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

    Secrecy and Addiction – By Patty Powers

      If you attend 12-Step meetings you’re bound to hear a bunch of corny sayings like “Denial is not a river in Egypt.” You’ll either laugh or roll your eyes dismissively. Where you’re at with your recovery has a lot to do with how information gets filtered through the addict-mind, what your ears pick up. For example, if you’re at your first meetings because of coercion, either by family members or the court system, the inner response to pretty much everything said is, “This is bullshit”. Not everything bounces off a closed mind though. Usually something seeps in that might create a desire to check out another meeting one day. The truth has a way of finding a crack in the armor. Besides, it’s hard to dismiss a roomful of people who are no longer imprisoned by the isolation of active addiction and alcoholism. As a recovery coach, I’ve attended… Continue reading

    MECHANISMS OF CHANGE IN ADDICTION RECOVERY – By William L. White

    High degrees of variability in the pathways and styles of addiction recovery obscure shared mechanisms of change across such healing processes. The alcohol and drug problems arena is filled with professional claims and counterclaims, excessive marketing hype, and riveting personal testimonies of how such problems can be best resolved. The central stakeholders in these debates commonly assert that their particular ideas and methods constitute THE TRUTH, and wrap these claims in the mantle of science or personal/clinical experience. The resulting noise can leave listeners understandably bewildered about the nature of such problems and their ultimate solution. People recover with and without the ever-expanding menu of professional treatment; with and without medication support; with and without involvement in the growing networks of religious, spiritual, and secular recovery mutual aid groups; and with and without involvement in new recovery support institutions (from recovery homes and collegiate recovery communities to recovery cafes and… Continue reading

    Meeting People Where They Are At – By Kyczy Hawk

    A time of reflection. A time to cast the mind forward and the glance backward. A time to reset my intentions and to consider where my intentions have fallen by the wayside. How have my actions missed the mark? I am good with the practical, with the mundane, even with the technical. But relationships… they can trip me up. I am a recovering codependent. I have a weakness for otheration. When slightly stressed, when emotions run high, when my tank runs empty I fall into bad habits. I even fall into the habit of thought that “I should be better than this, I should be better by now, I should, I should, I should.” I am even codependent with my expectations of myself. (More on this later.) I have some tools to use when I am in a difficult relationship. These relationship difficulties can arise due to my own shortcomings,… Continue reading

    Addiction from a Friends Point of View

      I didn’t realize it at first, but I’m sure it was there. After countless days of coming home to them passed out on the couch, after so many bright mornings lost to drunken tirades, after so many little moments turn into major splinters, you slowly see what has been creeping in that dark space for what it is: the feeling of powerlessness. I felt it when I called her thirty times after midnight. Her last text expressed a desire for relief through suicide. I felt it every time I spoke with them and the person I loved was lost from their face, their voice, their movements. I saw it in my friend when their father demanded respect but dealt disrespect — lying to their family, lying to family friends, lying to himself. Every lie he told was just one more brick in the wall, a wall being built around… Continue reading