Attention: all those who wish to be liberated from the limiting beliefs & restrictions of backwards doctrines. Whether it’s religion, or Narcotics Anonymous or a program being imposed (inflicted) upon our children via secular school curriculum. Today, I will talk NA, for the sake of the countrywide “crisis” we now face as a Nation, & quite frankly, also as a worldwide race, sinking deeper. Pull up a chair. Check your ego at the door. Hear me out.
Since this is the day & age where Opioid addiction has become so prevalent & destructive that it has been declared a National Health Emergency by our current President, I believe that this conversation is very necessary. The Opioid crisis spans waaaaay back in time. I guess people are just noticing, all of a sudden? I guess it’s time for the government to capitalize on it, jump in on the greed game, with Big Pharma, rehabs, doctors, & detox facilities. They must have felt left out. (mmm-hmmm) Regardless of the reason or timing or motive, this article is about a much more important topic. It’s about how Twelve-Step Programs are outdated, & quite frankly, in my seasoned opinion… sabotaging people to stay stuck on a merry-go-round for the remainder of their “clean & sober” lives as a “Recovering Addict.”
Even though Twelve-Step programs are the most accessible formats offered in our society, to assist those attempting to get & stay clean, they are not the most effective. Would you like me to repeat that? Twelve-Step programs seem to be in place everywhere. More or less, they are the leading protocol for all recovery seekers, however, just like old outdated programs in the mind that need adjustment, so does this program of protocol in our society that says: Twelve-Step programs are the be all end all best solution to maintaining a clean life. That is a misconception that has been ingrained into our society.
Even though the Twelve-Steps can be very effective for many people in need of guidance, redirection, or respite, as they contain a workable formatted guideline to redefine your journey… they are written with an outdated perspective. Comparable to the many wild mythologies & parables of the Bible that are racist, sexist & outdated & certainly would be much more understood & relevant if revised to meet a modern morale & standard.
The Big Blue Book has the right ideas, & contains plenty of nutrient rich intel, don’t get me wrong, but still… if we look at the big picture, certain outmoded content needs to be significantly altered in order to avoid the pitfalls of the past (the revolving door) & ultimately attain better results, going forward. “If we do what we’ve always done, we will get what we’ve always gotten.” Hmmmmm… don’t I recall that poster hanging on the wall of every rehab, detox & meeting? NA, needs to follow it’s own advice.
The Twelve Steps need to be adjusted & rewritten to meet a new improved standard of accountability that speaks more to our empowerment than to our powerlessness… at the very least. It’s 2017-18… I’m surprised no one has done that yet, frankly. Aren’t you? Well, after some Google research, it seems there are a few revisions here & there, but unfortunately, nothing was ever universally implemented.
Meetings are everywhere, especially for the weary. In any city, state, & country one finds themselves… no doubt, there’s a meeting down the street there. NA & AA is a HUGE organization with a cult-like following. I get it. But, true recovery is an inner journey. If people are not redirected properly, they will end up latching on to anything they can get their hands on, including meetings & other people going through the same thing. This usually poses a threat to our sobriety, because people are essentially not outgrowing dependence at all, but reinforcing it instead. No longer reliant on drugs or alcohol to get by, now they are reliant on people & a flawed culture of people that keep announcing aloud: they are addicts. On top of the fact that these groups are likely filled with a shit-ton of ex-cons, thieves, liars, & manipulators with criminal behavior & addictive personalities who very well likely relapse frequently. Who very well likely seek comfort through sex, or ban together to do more dirt than what got them there in the first place. Which at the very least, is counterproductive. I’ve witnessed & experienced this first hand, over & over.
Yes, Twelve-Step programs are free. meetings are free. It’s the most accessible means in any community, to connect people to recovery resources, aide, or help for sobriety. It’s like a big church of sorts, for any kind of addict to attend. They welcome everyone without judgement or discretion. Remarkable indeed, but it still doesn’t change the fact that once a person walks through that door, they are expected to do two things to remain there. One: admit they are an addict over & over again by stating aloud “I am an addict” every time they announce themselves to talk… and two: buy into the belief that addiction is a disease. Both of these concepts are counterproductive & are not accurate within the context of Universal Law.
Universal Law states that the I Am principle of deliberate creation is how we harness & own our divinity/personal power. Stating: I am an addict, over & over, each time you verbally represent yourself to others…. is sabotaging the mind to believe you are still an addict. Would you like me to repeat that? It’s complete opposite of what living a clean life aims for. “I am a recovering or recovered addict,” would be more suitable. But, even then, the I am statement is still making a declaration that is essentially keeping that person trapped in some kind of stereotype of recovering addict persona. The goal is: to change how we identify ourselves. If twelve step people are constantly identifying themselves & others as addicts in or out of recovery, then they will just be stuck within an identity that is limiting. We are in the business of redefining who we are, so that we do not see ourselves as that addict or that struggling person in recovery. We must change the way we view ourselves & our lives & paths, with our imagination & creative visualizing faculties. We will see results faster & easier & we will make significant lasting progress rather than temporary baby steps that likely get lost & buried within the next relapse. And oh, I can almost assure you… there will be a next relapse.
