Alcoholics Anonymous Tag

You don’t have to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to know that a lot of it centers on the concept of God, or that it’s referred to as a “faith-based” program. For those of us in it, we often refer to it as a spiritual program.

I have struggled with addiction since my first encounter with drugs and alcohol-let me tell you, they are right: “once an addict always an addict.” Being a female addict-a manipulative and incredibly street smart one at that-getting sober can take a whole lot of work, as I can milk the ones I love for a long time, enabling me to stay loaded. Yet my life is undeniably better when I’m living a sober life physically, mentally and spiritually.

I didn’t have a very high opinion of myself when I came into AA, but you never would have known it. I overcompensated, deflected and did anything I could to keep the attention off of me. I acted like everything was OK, even though deep in my heart I knew it wasn’t. I was a loser, but didn’t want to feel that way.

Anyone who has been to at least one meeting has probably heard “get a sponsor”. For myself, I completely disregarded this important piece of advice almost immediately. At the time, I had no interest in sticking around or doing any “work”, as so many people referred to it. But once I came around, I realized just how important finding someone to help you is if you are trying to stay in recovery.

A New Life House Father explains his sober meditation practice, how he learned to quiet his mind and how being present in any daily activity activity is a meditative practice-even while driving.

From the moment I started my journey in recovery, the term “fellowship” was thrown around a lot-not just in meetings, but within my own sober living community as well. I was new and didn’t have a full understanding of not only what it meant, but also why it was so important to my newfound lifestyle.

Moderation Management has been around for almost 20 years yet few have heard of it, as it is more or less shrouded in mystery. But lately the program has picked up traction again after a shaky and tumultuous past. What is moderation management and how does it differ from similar recovery programs?

On December 31st, I celebrated 5 years of continuous sobriety. 5 years of freedom from the drugs and alcohol, freedom from the bondage of self. In those 5 years, a lot has happened and a lot has changed. I have changed friends, apartments, jobs and directions. I have set goals for myself and achieved things I never knew possible. I have fallen flat on my face and failed in epic proportions. I have fallen in love with my life and all the beauty and pain that comprise it. I have done a lot of things right, but I’ve also done a lot of things wrong. And I have learned more about myself in the past 5 years than I did in the 25 years prior to that.

For most people relapse is or will be a part of their story. But it’s only a story, not a failure, and the script can be rewritten at anytime. Relapse carries a deep sense of shame with it. It touches every false belief we have ever had about ourselves: I knew it, I am a failure,” or, “I’ll never amount to anything,” or, “Other people deserve happiness, not me.” By getting out of the cycle of negative thinking – together - we can address our “relapse-mentality.”