The Twelve-Step model of recovery is no longer alcohol specific. People are using the Twelve Steps created in Alcoholics Anonymous for all kinds of addictions and behaviors that are interfering with their health, happiness and quality of life.
Some folks, primarily those without a specific addiction or problem who just want to improve the quality of their life, work the Twelve Steps on their own. Most people find it beneficial to join a Twelve-Step group specific to their problem.
Twelve-Step groups have helped millions of people worldwide to heal from various addictions and other problems that have nothing to do with alcohol. People with addictions or with problems such as codependency have adapted the Twelve-Steps as the basic recovery model for their groups.
Why Is It Helpful To Join A Group?
Maybe you feel like you’re alone in your struggle to recover and regain your health. In fact, there’s nobody who is perfect. Most people have some kind of serious problem that’s too big for them to deal with alone. Joining a twelve-step group allows you to connect with other people who have the same problem you are struggling with. Some are just starting the recovery process like you, while others have successfully recovered and are leading healthier, happier lives.
Being in touch on a regular basis with others who share your goal is a great motivator. Also, you can connect with a recovery mentor who can help you work through the steps. You could do worse socially than connecting with a group of people who are trying to be healthy.
One of the functions of a twelve-step group is to hold each other accountable to staying on track with healing. Recovering from an addiction or behavioral problem isn’t easy and there will be times you want to give up.
You may feel alone, as if nobody has been through what you’re going through or could possibly understand how you feel or how difficult recovery is for you. Your chances of success will greatly improve if you’ve gotten to know a few people who
- Have been through a similar situation as you’re going through
- Felt a lot like you’re feeling at times
- Want to help you overcome and persevere on your journey to healing
Your new friends may call to ask how you’re doing if you’ve been absent from meetings for a while. People in twelve-step groups take great pleasure in helping each other. In fact, helping others, both in and out of recovery, is part of continuing to live by twelve-step principles.
Twelve-Step Groups Provide A Huge Network Of Potential Friends
The twelve-step recovery model has been so successful that it has grown to encompass recovery from all kinds of problems and you can find a twelve-step group nearby wherever you go. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a small town or a big city, or even if you’re traveling abroad, there’s going to be a twelve-step group to connect with nearby.
Twelve-step groups are generally very welcoming to newcomers and to people visiting the area from out-of-town. You’ll find that you come to rely on the strength, camaraderie and the chance to connect with people from all walks of life.
Your life and perspectives will greatly expand as you connect with others from different backgrounds. You can learn a lot from people who share a common problem and are dedicated to regaining their mental and physical health and continuing on the path of healing and recovery.
You Can Greatly Enrich Your Life Through Service To Others
Once you connect with a twelve-step group there are plenty of opportunities to help out. You could begin by taking a small service commitment for the group, such as making coffee, picking up donuts, managing the recovery literature, or greeting newbies. As you grow healthier you may feel able to take on more responsibilities if you want to.
Being helpful to people both in and out of one’s recovery group adds a sense of purpose and joy to life. The saying that you get back more than you give is a truth that you can only discover by finding opportunities to give of yourself through service to others.
Mike Williams is a native of San Diego, California, and has written about the field of recovery for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to By The Sea Recovery.