From a self-proclaimed non-Twelve-Step successfully recovered person’s point of view (mine)>>>>> I sincerely believe, going forward, that non-Twelve-Step programs are so instrumental to effective change in the recovery community. For anyone that wishes to stop being a serial repeater of the same patterns & then relapsing incessantly… there’s only one choice: seek your local non-Twelve-Step program. Make sure it’s legit. There’s financial assistance out there, don’t believe the hype that says there’s not. It’s accessible to you, no matter what class or race or ethnicity you are. Make it happen. No excuses.
Regarding that “disease” notion…. I strongly disagree. A disease is typically described as something either terminal or acquired unexpectedly without our consent, not chosen. Addiction, though predisposed to some extent due to genetics… it is still not a disease. Calling it a disease is putting a label on it that makes it sound inescapable, terminal or something out of our control. Addiction is none of those things. The Twelve Steps teach that we are powerless over our addiction. But, this is a false statement. Once in the throes of the active compulsion of addiction itself, we are powerless in a sense, for we are being possessed by our insatiable desires. But, once we detox from whatever the obsession is… then we gain back our power & can thus exercise our own authority then to rise above the compulsion that once controlled us. We can consciously choose to reverse the damage by changing how we view ourselves, life & the word addiction.
Addiction is not a disease, it’s a temporary compulsion that can be transformed & channeled into a more balanced personal stability via self-love, physical activity, meditation, creative visualization, lots of emotional purging & cleansing & ultimately the rewiring of the mind. No one said it was a quick fix. But, it doesn’t have to take forever either. And the Twelve-Step program is not the most efficient road to recovery. It’s definitely flawed, on many levels. Calling addiction a disease, is keeping people stuck. Point blank.
Choose life. Choose freedom. Choose to name yourself not “addict” but, person with a message on a mission with a plan & a purpose. A person who graduated from the sting of addictive behaviors & moved to the next level because they wanted to, chose to, consciously, deliberately chose to, because they were sick of being sick & tired. If u want to be rich, hang out with rich people. If u want to be a successful human being with little or no vices, then hang with people who practice believing in greater things, talking about greater things, moving in brighter directions while leaving the past behind. Not a bunch of poor me’s in a room, all gathered together chatting about war stories all the time, smoking cigarettes, & drinking watered down sugared coffee with powdered faux creamer. Folks who gather there are typically validating negative patterns & practices & reinforcing bad behaviors by & through always running over the same ground together. And, it is made worse when the fraternizing is done with the newbies that are still likely in the throes of their addiction secretly, or very close to it anyway.
I know Twelve-Step programs mean well, but many times they can be a cesspool of seriously unhealed dysfunctional people with problems, criminals, ex-cons, drug dealers & users alike. And since sex is not against the law, these dysfunctional people without their main vice, now gravitate toward each other, to fill up the empty spaces. It’s a big shitshow, if ya ask me. A big shitshow with no qualified leader at the helm…with any kind of behavioral, spiritual or psychological credentials. The speaker that day, is essentially just a person who is another “Addict” just one drink or drug away from full blown relapse, no matter how many days or years clean they may have accumulated. As if this will ground them to their sobriety, they stay with a coin in their pocket or a colored key chain to remind them of the collection of days they have under their belt, when in truth, all it is, is plastic or medal. What counts is what’s within. The rooms don’t keep us clean… it’s the development & strengthening of our inner sanctum that does.
I get it, though. I’m not trying to be mean. I’m just not a fan. I am not denying that AA & NA have saved millions of lives throughout their days on the scene. It’s a program that works if you work it indeed. But, it’s certainly not fail-safe, & it certainly could be cleaned up, (no pun intended), to be a lot more effective, if ya ask me, like re-wording the Twelve Steps etc. Stop calling addiction a disease & defining it as a terminal thing people are stuck with for the rest of their lives. And, stop making people identify themselves as the “I am an addict” persona. It’s totally counterproductive. To the max. We need to teach people life skills, coping skills & how to tap resources from within, as opposed to moving from one crutch to the next. A street drug to a prescription drug. Teaching people to “surrender to a disease” is a funny way of teaching people self-empowerment, don’t ya think?
It’s time for people to start recognizing how addictive behaviors are formed & implemented in a person’s life, so we can see how to prevent that going forward. What’s the root cause? The root issue? What’s so empty inside? Where’s the location of the emptiness? Is it mere boredom? Or is it more gripping like… hopelessness or helplessness? Where does the fear lie? Anger, hatred, resentment, sadness, regret, guilt, madness, confusion, depression, aggression, greed, fear, scarcity, lack, limitation, self-loathing, mistrust, instability, insecurity, fear of failure, fear to succeed, lack of self-worth or self-confidence. Find the source of the grief & work it out. Because, that’s the sure culprit of any compulsion.
The more we feed a compulsion, the more the brain’s chemistry & climate changes to accommodate the mind-altering substance or activity, which means the brain begins to become malnourished, poisoned, lazy, mismanaged & ultimately wires & signals get all kinds of crossed. Which also means, it will take more work to inevitably dig out. Hence, rigorous mind-body-spirit overhaul, which will likely take years to undertake in order to see real results.
