The majority of us that enter into a recovery fellowship (such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc) do so for one single purpose: to quit drinking and/or doing drugs. Much to our surprise, however, we almost universally find that when we stick around the program we get far more out of it than we originally hoped for.
These promises, summed up on page 87-88 of Alcoholics Anonymous, often are read before the start of every meeting to serve as a reminder of what we are working for. Here we break down the 12-step promises of recovery..
5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
As mentioned earlier, regret is one of the most difficult emotions to deal with in early sobriety. We regret the opportunities we blew, the money we lost, the relationships we lost, on and on. If we stay in the program, however, and continue to help others, we will see that all the pain we went through was not entirely for waste.
For our experience with addiction can be used to help other addicts and alcoholics going through the same thing. We stop worrying so much about how much we lost in our addictions, and start worrying more about how we can help others with that experience.
6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
This promise occurs essentially as the culmination of the previous five. Alcoholism and addiction ultimately result in making us useless in society and in the relationships we have with loved ones. This uselessness often then leads to self-pity.
Recovery gives us a new purpose in life. We now can be of use to our fellow man, in the name of a greater cause. We are no longer unemployable. We are once again dependable people to our loved ones and those who count on us. By the time all this has occurred, self-pity is nothing more than a bad memory for us.
7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Alcoholism and addiction ultimately end up completely consuming our lives, from a financial, time, and even biochemical perspective. In other words, we become completely self-absorbed and selfish. Any relationships we manage to hold on to, at the very least, become neglected. Recovery frees us from this bondage. We can finally set aside our selfish behaviors and become present in the lives of our loved ones.
8. Self-seeking will slip away.
Self-seeking is undoubtedly human nature. Our self-seeking in our addictions, however, typically prevents us from ever being able to keep long-lasting relationships. As recovery frees us from the bondage of addiction, we stop being concerned exclusively with our own self-interests and begin to focus on others.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.