Why do we keep on doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result? By Jackie Stein

There is a slogan in every 12 step recovery program (although it originated elsewhere) that says “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.” Since most slogans have at least a morsel of truth in them, I thought it might be a good idea to look at this one. This slogan seems to speak to complacency and vigilance. Most of us can agree that addiction is either a disease or an affectation of the psyche. Substance addictions can be physical as well as psychological and process addictions are clearly psychological.  Research shows that any habit can be broken. The keys are to give ourselves time to break the habit and work to keep from relapsing into the addictive behavior. We all know that it takes work to break a habit. The psychological aspect of the addiction is effectively a habit. Whether the habit is drugs,… Continue reading

Finding Acceptance – A Spiritual Good Time Charlie – By Mark Masserant

  “I amz what I amz and that’s allz that I amz.” (Every freakin’ episode?) – Popeye T. Sailorman    Rarely did I go down without a fight. As a result, acceptance in any area of my life was always a struggle proportionate to the current unpleasant episode I was confronted with. My drinking was the common thread that ran through all of my troubles, yet it also helped me forget them. Consequently, defeat at the hands of alcohol was a victory neither pain-free, nor easily gained. Despite the constant upheaval caused by my boozing and my urgent desire to stop, there were unforeseen obstacles that blocked me from accepting my drinking problem. On the surface, I was certain I had thrown in the towel—the monotonous drone of my name, followed by ‘…and I’m an alcoholic’, was sounded at meetings every night for almost a year. I believed it. But hidden… Continue reading

How to Work Step Twelve – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

  Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other alcoholics [or addicts], and to practice these principles in all our affairs.   The first thing to do when you approach step twelve is to recognize the first portion of step’s language, “having had a spiritual awaking as the result of these steps.” In other words, by the time you reach step twelve, you will have had a spiritual awakening of some sort. Most likely it was not of the burning bush variety, but no doubt you have experienced it. If you think that you haven’t, just take a quick inventory. Ask yourself: Have I stopped my addictive behavior? Am I interacting in healthier ways with family members, bosses, coworkers, neighbors, and random strangers? Do I feel better about myself and my place in the world? Am I more accepting… Continue reading

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