The brain is a computer of sorts that is very susceptible to toxicity, just like our bodies. Ya can’t expect to continuously poison the body with preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, trans fat, straight sugar & sodium for a long period of time without consequences. Eventually the body begins to change its chemistry & break down. Diabetes, stroke, heart attack, obesity & depression will thus ensue. The only way to combat the toxicities & reverse the damage, is to quit cold turkey, the consumption of all toxic food & drink, & nurture & nourish the body back to health with exercise, lots of water, healthy leafy greens, fruits, veggies… prayer/meditation, & practicing new improved habits. Eventually, the blood pressure will even out, the cholesterol number will level, the diabetes can reverse, the excess weight will drop off, an air of joy will begin to replace depression, & sloth will certainly turn to ambition. But it takes, time, discipline & dedication. It doesn’t happen overnight. The longer the body had been exposed to the toxicities, the more damage has been done, hence the longer it will take to undo. Sage advice: Practice patience… she will be your most treasured pet & ally. Treat her kindly.
Persistence, dedication, commitment, willpower & self-empowerment via self-improvement will win back all personal freedom & reinstate a new lease on life that will graduate a person to a whole new level composed of immeasurable great heights. Soaring potentials realized. Regarding addiction, compulsions, obsessions, diseases, illnesses, sickness, distress, worry, regret over the past or anxiety over the future. Whatever the hell needs to be addressed & renovated… faith in our personal Divine capacity to co-create change, with the powers that be (God-Force/Love/Light)… will be our SOLE SALVATION.
Don’t be an amateur.
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Recovery Resources/Services/Hotlines (non Twelve-Step)
- What Addicts Know: 10 Lessons from Recovery to Benefit Everyone by Christopher Kennedy Lawford
- American Addict (2012) & The Big Lie: American Addict 2 (2016) (Documentaries)
- Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions by Russell Brand (His newest book 2017)
- http://www.smartrecovery.org/ Smart Recovery/Self-management for addiction recovery>>> “Discover the power of choice!”
SMART Recovery is the leading self-empowering addiction recovery support group. Our participants learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community which includes free, self-empowering, science-based mutual help groups.
SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) is an international non-profit organization which provides assistance to individuals seeking abstinence from addictive behaviors. The approach used is secular and scientifically based using non-confrontational motivational, behavioral and cognitive methods. Meeting participants learn recovery methods derived from evidence-based addiction treatments. Substance/activity dependence is viewed by the organization as a dysfunctional habit (rather than a disease), while allowing that it is possible that certain people have a predisposition towards addictive behavior.
The SMART Recovery 4-Point Program helps people recover from all types of addiction and addictive behaviors, including: drug abuse, drug addiction, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, cocaine addiction, prescription drug abuse, sexual addiction, and problem addiction to other substances and activities. SMART Recovery sponsors face-to-face meetings around the world, and daily online meetings. In addition, our online message board and 24/7 chat room are excellent forums to learn about SMART Recovery and obtain addiction recovery support.
[Those admitted to our San Diego rehab often tell us that they struggle with the labels of “disease” “alcoholic” and “powerlessness.” Also, wording contained within the 12 Steps makes reference God, and this can be alienating for individuals who are secular, or whose sense of faith has been weakened.
AToN Center is a program that was founded on non-12 Step treatment principles. Therefore, our Center was designed as an evidence-based best practice model for treatment of addiction free from the barriers many people experience with 12 Step only treatment programs. AToN
Center’s San Diego rehab offers Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as the clinical underpinning to all of our groups. We discuss an individual’s potential to change from the basic premise that in order to change behavior, you first need to change your thinking and learn emotional regulation skills.]
- http://www.addicted.org/ Complete data base for recovery>> Excellent reference for non-12-step & low-cost programs for your specific state.
Toll free: 1.800.304.2219
- http://www.drugrehab.org Biophysical Rehabilitation, Homeopathic and Alternative Options, and Non-12 StepDrug Rehab. Drug-free Detox.
Toll free: 1.877.958.9345
- Dr. Phil Show
325 N Larchmont Blvd, Suite 602
Los Angeles, CA 90004 (writing a letter is the best way to reach him)
- If you need help finding mental health services and support in your community contact: National Mental Health Association Information Center: nmha.org
- National Suicide Hotline 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233)
- National Child Abuse Hotline 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)
- Gulf Breeze Recovery’s THRIVE: Total Health Recovery Program is Changing the Face of Addiction Treatment! (Non-Twelve Step)
350 Pensacola Beach Blvd
Gulf Breeze, Florida 32561
Phone: 1 (855) 220-6677
- www.sanctuary.net The Sanctuary at Sedona: integrative addiction recovery (Create freedom from: Alcohol; Cocaine; Opiates; Marijuana; Prescription Drugs; Codependency; PTSD; Depression; Anxiety. Repair the brain. Heal the body. Recover the soul.) For more info call: 877.710.3385 (Non-Twelve Step)