Are You Ready for Step Eleven? – By Robert Weiss

      Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Step eleven, like step ten, is not a step that is worked once and then forgotten. Instead, it is part of an ongoing (usually daily) ritual of recovery. That said, recovering addicts often find “prayer” and “meditation” to be somewhat baffling concepts. And some, especially those who began the recovery process as agnostics or atheists, may still be struggling with the idea of having a higher power at all. For these reasons (and many others), step eleven can be a difficult one to work. If you find yourself struggling with this step, take heart in the fact that you are not alone. Even the most devoutly spiritual and/or religious members of twelve-step recovery groups sometimes lose their… Continue reading

    How to Work Step Ten Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

      Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Step ten is, in many ways, an ongoing version of steps four through nine. With step ten we take a quick inventory of the day or a specific situation, identify our part in any problems, and, when necessary, we self-correct and quickly make an amends. Hopefully, having worked steps four through nine already, we are familiar with this “inventory, assessment, change, and amends” process. The difference here is that step ten inventories deal with the present rather than the past, and the schedule for self-correction and amends is “as soon as possible” instead of waiting until we are spiritually fit. For most of us, step ten is a very unnatural behavior. As active addicts we rarely (if ever) engaged in this type of self-examination. In fact, we avoided it like the plague. Even in recovery, many… Continue reading

    An Open Letter to 12-Step Members on Touch and Trauma – Jamie Marich, Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, REAT, RMT

    I walked into a typical 12-step meeting on a Sunday morning during my tenth year of recovery. The coffee, donuts, literature and 50/50 raffle were setup in the back of the room. At the front stood the podium where the guest speaker would be sharing their experience, strength, and hope. Four long rows of folding tables and clanky metal chairs filled the room. A group of stereotypical “oldtimer” men sat at the table closest to the entrance. Most of them are kind and accept a hello and a handshake. Respecting the fact that not everyone likes to be hugged, it’s long been my protocol at meetings to extend my hand, and then if the person extends or gestures me in for a hug, I oblige. Setting this boundary keeps me safe as well. But not on this day. After I extended my hand to one of the oldtimers at the… Continue reading

    Are You Worried About Step 9? – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

        Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. From step four onward, the twelve steps are primarily concerned with interpersonal relations—how you interact in and with the wider world. In a nutshell, you are asked to: Look back on your life and see where you have caused problems for yourself and others. Do what you can to repair the damage you have done. Live differently in the future. Steps eight and nine are the middle portion of this procedure—doing what you can to repair the damage you have done. After working step eight, you should have a list of people you have harmed, and you should have a plan for and be willing to make amends to them all. If so, you are ready to work step nine. Step nine should not be undertaken without first consulting your… Continue reading

    Like The Song – The Steps Are a Dance – Kyczy Hawk

      I was on vacation with my family last week. We went to Texas – where it is all country music all the time. I LOVE country music – it is a secret vice of mine. Cruising in a van that could accommodate the seven of us – we were singing to the radio heading to see the Alamo. (Recovery is so great – repairs relationships and allows me to have experiences like this.) We were singing along to “Life’s A Dance” with the refrain…. “Life’s a dance you learn as you go Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow Don’t worry about what you don’t know Life’s a dance you learn as you go” (which I always heard as “you learn as you grow” which fits my understanding just fine.) Singing at the top of our lungs as we all know the words, it was a really fun moment of… Continue reading