiritual side strengthens their resolve, as spiritual help often plays a role in recovery.Teens with higher religious service attendance are less likely to use drugs.

Step 24: Take a look at your hobbies and social activities.

Many of your hobbies and social activities involve your addiction, such as drinking at a pool hall.You will need to find other social outings and places to go that don’t involve your addiction in order to reduce temptation.Go to places that don’t serve alcohol, such as coffee shops, or invite your friends to play paintball instead of shooting pool at the pub.Ask your friends to not drink with you.If you want to socialize, go to a park.If someone offers you a drink, say “No” directly.”No, thank you” or “I’m not drinking because my doctor said to” can be used.I would appreciate it if you didn’t ask me to have a drink.

Step 25: Take a look at your friends.

It’s possible that you need to distance yourself from your friends.There is a socially disabling ailment called addiction.You will most likely feel uncomfortable in social situations.This is normal.The ability to create, maintain, and enhance healthy relationships is an enormous part of the healing process.You can make your journey through the twelve step program a success if you continue with healthy support networks.Teens with strong social support networks are more likely to abstain from substance abuse.

Step 26: There is a support group for your family.

Al-Anon and Alateen offer support for family members.If you have your family members in a support group, you can educate them on your illness and offer them ways of dealing with it.If you have a family member who abuses alcohol, get them into a support and treatment program as well to increase the chances of both of you recovering.

Step 27: It’s time to clean your home.

Don’t allow temptation to linger in the house or at work.Even if you don’t drink anymore, keep alcohol out of your home.Don’t cook wine anymore.Anything that reminds you of drinking should be removed.