At Still Waters, we have built our entire treatment approach around the 12-step recovery process because we believe it is an effective way for people to realize the goal of lifelong sobriety. The 12 steps are about being accountable for your behavior, admitting when you are wrong and apologizing to people you have harmed. In following the 12 steps, many people have a spiritual awakening that transforms their lives and inspires them to carry a message of hope to others.
How It Works AA Reading
This AA reading is an introduction to the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and the founding tenets of the program. Two former alcoholics, Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson, published the 12-step model in 1939. Since then, it has helped hundreds of people recover from the disease of addiction.
Though 12-step programming has roots in Christianity, even those who are not religious have found success following this approach, especially when combined with evidence-based therapy. Twelve-step groups are safe spaces where participants can find connection and self-awareness – these are the opposite of the loneliness and denial that characterize addiction.
The 12 Steps
Many addictions take root because people sense an unmet need in their life, or a void they need to fill. While alcohol or drugs can provide short-lived relief from this emptiness, they always leave you wanting more. In some cases, people sacrifice their health, happiness and relationships to continue drinking and using, causing even more despair and meaningless.
Following the 12-step principles requires you to admit that your life has become unmanageable because of your substance abuse, and that you can’t recover alone. The value of a 12-step recovery program is that it provides you with a clear purpose and a specific, understandable path to move forward from addiction.
Half-Measures Availed Us Nothing
Some people who fear making a positive, long-term change believe they can keep drinking or taking drugs if they scale back their use. Others try to force themselves to get better through white-knuckling their sobriety through willpower alone, without working through a recovery program. However, the AA reading stresses the futility of attempting this “easier, softer way.”
In attempting to get better without support, therapy or a safety net, you will never come to terms with the underlying causes of your addiction. To succeed in sobriety, you must fully commit to working through all 12 steps and rebuild a substance-free life.
Progress, Not Perfection
Having a relationship with a higher power is one of the core tenets of the 12-step principles. For some people, this means entrusting their lives to a god or gods, while others interpret the concept of a “higher power” to mean the universe at large or the natural world. Regardless of your beliefs, you can use the idea that there is something larger than yourself to help you feel grounded.
Simultaneously, the 12-step reading acknowledges that humans are not perfect. As much as you may want to devote your time and energy to following the 12 steps flawlessly, don’t get discouraged by the occasional setback. You can sustain recovery if you continue a willingness to grow in your spirituality.
12-Step Immersion in Tennessee
If you have relapsed or other treatment options have not resonated with you, you may benefit from immersing yourself in a 12-step program. At Still Waters, we help men and women overcome substance use disorders by exploring and working the 12 steps. When you join our family, you will never be alone on your recovery journey. We provide fellowship and individualized attention in a comfortable setting that allows you to focus on what you need to heal, physically, mentally and spiritually.