Twelve Steps

Is There A Difference Between “Clean” and “Sober”

Clean is when the drugs have left our system. There are three aspects to sobriety: Physical sobriety, where we are abstinent for a long enough time for our brains to begin to recover so that we can think more clearly and make decisions based on reality instead of confusion and fear; Emotional and spiritual sobriety, …

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Religion or Spirituality? A Checklist

Religion may involve spirituality, but spirituality does not necessarily involve religion. Here’s how I differentiate (your mileage may vary): Religion Relationship with a God or Gods Beliefs Metaphysical or Supernatural Reality Faith Dogma Ritual Prayer Salvation Eternal reward Spirituality Qualities of the Human Spirit Love Compassion Patience Tolerance Forgiveness Sense of Responsibility Sense of Harmony Things that …

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I’m Detoxed and Free of Drugs, Why Do I Need a 12-Step Program?

Alcoholics and other addicts in recovery have many more issues to deal with than simply not using, especially in the first couple of years.  For one thing, it can take that long for the body (especially the brain) to repair the effects of the drugs. Along with guidance through the discomfort of this Post Acute …

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A Letter To A Friend In Treatment

Dear Ed, Addicts are people who don’t want to: don’t want to feel the pain, don’t want to be uncomfortable, don’t want to feel funny, don’t want to experience the negative at all.  But if we avoid all seemingly negative experiences, how will we appreciate it when we’re having a positive one?  How will we …

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What A Perfect Excuse To Get Wasted!

A young woman I knew killed herself last year. The details don’t matter, but for the sake of anyone dealing with depression in themselves or a family member, I will mention that she had gone off her meds and was drinking. That’s not why I’m writing, though. The anniversary is coming up two weeks from Saturday, and …

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Wherever you go, there you are…

Around the recovery community we often hear the expression “geographical cure.”  This refers to the seemingly obvious fact that regardless of where we go, we take our personalities, problems, and the ways we cope with issues right along with us.  In fact, “geographicals” are a physical expression of denial. Addiction is a disease.  As such, it does …

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Happy Birthday AA — 75 Years and Counting

June 10th, 2010, marks the 75th birthday of Alcoholics Anonymous, the first effective treatment for addiction. The American Medical Association began defining alcoholism as a disease in 1956. Not too long thereafter, they included other forms of addiction as well, but for some reason the disease concept of addiction has failed to gain wide public understanding. …

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It Works If You Work It

My wife and I are taking the next few days off. We’re driving up to Melbourne, where she will attend a conference of addiction counselors while I goof off, take pictures, and find things for us to do in her off hours. We’ll probably catch a meeting or two. A seaside hotel, ocean view. What’s …

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What We Would Not Do For Ourselves

There’s a quote from the AA Big Book about God “doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”  Now before you get all excited, this is not a religious screed, and I don’t talk religion here — although I may mention spirituality from time to time, which is not the same thing. But there is something about …

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